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Daniel Cole
This debut crime novel has already been sold for TV and in some 39 other countries. Probably more by the time you read this. That is a testament to the author’s determination; he was watching an episode of 24 when he decided that he could write something like that. Five years and many submissions later he has. Well done him.

The tale is that of a London detective investigating a series of bizarre killings, linked by a list which includes the detective himself. So far, so good. The writing is light, sometimes witty and sometimes not, but you will be turning the pages quickly, so that is working too. What’s not to like?

Well, the detective has personal problems, including drink. He also has issues with his chain of command. His ex-wife is a complicating factor. His female detective partner might or might not have a crush on him. Sorry, but many of the premises are hackneyed to the point of cliche. Surely there must be one crime writer who has the breath-taking imagination to produce a sober, rounded detective. They do exist in reality after all.

The furious pace, which I suppose is inevitably given the author’s original inspiration, precludes much development of the characters. The twist is there, of course and you might or might not anticipate it. But the whole work is very derivative, and at times pushes the bounds of credibility.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it. But it’s nowhere near, say, Rankin’s similar Rebus novels. You’ll enjoy it too if you buy it at an airport – and given the publicists efforts you’ll be pushed to avoid it. But you won’t re-read it.

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