When my husband asked if I would review a book for a friend I said yes immediately. What’s not to like. A free book, and an excuse for him to look after the kids for 5 minutes while I read and blog.
When he brought me the book, frankly, my heart sank. It had words like ‘Biotech’, government’, and ‘radical neural interface project’. Despite a background in the sciences, I have no bloody idea what a radical neural interface project is, but it sounds suspiciously sci-fi to me. I hate sci-fi. I love murders (fictional that is). A good thriller with some disgustingly gruesome murders, no idea who the serial killer is, and a rugged handsome yet dark detective. That’s what I look for in a book. I definitely do not look for neural interfaces.
I had made a promise, so after putting it off for a month or so, I grabbed the novel on the way out the door for our trip to Cornwall. Counting for loo stops, food stops, think they need a wee but actually don’t stops, it was going to take us at least 8 hours to get to Cornwall. I reckoned I would get it all out of the way during the car journey.
Early on we meet Tom Faraday, the main character. He has been recruited by a very impressive an apparently very lucrative biotech company. By the second chapter, I was totally engrossed. Tom is immensely believeable, as are all of the characters. Apparently there is no need for prior knowledge about nanotechnology as the terminology is easy to interpret in the context of the story. It wasn’t until slightly later in the book, but there were also some bloody good murders. This book is fast paced, believable, has great characters, and is very very smart. You will never get anywhere near guessing the ending.
I am a women, and as you all know, women are never wrong. Except very occasionally, but then it was probably a man’s fault we were wrong anyway. I am going to fess up. I was totally wrong (obviously that’s my husband’s fault). This is the best book I have ever read! It is the first book that has knocked Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn from top spot on my book list. Maybe because it isn’t a run of the mill formulaic serial killer book. The are deaths, but they are clever. Very, very clever. There is government involvement, but it is not a political book. I really don’t want to give too much away. I suspect you get the best read if you open it reluctantly to give it a go. So sorry for spoiling that!
As we wound our slow, noisy potty stop filled way to Cornwall, I found myself reaching into the massive bag of sweets, crisps and fruit shoots at my feet and tossing them into the back like a slow drip feed, just to keep the little darlings quiet while I devoured this novel. I really didn’t want to put it down. In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t finish it on the way to Lands End. I spent 3 lovely evenings sitting in the garden on hols with a glass of wine, enjoying this bloody marvellous read.
Despite a truly thrilling ending, it is one of those books you feel genuinely sad to finish.
Tony Batton works in the pharmaceutical industry. This is his first novel, which he has self published. He has another on the way (hurry up Tony, write faster please!). He has kindly offered to send not one but two of my readers an autographed copy of his novel (which frankly has to end up on the bestsellers lists!). If you would like to be in with a chance to win, click the ‘enter here’ button, and off you go! Good luck (and if you don’t win, you should buy it and read it on your hols this summer anyway, because it’s ace!).