Niall finds himself being called a hero after filming the act of terrorism and talking the two men down from further violence. As England descends into a state of unrest in which, as Niall’s uncle puts it, “Because of all the terrorist paranoia, the police are going after innocent people without just cause,” Niall’s given a surprise opportunity: to work with his biological father, Leonard Huffman, a famous photographer, on a documentary regarding the two Islamists, whose act was inspired by England’s involvement in the Middle East. From there, Beck’s story picks up steam,encompassing a murder, a family kidnapping, a suicide bomber, more religious extremists, concerns about British racism and journalistic ethics, and the scheming of strivers in the government.
Charged colloquies about politics, xenophobia, and more are translated with the same crisp clarity as scenes of action. While a high-stakes page turner, Beck offers little in the way of escapism, lacing this exciting thriller with empathy and moral seriousness, using the form of a thriller to explore profound societal rifts. At the same time, Fade to Black will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Takeaway: Shock after shock in this thoughtful page-turner terrorism thriller.
Comparable Titles: Richard Flanagan’s The Unknown Terrorist, Ausma Zehanat Khan.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-