Early on in this tight international thriller we’re reminded of the old British saying ‘Where there’s muck there’s brass,’ and this couldn’t be more true in this shocking story.
Jack Cade is a retired career Met officer, holed up in New Zealand after a case in London became very personal. Now he’s called back home to speak to a dying relative but he doesn’t go gladly. There’s bad blood, greed, imperialism and lies between them. Jack has tried and failed to get to the truth from him before but now it might be even more important that he does.
A new spate of people smuggling activity is evident but this time something’s different. These people have been tricked in more ways than one. There are no gang master waiting to suck them into the modern-day slavery, that would be a mercy. These victims found in the hangar all bear gruesome wounds because they’re being used as nothing more than mules.
As the body count climbs to a thousand so does Jack’s desperation and his understanding of the fraught and complicated imperial British past. He sees how the combination of desperation and greed can be exploited to create a condition of hopelessness. How some people’s good intentions can lead to misery playing into the hands of the sick antagonist who feeds of it and enjoys the smell of the blood.
This novel is a jigsaw puzzle of a thriller full of action and chases but with genuine insight and perspective threaded through the narrative. It’s a multi-layered story which plays to its strengths and shows a versatile author with a lot to offer.
Thank you Hobeck Books and Lewis for an advance copy.