Gillmore’s characters are all refreshingly real and believable, whether it’s the tough-as-nails policewoman Charlotte Hall, doggedly ambitious Bassam, or Anna and her struggles with moral ambiguity. The story is narrated from these three characters’ perspectives, allowing readers a chance to identify with their dreams, hopes, and sorrows. Filipino drug lord Edward Mendoza is fairly stereotypical, with a “crocodile smile,” boyish charm, and ruthless ways, and the seething antagonism between Charlotte and Anna simmers just beneath the surface, adding necessary tension to the novel. Gillmore steers clear of romanticizing Bassam’s foster parenting, portraying his challenges with his nieces authentically, and when Bassam finds himself sinking in the quicksands of a drug deal, his life understandably takes a turn for the worse
Gillmore sets his scenes up well and demonstrates a sure hand for depicting the world of crime and the police working to stop it. Between his even pacing and twisting plot, it’s obvious that Gillmore has done his homework to create plausible power dynamics between his main players—and as a bonus, he threads in convincing and dramatic procedural elements that bring the milieu to life. This story’s characters, particularly Anna, will stick with readers long after the last page.
Takeaway: Crime readers will be entertained by this fast-paced thriller with well-rounded and intriguing characters.
Great for fans of: Karina Halle’s Dirty Angels, Julie Hockley’s Scare Crow .
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A