Thanks so much to NetGalley and Bookouture for my copy of this book, received in return for an honest review.
Right from the very first line, Tom Bale wastes absolutely no time in alerting his readers to the fact that this is going to be an edge-of-your seat roller-coaster ride of a book!
Harry and Alice are exhausted new parents, sleeping fitfully at the best of times with 8-week old Evie in their room, when Harry suddenly realises that a noise has woken him; something other than the baby. He’s instantly on high alert, but it’s too late – there are masked men right inside his bedoom! And so begins a nightmare from which they keep wishing they’d wake up. This is not a random burglary, and this is no mistake.
In the aftermath of this devastating home invasion, and the subsequent events. both Harry and Alice are understandably quite shattered and at odds with how to handle what’s happened. At first they naively think that if they carry on with their ordinary lives, it will all just go away. They very quickly comprehend that this is quite impossible, as they immediately find themselves embroiled in an intricate web of deception and crime, none of their own making, but out of which they now need to extricate themselves.
But how exactly do you do this, when you’re dealing with people who have chosen lives of criminality and transgression, as opposed to yourselves, who lead very conventional, everyday lives?
As we join Harry and Alice in their race against the clock to win back everything they hold dear we meet a band of rather unsavoury characters. There’s Renshaw (or is he Grainger?), where all their problems began – without them even knowing; Ruth, who I alternated between liking and wanting to bash over the head with a brick; Nerys and her son Michael – well you’ll have to meet them to understand them, I wouldn’t even want to begin to explain; and then there’s the nasty little gang behind a rather long-running crime-syndicate: Nathan Laird, Mark and Sian Vickery and their various henchmen.
Tom Bales has skilfully create a tightly bound, fast-paced thriller that ensures you won’t know where the next twist is coming from – and there are plenty of twists. His characters are well rounded and believable. He’s created a ‘what-if’ situation where a very ordinary couple are placed into a life-threatening situation and have to do their best to overcome it, and he succeeds in sustaining the credibility of both his plot and characters throughout.
4.5 stars from me.