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A Fascinating Web of Criminal Deceit
on 14 August 2014
This is my first encounter with this best-selling author and I regret not having found him before. His writing is crisp and fast-paced with a clean narrative line. Once you lock into his story, which happens almost at once, you find it difficult to detach from it. He has you in his grip.
The central character is David Raker who specialises in finding people. He is a former journalist and knows how the Metropolitan Police function because of his many previous investigations, often proving an irritation to the cops because of his persistence in his pursuit of the truth.
Now he is presented with a particularly spiky mission---a senior police officer wants him to find her father, also a policeman but a very senior one who was in happy retirement with his wife in their isolated cottage on Dartmoor when one quiet evening he went out to the shed to get some firewood ---and never came back. No trace of him could be found, and that was a great puzzle.
As Raker starts digging he finds a whole trail of confusing and bewildering and even alarming clues. The missing officer, Leonard Franks, had an impeccable reputation. He was hardworking, a stickler for ethical behaviour and strict observance of police protocol. Why would he vanish like that? Why would he abandon his loving wife? Had criminals taken him in an act of vengeance? How was it that he could disappear in total silence in a place where a footfall could be heard 50 yards away?
What Raker discovers is a multi-layered conundrum. Remove one layer, you discover two more. Unsolved murder cases attract his attention. A disgraced police officer, Reynolds, fired by Franks for corruption, emerges as a key player is this drama.
Raker is drawn into dangerous behaviour, tracking the crooked cop, following clues into blind alleys. The author has a flair for evoking atmosphere – the streets of London after a snowstorm, a comfortable cottage, an abandoned mental hospital. He dangles clues before our eyes like bait—and we swallow them with glee as his spare prose draws us deeper and deeper into the mysterious recesses of the plot.
In his determination to solve the baffling disappearance of a universally admired and respected police officer, Rakes gets himself entangled and entrapped by the skilled manipulation of the man he is pursuing, Reynolds, the bent cop.
But then he stumbles across deeper criminality, hidden sins in unexpected quarters.
Tim Weaver keeps the ball of mystery bouncing with great skill, divulging small glimmers of information to keep the reader’s interest. Is Leonard Franks alive or dead? Is he being imprisoned by victims of his relentless pursuit of criminality? Is he on the run, and if so, from what? From whom?
There is never a dull moment in this crime thriller. Now I shall read Weaver’s other works.--Prospero.
Rating: Four engrossing stars.
bestsellingcrimethrillers.com was provided with an advanced copy for review.