In my humble opinion, this is a real breakthrough novel for R. P. McCabe. The first thing I noticed about the book is that the style is redolent of my favourite US author of all time: John Steinbeck. Then I noticed a lovely device that I have never seen in a novel before: it is written in the first person and tells the story of the writing of the novel itself. Brilliant.
The protagonist, Charlie Caldwell, arrives in his home town to discover that his high school sweetheart has been raped and killed. The perpetrator is in jail. But Charlie discovers that things are not what they seem and somehow, against his will, he finds himself with no alternative other than to investigate the murder.
It is a well developed plot and Charlie is a great character. The supporting characters are artfully drawn and memorable. Also R.P. creates a wonderful sense of place in that Steinbeck-esque style. It kept me turning the pages until late into the night. I highly recommend it.
My only criticism is in the relationship Charlie has with Audrey. There are too many sexually explicit scenes; don’t get me wrong, they are well written and I enjoyed them but there are one or two too many of them for my taste.
I really look forward to the next Charlie Caldwell Mystery, Slaughter.
To find out more, click on the book cover image above.
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