When a disgraced investigative journalist, reduced to belting out filler stories for a local rag, is sent to cover a level crossing accident he expects nothing more than a routine tragic death story. But events conspire to drag him into a dark world of art theft, dodgy business dealings, political corruption and murder. With his health failing and his personal life in tatters the last thing he needs is to get involved but the story takes on a life of its own and no matter how hard he tries to drop it the only escape for him might very well be his death.
This is a mystery story with real depth. A number of seemingly disparate elements all weave together to form a bigger picture that is more than the sum of its parts. The main character is beautifully drawn and believably flawed. The plot is complex enough to keep the reader guessing all the way without resorting to an excess of red herrings or with held information.
There was a very slight supernatural element (that I can’t go into without spoilers) which I don’t think the story really needed. To my eye it didn’t add anything particular but neither did it detract from the story either. So while it didn’t work for me, it wasn’t a deal breaker and I’m sure the author had his reasons for adding it in.
The ending resolved all the subplots in a neat package and the local setting was a novelty I enjoyed.
For a first novel this was a fine effort and I hope to see more of Gadd in the future.-Lynn