Published by Orion (Gallancz Debut).
The dark brooding cover of this debut novel suggests the supernatural, the unknown – very fitting for a book where the theme is an everchanging thing and is like trying to catch smoke.
What starts out as a crime mystery with the corpse of a three day dead US Marine Captain found at his farmhouse, along with his much longer dead wife and a whole menagerie of animal corpses, then twists to keep the reader on point trying to work out if dark forces are at work.
The investigating Detective, Samuel (Sailor) Doyle is very well drawn as a damaged soul, trying to solve this his first solo case whilst heavily dependant on drugs and juggling his family and his mistress, and I’d love to read more of him if Scott chooses to run with a second novel to feature him.
He chases after the missing severely disabled daughter of the Marine Captain as the plot begins to lead towards the terrifying possibility that her father may have unleashed a chemical weapon on the Eastern Seaboard as a revenge for wrongs and an injustice during his time in the Vietnam war.
A fine gothic crime debut – put me in mind of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker novels – no bad thing at all.
Keith B Walters