A Man With Nothing To Lose
review by Maryom
Kenny Drummond has a brain tumour and is given only weeks to live. In this short time he hopes to put things to rights with the world and make amends to the people he feels he has let down over the years. First on the list is his ex-wife and Kenny quickly moves on to easier matters. The next two are easily found but the fourth, Callie Barton, a girl who befriended him at junior school, proves more elusive. A few years earlier she disappeared - her husband was suspected of involvement but cleared by the police - and no trace of her has been found. Kenny believes the husband knows more than he is admitting and determines to find out what.
With nothing to restrain him just how far will a man with no future go to get what he wants? Kenny is not the only one, though, finding himself in this situation, feeling he's running out of time and options, and prepared to resort to any means.
Having spent several weeks eagerly glued to my TV watching Luther, I was curious to read one of Neil Cross's novels, to see how well his scriptwriting skills made the cross-over.
Dialogue remains a strong point, being used to carry the plot forward but I was totally amazed by his ability to conjure up a scene using very few extremely well chosen words - whether a picnic in the park, hiding out in the attic or the pent-up threat as Kenny confronts Callie's husband.
Although there's both violence and bloodshed in the book neither were over-graphic or stomach-churning but at the same time Cross's sparse, restrained prose sent a chill up the spine. It's a totally gripping read - even when you wish you could turn away and not look.
Now confirmed as a Neil Cross fan - off to find more to read.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Adult Thriller