Published in August 2013 I absolutely loved this debut novel from Alex Blackmore. She followed it up with another, Killing Eva, which was one of my earlier posts when I tentatively began this blog a couple of years ago. Sadly she doesn't seem to have published anything since. I live in hope.
A debut novel – a bookaholic’s Russian roulette; it can be a truly joyous experience with promise of more to come or it can leave you wondering why any sane publisher could contemplate taking such a risk. I’m glad to say that with Alex Blackmore it is the former.
The cover blurb offers a comparison with Harlan Coben and I confess that made me chuckle only to have the smile wiped off my face as I realised the plot was easily one he could have come up with. It is intricate, complex and keeps you guessing and wondering right to the very last sentence!!
Once the author gets into her stride the writing becomes economic and structured. Initially I had a few qualms, as details of Eva’s clothes seemed in no way consistent with the premise of the plot. Did we really need to know the jeans were tight or the boots were ankle boots and leather? No, we didn’t but all of that chic lit embellishment was jettisoned as Ms. Blackmore launched herself off the diving board and into the murky swimming pool of action and conspiracy thrillers.
If I have to say anything negative it would be to question the implausibility of Eva’s countless Houdini-like escapes from her various captors and the almost but not quite science fiction implications of the algae spores. So much of the story has its roots in realism that I didn’t want it to deviate from that firm foundation.
But, Real Readers, offer me another Alex Blackmore and I will snatch it from your hands in glee!!