Who hasn't dreamed of what they would do with 2 million pounds in their pocket; the just reward for working long hours whilst losing years, friends and maybe much more? The Nearest FarAway Place is a mystery adventure which starts with this premise and moves on to a methodical search for the lost past; a process which unearths dangerous characters who would rather not be found and reveals conspiracies extending well beyond the search for 'simply' the missed opportunities of a workaholic lifestyle. The primary character is an unlikely candidate for the star role in this fast paced murder mystery; Carl Denham is the software expert in a business partnership which ultimately puts the 2 million pounds and freedom in his pocket following a takeover. But this particular 'nerd' combines his IT skills with a strength of character sufficient to unravel a 10 year old mystery to find out just why his first and only real love had ended their relationship so abruptly. Along the way he needs to survive the extremes of false accusation of murder and attempts on his own life; quite some programmer! "I couldn't put it down" is a hackneyed phrase but is genuinely true for me in this case. The present day story graphically revolves around Silicon Fen (Cambridge, UK), East London and Southern England making it very accessible but also reaches out to the Eastern Bloc at the time of the cold war, adding brilliantly to the aura of mystery. The intriguing title of The Nearest FarAway place admirably sets the scene for the twists and turns the reader will encounter in this novel and the ever accelerating pace will leave you sleepless as you promise "just one more chapter" before lights out! I read this book in two days (and nights) flat, almost without pause. Read it yourself and I'm sure that like me you'll be scanning the shelves for Ray Crowther's next title just as soon as you turn the last page.