Slade Harris is an author who likes to experience life's highs and lows to feed his writing. He still carries around the scars from a family tragedy - as a child his younger sister drowns, and the family are torn apart. He finds himself struck by writers block and with the pressure on to produce his next work he finds something new to motivate him. He plots the murder of his friend and would be lover Eve. When she is then killed in the same manner as he planned suspicion soon falls on him. Did he do it, was he framed and will he be able to save his home, car, life and freedom?
I loved the style of this contemporary crime novel, quite literary with plenty of modern and classic cultural references. The story moves along at quite a pace, with a twisting and turning ending that caught me off guard. Set in South Africa there are hints of the locale in the language and the places depicted, enough to add some colour without too much focus on the country and the problems it has faced in recent years.
Slade isn't the most sympathetic of characters, something of a hedonist who is too self-absorbed to be lovable. He sees himself as a Jay Gatsby character. His past seems a little shady, with previous brushes with the law and a vagueness about his sister's death that made me wonder what exactly happened and how that might have affected the Slade we meet. By the end the truth emerges about both Eve's and sister Emily's deaths which made me re-assess Slade.
I loved it this literary approach to the crime novel, and thought the author spun a clever tale. Slade makes for a strangely enticing protagonist, quite impressive considering. I would happily recommend this book.
Format: Kindle, ARC, anticipated release 1st Dec 2011
My Rating: 5*