John Bowie. SilverWood, $13.49 mass market (192p) ISBN 978-1-78132-667-1
Set in 1998 in Bristol, England, Bowie’s dark, hard-edged crime novel inaugurates a promising series. The 27-year-old man calling himself John Barrie, “drunk, bored and alone,” has just started “another nondescript corporate job” as part of a witness protection program, but finds working with “repressed zombies” hard to stomach. Since he can’t externalize his true feelings without risk, John is unable to benefit from the therapy his minders have arranged, and he gets through his days self-medicating with alcohol. Then John’s brutish neighbor, whom John has dubbed Sean the Bastard, asks for help finding his missing girlfriend, Cherry O’Neill. Although John’s door just happened to be the first one Sean banged on, John takes advantage of the request to pose as a private investigator and agrees to search for Cherry. Bowie’s delayed reveal of John’s past proves an effective way of undermining the reader’s feelings about the lead, who becomes surprisingly sympathetic, with an inner life complex enough to sustain future books. Noir fans will find a lot to like. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018
Release date: 11/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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