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Sunday 25 June 2017

‘Don't Look For Me’ by Mason Cross

Published by Orion Fiction,
20 April 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-4091-5968-1         

It was a simple instruction: Don't look for me, and for six years Carter Blake followed it - he hasn't gone looking for the woman he had once loved and lost. But when he finds out her life is in danger, Blake is forced to break that promise.

Trenton Gage is a hitman without a conscience and with a talent for finding people. His latest job is to track down a woman on the run who has a secret many would kill for.

It turns out Blake and Gage are after the same person. But who will find her first?

This is the fourth outing for Carter Blake (the second, The Samaritan, was a Richard and Judy book club pick last year), and this time it's personal. At the beginning of the book, Blake, who is an expert in finding people who don't want to be found, is relaxing after his last job, but he is bored. Then he hears from Sarah Blackwell, a woman who is worried about her neighbour and friend who has disappeared, along with her shady husband. We soon learn that the woman who is missing is the same one Blake hasn't seen for six years. Used to working alone, he unwillingly teams up with Sarah to look for her. It becomes a race against time - they have to find her before Trenton Gage does.

The addition of the character of Sarah, and Blake's emotional investment in the hunt, is a departure from the first three novels in the series, but works extremely well, and I hope Sarah is going to be a regular because she is a great character, and characters are what Mason Cross does so brilliantly, making them well-rounded and believable. His writing is pacy, and the plot is extremely well constructed, with plenty of twists, turns and misdirection.

Although this is one of a series, it is possible to read as a standalone, but even better to begin with the first, The Killing Season. If you like to be thrilled by your thrillers, then this is for you.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Mason Cross was born in Glasgow in 1979. He studied English at the University of Stirling and has worked as a tax officer, events coordinator, project manager and pizza delivery boy. He has written a number of short stories. His first novel The Killing Season was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Book of the Year 2015, and the sequel, The Samaritan, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. His latest book Don’t Look For Me was published in April 2017. He lives near Glasgow with his wife and three children.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016.  

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