Dead Man’s Grip
Minotaur Books, September 2012
Set in Brighton, England, the story begins with a horrific traffic accident. A bicycle rider is killed, run down by a work-release convict who isn’t where he’s supposed to be. The bicyclist’s body is thrown under a truck driven by a man with too many hours on the clock, and the whole collision is barely avoided by a woman who drank too much the night before. Quite straight forward, or so one would think. But the victim is the son of New York Mafia royalty, and his mother is pissed. A hitman is hired to provide the most gruesome deaths he can devise for the people involved in the death of her son and she wants video of every death. After the first two hits–the two men–the police catch on and the woman, Carly Chase is provided protection. But she has a son, too.
This is a tense, exciting novel that will keep you turning the pages and burning the midnight oil. Even at 400+ pages, there is very little down time. Everything moves forward quickly, with one caveat. If I have a complaint–or caveat–it is that there are so many characters I had a hard time keeping track of them all. Each was named and each was painstakingly described, which to my mind slowed things down a tiny bit, especially for characters with minor bit parts who frequently never turned up again. But if, like I ended up doing, you skip over these parts, I think you’re going to be enthralled.
Police procedure, the author informs us in his “acknowledgments,” has been vetted by real life Sussex and Brighton police, so we can be assured details are accurate.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, March 2013.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.