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Thursday, 17 January 2013
‘The First Horseman’ by Clem Chambers
This is a book about eternal youth and the possible costs of getting it and giving it to the world’s ever increasing population. To keep the secret people will die and others will thrive, or will they? Professor Christopher Cardini has developed a technique which can extend life, but only for those who can afford it. For anyone who finds out his secret, life can become a little shorter.
The First Horseman follows the ambition of Jim Evans, past city trader and multimillionaire to do some good in the world by supporting some research which has the potential to save the world’s population. Unfortunately, the work he wants to support comes at a heavy price, and he becomes embroiled in research and activities which have a far less altruistic motive and dangerous consequences.
This is a really unusual thriller, carrying some of the traditional elements found present in many books of this genre, but with some twists which mean that it is hard to predict how it will move forward. There is some unusual and politically incorrect thinking suggested in the narrative, which emphasise the paradox of life saving treatments in a world where an ever increasing population may be unsustainable. There are even points where you can see the side of the villains, though their methods are indisputably immoral. Jim Evans and his unusual butler make an odd pair of protagonists and the book races along to a satisfactory, but not necessarily comfortable conclusion.
This is an interesting read and as the fourth in the series I will look out for the others to see how Jim Evans started his career in crime (after the city trading that is!).
Reviewer: Amanda Brown