Slow and pendulous, this story’s hold took time to build for me, but when it eventually did, oh my, was it worth it!
Thick with the sort of uneasy menace that creeps under your bones, taking its time to settle in fully, the pull of this story was inevitable and unavoidable, steadily dripping glimpses into a soul as dark as the encroaching doom it appears to predict.
Octogenarian Roy Courtnay – once “bold and handsome”, with his “lizard eyes” and the “smile of an assassin”, – a seasoned internet dating veteran – is on the hunt for his next victim. When his meets Betty, a sweetly smart academic, with her faded English-rose looks and a pocketbook to fit the bill, Roy appears to have hit the proverbial jackpot.
“Were it not for the watery, diluted quality of age she might be afraid of him; indeed she is a little afraid”.
But wait, could it be that all is not as it seems? Stick with it, as little niggling hints, dropped artfully by the author, begin to suggest there are layers upon layers left for this story that are yet to unfold.
As the reader begins to piece together a past for Roy, which unfolds backwards in time, the story opens up, with narrative arcs now both engrossing and tantalizing.
Just who exactly is this evilness, and what has brought it to this time and place?
In the words of the author – “let’s not go searching for profundity”.
Suffice it to say that this reader’s search for answers, which in the end may, as the author suggests, skim the surface of the truly profound, certainly make for stellar reading, with interesting insights and a crackerjack finale (no spoilers here!) that definitely did not disappoint.
Highly recommended for thriller and suspense readers everywhere – particularly those who love a complex and historically intricate plot.