Wednesday, October 24

Landslide - Desmond Bagley

When freelance geologist Bob Boyd heads to Fort Farrell, a logging town in the heart of British Columbia, he's stunned to discover the main square is named Trinavant Park. Though chronologically in his early thirties, Bob was born less than a decade earlier - the sole survivor of a serious car accident, all his personal memory vanished. But he knows that he was travelling with a married couple and their college-aged son, the Trinavants.
In Fort Farrell for a surveying job, Boyd investigates the Trinavant aspect a little more closely and discovers that, though John Trinavant was much a loved and respected businessman, in death he was eclipsed by his partner, Bull Matterson. Intrigued, Boyd digs deeper, discovering treachery, greed and foul play. As this is a Bagley novel, he also discovers true love.
In fact, all the Bagley trademarks are present - an exotic locale (not mandatory), an unassuming man placed in a demanding situation displays strength of will and purpose, a quest or mission, clear foes with their own agenda, and specialist skills that are subtly and deftly woven into the narrative. Despite these common elements, each novel is distinct and original. I know I've said this before about Bagley, but this is one of my favourites. The Canadian setting is refreshing, the characters are dynamic, the plot compelling, and the writing's superlative. There are echoes here of another favourite, Snow Tiger, but Landslide is wholly its own entity. Just perfect. - Alex

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