Sunday, 16 March 2014

Glen Garber’s wife dies in a road accident, taking out a local family in the process. Her blood is full of alcohol, yet she’s never been a big drinker.

This sits uneasily with Glen. Besides having to cope with the emotional stresses of the loss, he’s got to look after his daughter and continue a battle to keep his business afloat.

His journey takes him into the world of counterfeit goods, but the bags and the prescription drugs aren’t the only fakes he encounters – it seems that practically everyone he ever knew has been faking something or other.

The twists and turns are clever and woven into a structure that means this is one of those reads that is difficult to put down. There are very few chapters that end and don’t create an itch to find out what happens next that needs to be scratched immediately.

Glen is a fantastic central character. An average guy with an average life who watches as his life tumbles before him like a house of cards. Some of the most touching moments centre around his attempts to protect his daughter from the outside world, including his powerful mother-in-law, but he’s also keen to look after his employees and even some of the broken people he finds along the way.

There were a few points when I felt the author might have stretched things a little far. The way the mountains of bad luck and sinister revelations build, it is relentless and things are taken as far as they could be in every single direction the plot takes. I found myself questioning whether some things were credible and then that idea would be swallowed by the need to read on to find out just how incredible it might get. The bottom line is that the plot has been so well constructed that each tangent fits to the central hub really well and the characters are so well put together that their actions always make sense in terms of who they are in the circumstances they’ve been in.

It’s a very exciting read that has a really strong sense of pace about it. I’m generally a slow reader, but these 470 pages took me only 4 days and that’s really some going for me.  

Great fiction.

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