Monday, March 28, 2011
Fallen Idols. Neil White. AVON (2007)
This is a gripping thriller with a superbly structured narrative, solid plot and a very engaging cast. When someone kills two top Premier League stars in public in public, and brutally kills any witnesses as well, freelance reporter Jack Garett sees an opportunity. The top Premier star, David Watts comes from the same town as Jack, Turners Fold and Jack sees a chance to write a profile of Watts and returns home to do so. At the same time David Watts is pulled into the killings in a brutally direct way and struggles to find a way out. The reveals are brilliantly set up, the pace is fast and frequently furious, the cast vivid and sharply alive.
The narrative structure of the book is superb, the shifts between the cast are cleverly calculated to push action forward in a very effective and surprising ways. The plot moves at a great pace and none of the cast lie down under their fate. All of them struggle and attempt to exert control over a situation that they are not sure about. This active cast is tremendous, it gives the story great forward momentum and allows Neil White to switch the story frequently without loosing any narrative force.
There is a slightly clunky plot device used in the book, it does not distract from the story, it undermined a reveal without destroying it. There is a slight gap in explaining the path that lead directly to the actions that drive the plot, an under explained transition from one state of being to another for a key cast member. It is a tribute to the story that it stays long enough in the readers mind for these issues to arise at all. Sharp, very violent and compelling, a pleasure.