There's no way back....
The picturesque city of York is rocked when the hellraiser and lottery winner Billy Privett is found murdered in a town centre hotel - his corpse brutally dissected, as if someone had performed a post mortem whilst he was still alive. Chillingly, the walls of the room bear words daubed in Billy's blood, including "Free" and "The Process is Coming Down."
Billy's infamous reputation had been sealed a year previously - when a local university student had been found dead in mysterious circumstances at one of his debauched parties - and his death is little lamented, apart from by his lawyer, the young and ambitious Amelia Diaz, who remains convinced of his innocence.
But who could have killed Billy in such a way? Unbeknownst to the police, a terrifying new cult is on the rise, one that may hold the key to Billy's death: The Church of the Free Mind. The cult is presided over by the charismatic and terrifying Charlie Watson, who holds absolute power over the church members. But when Amelia is drawn too close to the group whilst investigating Billy's death, it seems that these fervently religious cult members would do anything to protect their leader - even commit murder.
©2012 Neil White (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"... A whirlwind of a novel...a serious contender to match the giants of the crime fiction world." (Crimesquad.com)
"Superbly paced, with firmly grounded dialogue and a believeable cast if characters, this subtle page-turner lingers long in the mind." (Lancashire Evening Post)
"Enough originality and suspense to make this a good read." (South Wales Argus)
I enjoyed this book although would not describe it as a "suspense" title - there was no element of "whodunnit" but overall quite enjoyed the story but as for the narration ?, well I very nearly did give up minutes in but am not one to give up that easily - she became slightly more bearable as it went on but the whole experience would have been greatly improved by a credible reader.
Having Sean Barrett maybe as the narrator.
Despite all the main characters coming straight from the 'gritty/disillusioned section' at Central Casting for Crime Writers, I enjoyed the story. Not entirely sure why because there's nothing new in there - but still a solid crime yarn.
I did wonder at the choice of narrator. Not that there's anything at all wrong with Ms Thurlwell. She has a very pleasant posh-girl's voice. She sounded a lot like Alice Archer come to think of it. But she was totally wrong for this book which is set in a small Lancastrian town and is primarily about two slightly grizzled Northern blokes. I think that a male narrator capable of doing the correct accents (definitely not non specific 'eey oop' Northern) would have added to the atmospheric quality of the story.
One final point-ette of no special significance: When you listen to a lot of books you become sensitive to repetition. I'm sure others will agree that they notice when authors appear to have words they overuse. In Mr White's case, it's variations on 'grimaced'.
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