Having secured a decent sized contract for the water company he represents, Josh Michaels decides to drive home via the scenic route. Along the way, he is driven off the road and into the Sacramento River, nearly drowning in the process. He is convinced it was deliberate but why? He's just a family man with a good job so who would want him dead? Well, maybe the woman he had an affair with and gave her $50,000 to stop her from telling anyone about his little secret; when a building inspector, he once took a bribe to pass a construction project. Now she's back and asking for more `hush money'.
Author Simon Wood has produced a dark brooding novel that is actually quite exciting. We know a faceless assassin is out to get Michaels but we don't know the reason why. He sold his soul to an insurance company and now they want a return on their investment. Is it his ex-lover or his wife behind it? The character you feel most for is the wife, Kate. She seems blissfully unaware of what her husband has been up to and can't seem to cope when she finds out. Belinda, his bit on the side, cannot seem to accept their affair is over whilst the hitman taunts his target.
This could be seen as a book of two halves. The first part is the mystery as to what is going on, and the second, after we find out who is behind it, is `the chase' element that finds the main protagonist trying to locate the elusive assassin, attempting to convince everyone of what's happening and to discover why he's being targeted. This won't be the best thriller you'll read (and I wouldn't put it in the crime genre) but Wood has incorporated most aspects of its type and though there isn't anything here that you won't have come across before - you'll telegraph the finale but that doesn't matter as the cinema has virtually worn out the same ending - it's how you reach that denouement that counts.
Well worth a look.