I’ve been a fan of Michael Marshall’s books going all the way back to before he dropped his last name – Smith – from his byline. A British novelist, I covered one of his books for Friday\'s Forgotten Books one week.
Bill Moore was a realty agent that sold condos. He had a five year plan for success, building his stake up to open his own agency. Have people working to make him money instead of the other way round. Okay, the plan was into it’s sixth year now, but he was doing alright. Married to a beautiful loving woman, a nice home, a pretty good stake started.
Then his life started falling apart.
He gets an envelope with a small card with a single word: Modified.
Things start to happen that he knows he didn’t do. The mildest is the restaurant reservation made in his name, he’s tried, but never got through. The mildly pornographic coffee table book ordered from Amazon on his credit card. His wife is amused. Getting blown off twice one night by a client wishing to sell his home. The photos of his partner, Karren, in the small satellite office taken from outside her window that his wife found on
his laptop, time and date stamped while he was chasing that elusive client. His wife was not amused.
And then things get worse.
Bodies and evidence of foul play start turning up. The elusive client is missing and blood and a bullet in a cabinet are found in his home, plus a business card of Bill’s he left in the front gate.
Someone is screwing with Bill’s life and he wants to know why. But where to start? He has no idea who’s doing this. It doesn’t stop him from doggedly looking though.
Bill’s part of the story is told in first person.
There’s a second thread running through the book told in third person. Jim Hunter gets out of prison after sixteen years of a twenty-five year sentence for murdering his girl friend. Only he didn’t do it and he knows who set him up. Just not why. And he knows where to start looking.
As one might suspect, the two threads eventually come together and we begin to learn just what’s going on. Except there’s a third dog in the hunt so to speak that neither of these two men know about.
A nice thrill ride of a novel, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, that is more of a horror novel than thriller. The monsters here, though, are all too human. There is a connection to Marshall’s STRAW MEN trilogy touched on briefly. It is due for release June 28th and can be pre-ordered HERE.
Worth a look if one likes a really wild ride that will keep you guessing.
Here’s the cool book trailer: