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by Neil Cross
Pocket, October 2010
245 pages
7.99 GBP
ISBN: 1847394132

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Kenny discovers he has only weeks to live, so he writes his own personal bucket list; four names of people he needs to talk to to clear the air with before he goes. The victim of an attempted kidnap he witnessed as a young boy, the shopkeeper who prevented it, his own ex-wife, and a girl he knew at school who was nice to him. The first three are easy enough, and he has a good relationship with his ex-wife (who married his best friend), but when he tries to contact Callie Barton, the girl he went to school with, he finds that she vanished under mysterious circumstances years ago and although her husband was questioned, no one was ever arrested in connection with her disappearance. With his seizures getting progressively worse, Kenny determines he's going to he's going to uncover the truth about what happened to Callie.

That starts a chain of highly unlikely and manically depressing events that end with two people dead and a self-confessed murderer set free. Kenny quickly goes from amateur detective to revenge-seeking madman and violent kidnapper, abducting the man he suspects of Callie's murder, holding him prisoner and torturing him until while drawing his friends inadvertently into his fantasy with fatal consequences.

Kenny's delusional foray into playing avenging angel is one of the most depressing stories I've ever had the misfortune to read. The refusal of even the ex-cop to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation is astonishing, and although the prose is fluid and the far-fetched plot does actually hang together well, those are the only good points I can think of about a novel that had me wishing it would end every time I turned the page.

Madeleine Marsh is an aspiring writer who lives in the South West. She helps run sci-fi conventions and loves modern cinema.

Reviewed by Madeleine Marsh, September 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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