by Tim Weaver
The postman grinned as he handed me the package containing this book, then laughed as the weight of it took me completely by surprise. It is a large, physically heavy book that runs to just over 500 pages.
Apparently, this is the tenth book in the David Raker series. Not only had I never heard of David Raker, but I’d not heard of the author either. After reading this book, I feel that these things may change and a visit to the local Waterstones is going to be in order.
The fact that nine books have gone before in no way detracts from the story, even though there are a few references to earlier cases. These references are made in passing, rather than being critical to the story.
I can only describe the story as a genuine ‘page turner’. It had me hooked right from the beginning. My usual practice is to read a book in bed for about 30 minutes whilst enjoying a single malt, before gently dropping off to sleep. With this book it was impossible, I kept on wanting to read more. - Of course, my whisky consumption increased as a direct consequence this!
The story is about a missing persons investigator (Raker) and the case of nine people vanishing suddenly and without trace, from a village called ‘Black Gale’ on or about Halloween two years ago. The twists and turns as the story unfolds are superb and very cleverly plotted and revealed. The author is extremely skilled in his craft and has been rightly recognised for it.
The characters are all credible and so are the situations that they find themselves in. People can be unpredictable and devious in real life and have hidden motives for their actions: this is exactly what the author portrays in the story and nothing is too far fetched.
The story spans many years and several countries but centres around the North of the UK for the greater part of the recent story. However, the back story starts many years earlier in the USA. Another reviewer states “Two alternative time lines are told and collide brilliantly.”I think that is a great description and wish I’d thought of using the word ‘collide’ as that’s exactly what they do. - Spectacularly.
I can’t find a valid grumble about this book, which is rare for me. Asking the question if four homes constitute a village really is the very worst I can do.
The best piece of fiction I’ve read in a very long time, I’m going to run to 5 full anchors on this one. Highly recommended and a big thank you to AG from me.