How long can the past be kept secret?
It is a time of austerity. Financial cuts are biting hard and the once great City of Liverpool finds itself now almost bankrupt. At the eleventh hour funding is found in the form of enigmatic billionaire Kirk Bovind, a religious zealot, determined to change the moral and religious fibre of his old hometown and bringing salvation to the streets.
So when a man disappears without trace solitary lawyer, Erasmus Jones, agrees to track down missing Stephen, but quickly discovers that this is more than just a missing person case. Men are being brutally murdered across the city and Erasmus suspects the deaths are all linked.
As the search for Stephen grows and the ripples from the past begin to spread Erasmus has to ask himself whether Bovind could be behind the killings or if someone is trying to frame him and weaken the strangle hold he has over the city?
Who will be the next to die…?
Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
My Rating: 4/5
Review: This is a little different from the books I usually read. It’s an intriguing mix of a story as well, there’s missing people and murders which is clearly crime and my favourite genre so that’s not a surprise but the other side of the story is. It reminded me of the Black Mirror series (formerly of Ch4, now on Netflix) in which the near future is depicted as a ‘what if’. In this story Liverpool is nearly bankrupt, there will be no money left soon to pay wages, collect refuse, etc but in comes someone who has grown up there and then made their fortune in the US. This person comes apparently to save his home city from ruin and that’s the Black Mirror bit for me. Everyone knows of the recent financial crisis and it’s almost as if the author has thought ‘what if things were worse?’ ‘what if someone with money came in to effectively buy the city?’. A slight stretch of the imagination but not ludicrously so given what I’ve seen and read in the news over the past few years.
These two parts for me make this an intriguing story, there’s the questions that come with the supposed salvation of the city and it’s benefactor, why, what’s in it for him, etc and then the disappearances and murders, what’s going on there and are they connected.
The way the story is written gives the reader time with both aspects of it as both are equally important. The descriptiveness is good too, I’ve been to many cities in the UK but not Liverpool for some reason but the descriptions of both the city and the effects of weather, etc on it are vivid and definitely add an extra layer to the story.
I like crime and psychological thrillers and I would say this fits into both so would be worth a try for anyone who also likes these genres, and those who are new to them, but want something a little different from the books that are currently available.
About the author: Phil Kurthausen was brought up in Merseyside where he dreamt of being a novelist but ended up working as a lawyer. He has travelled the world working as a flower salesman, a light bulb repair technician and, though scared of heights, painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Ken Dodd once put him in a headlock for being annoying.
He has had work broadcast on BBC radio 4 extra, published some short stories and his novel ‘The Killing Pool’ won the Thriller Round in the Harper Collins People’s Novelist Competition broadcast on ITV in November 2011 and appeared in the final. It was later shortlisted for the Dundee International Literary Prize in 2012. He lives in Chester.