Published by Matador,
28 October 2020.
ISBN: 978-180-0460-270 (PB)
This, the author’s second thriller, takes off as 1999
fades into the dazzling promised land of a new Millennium. The protagonist is Ray Mercer, a failing, and
struggling, private investigator, whose downfall is that he’s a compulsive
gambler. Seriously in debt, with his life in tatters, his ruthless creditors
are closing in on him. Salvation present itself in the shape of a retired
gangland boss who agrees to bail out Ray if he locates and hands over the
with tracking down his prey, Ray discovers the man has not only secreted
himself in a cult that passes itself off as a respectable telemarketing company
but has also changed his identity several times.
that’s not all. The past returns to
haunt Ray who nurses a guilty secret. Twenty years earlier two boys, who’d concealed
themselves, witnessed the brutal murder of a 12-year-old boy by a contemporary.
The two observers never revealed what they’d seen that day. Is it now time for
Ray to expose the boy’s killer?
found the storyline to be credible and clipping along at a fast pace, even
though the narrative is written in the present tense. Characters are fleshed out; the dialogue
flows easily; the dilemma and moral obligation thrown up by the choice starkly facing
Ray entirely engages the reader who is kept on tenterhooks throughout as
vengeful people are on Ray’s tail.
are twists and turns galore to satisfy the most demanding aficionados of this genre
although some readers might be understandably confused and perplexed by the
numerous aliases adopted by an array of different characters and the frequent
time shifts from present to past. That
said the ending was satisfying and wholly unexpected. Recommended.
Reviewer: Serena Fairfax
Mick Lee writes mostly
crime fiction now that he has given up on sports journalism, private detecting
and asking impertinent questions of people in locked rooms (sometimes called
Market Research). It all started with something about deranged serial killers
(Under The Waltzer), continued with a vivid re-imagining of the Great Train
Robbery of 1963, followed by Child X, an exploration of the issue of
child killer rehabilitation. More to follow on what it would be like if a gun
could talk, and criminal gangs of Georgian London.
Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and practiced in London for many years. She began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicals then turned her hand to fiction. Having published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten track that feature on her blog. Her tenth novel has been published. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and singing are a few of her favourite things.