A Thousand Cuts

Thomas Mogford. Bloomsbury, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-1-63286-845-9
Brisk pacing and sharply rendered characters help offset the overly convoluted plot of Mogford’s fifth novel featuring Gibraltarian lawyer Spike Sanguinetti (after 2015’s Sleeping Dogs). After he agrees to represent Christopher Massetti, an alcoholic old man, in a harassment case, the complainant—Dr. Eloise Capurro—is killed in a fire. When another woman tangentially connected to the case turns up dead, Sanguinetti begins finding connections between Massetti and an explosion that killed two naval engineers on the Royal Navy dockyard in Gibraltar during WWII. The saboteur, revolutionary Esteban Reyes, was executed, but the revelation that he was Massetti’s father forces Sanguinetti to look carefully at the specifics of the 1940 act of terrorism, and he soon finds a conspiracy that implicates some of Gibraltar’s most influential families. Complicating matters for Sanguinetti are a pregnant fiancée and a morally bankrupt business partner. The superficial exploration of these personal dynamics, however, makes for an emotionally flat read. Agent: Nicola Barr, Greene & Heaton (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 07/25/2017
Genre: Fiction
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