cover image Pilgrim Soul

Pilgrim Soul

Gordon Ferris. Corvus (IPG, dist.), $12.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85789-762-6

An enigmatic and well-written opening section (“the black lid of the sky had been lifted off, and all the warmth in the world was escaping”) instantly draws in the reader with the lengthy flashback that follows in Ferris’s third post-WWII Douglas Brodie crime thriller (after 2013’s Bitter Water). Journalist Brodie, a former Glasgow policeman, gets pulled back into his old line of work when he’s hired to look into a series of nine jewel thefts targeting the city’s Jews. Brodie traces the stolen items to a pawnbroker, who gives up the criminal responsible, local thug Paddy Craven. Paddy’s subsequent death, apparently in the act of committing another robbery, leads Brodie to Hamburg, Germany, on a complex search for the truth about rumors that Nazi higher-ups are being smuggled into Scotland to keep them safe. The major plot shifts are distracting, but maybe not for those interested in the aftermath of the Good War. (Jan.)