cover image A Song of Isolation

A Song of Isolation

Michael J. Malone. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-913193-36-2

At the start of this disappointing crime novel from Malone (A Suitable Lie), the police arrive at the door of accountant Dave Robbins, who lives outside Glasgow, Scotland, with his movie star girlfriend, Amelie Hart. Dave’s subsequent arrest for inappropriately touching his neighbors’ 11-year-old daughter places Amelie, who was planning to end their relationship, in an unwelcome spotlight as the media raise questions about her turning a blind eye to Dave’s alleged behavior. Despite a high-priced defense lawyer paid for by his father, Dave is convicted, and Amelie leaves the country for a respite, only to find her finances are in such bad shape that she must scramble to get a job. Her sightings of a man she thinks is shadowing her reawakens dark memories from five years earlier when a masked psycho held her captive in her home. Amelie’s travails distract from Dave’s more serious traumas, and the author doesn’t stint on the melodrama, as when Dave’s ailing mother collapses and later dies after hearing the verdict, and his father dies from a heart attack after being harassed by the press. Malone is capable of better. (Apr.)