THRILLERS

THRILLERS

THE LOST by Simon Beckett (Trapeze £14.99, 368 pp)

THE LOST

by Simon Beckett

(Trapeze £14.99, 368 pp)

Author of the bestselling series about forensic anthropologist David Hunter, the talented Beckett brings us a new character: Metropolitan Police firearms officer Jonah Colley, whose life was all but destroyed when his young son disappeared.

Now, ten years later, a request from an old friend leads him to Slaughterhouse Quay, a disused warehouse on the Thames, where he finds four bodies. Then he is attacked and left for dead, only to survive and become a murder suspect himself.

This is a long way from the cerebral Hunter, but none the worse for that, for Beckett endows his new protagonist with a tortured soul and a conscience.

There are echoes of Rebus in Colley, but he is rather more poignant. This is not a police procedural, however; Beckett has created a roaring, full-throated thriller.

THE INHERITANCE

by Gabriel Bergmoser

(Faber £8.99, 288 pp)

THIS second appearance of formidable Maggie, part co-heroine of Bergmoser’s debut The Hunted, is an example of Australian outback noir at its finest. She knows no restraint, for Maggie is desperate to survive and will go to any lengths to do so, including resorting to violence on an industrial scale.

We first encounter her hiding out in a sleepy town in North Queensland when, inevitably, she finds herself plunged into chaos in the midst of a drug cartel protected by a ruthless band of bikers.

Maggie flees to Melbourne in the company of a dubious cop from the past, in the hope that she might also find out about her abusive policeman father, who was discredited, and her mother, who disappeared from her life without warning. Not for the faint-hearted, this is stirring story-telling, featuring a heroine who lingers long in the memory.

NEVER

by Ken Follett

(Macmillan £20, 832 pp)

NO ONE can deny that Follett is a magnificent storyteller. His first thriller, Eye Of The Needle, set during World War II, sold more than ten million copies and was made into an unforgettable film.

Now he has entered a more contemporary world — imagining the possibility of an imminent threat of World War III — featuring a female American President, a string of radical jihadists, and a Chinese regime that is impossible to predict.

Follett’s premise is that war can begin with a single false step, and that it is not always easy to see when that false step is taken — because a global crisis can spring up at any moment.

The trouble is that this is an intensely crowded field, inhabited by — among others — former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary.

In spite of his talent, Follett lacks their unique insight, which makes his 832-page doorstep of a book feel a little artificial.

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