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Friday 9 October 2015

'Toxic' by Jamie Doward

Published by Constable,
5 November 2015. 
ISBN 978-1-4721-2001-4 (PB)

An exciting debut thriller from the Observer journalist, Jamie Doward.  He starts with a mutilated corpse on a very remote Kent beach and moves rapidly on through financial scandal to potentially apocalyptic scenarios.  The initial protagonist is Kate Pendragon, a financial analyst, who has been seconded to MI5.  She and the local DCI, Sorrenson, try to figure out the reasons for the positioning of the corpse and the reasons why anyone should kill him.  He was a senior banker with a global investment bank which has serious problems - in that context look at the book's title!

Action moves between the Kent coast, London and the USA.   There a vast array of characters who are rarely what they seem.  Violence is bubbling beneath the surface and, as the stakes become higher and higher, it frequently breaks through.  Everyone has varying motives and all the modern demons are there - banking crisis, Islamic terrorism, fear of a nuclear catastrophe and manipulations by organisations like the CIA.  The attempt to wend your way into the interstices of the story is hard but rewarding.  This is a clever, convoluted, modern thriller.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer

Jamie Doward has been a journalist on the Observer for 16 years. In his career, he has worked as a business reporter, the Home Affairs editor, the Religious Affairs correspondent, the Social Affairs Editor, the diarist and, currently, its Senior Reporter.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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