I came accross Michael Marshall's book 'The Intruders' about a year ago. It was a random impulse read and after that I was hooked on his writing. I've also read his other book called 'Bad Things'. The Straw men was the latest of his books that I purchased in a little book shop in Somerset whilst on holiday. I picked it up for £3.99 which I thought was a bargain considering I loved the other two books of his that I'd read.
The other books I've read have a dark, almost scary theme centered around sad events that unfold as you get through the book. The Intruders was one of the most baffling and mind blowing books I've ever read. I kept thinking about it once I'd finished and ended up reading it again afterwards and I think it takes a very good writer to make a book have that kind of effect on a reader.
Straw men was written in 2002 so was one of his earlier books compared to Bad things which he wrote in 2009 so I was intrigued to read it and see if his writing style changed or differed over those seven years. The storyline centres around a young girl that has been abducted by a serial killer and the investigation launched by Detective John Zandt, whose daughter was also taken and murdered by the same perpetrator. The key to Sarah's wherabouts lie with a man named Ward. Wards parents have recently passed away but a message they left him had left him questioning everything he once believed.
The storyline sounds confusing but I don't want to give anything away. As with his other books, Marshall seems to write two stories about different people that somehow come together at the end. It can be confusing and a little annoying when you're reading a very tense scene about one character then the next chapter is about a different character but it keeps the suspension going through the book and makes you read on to find out what happens.
Marshall's writing is fantastic. He uses great description of everything, all the little details about the surroundings and characters so that you can really visualise them. He portrays all of the characters emotions and thoughts really well and this makes you feel almost like you have a bond with the characters and genuinely care about what happens to them in the book. He unfolds the story gradually through the book as you read and concludes every stoyline. The twists and turns in the book are brilliant and unexpected. In all of his books that I've read, I've never guessed the ending correctly as they're always suprising but still quite credible. He sticks to these dark and gloomy storlines but makes the unimaginable as realistic and emotional as possible which I think is great.
This is a great read that I would definitely recommend, I couldn't put my copy down. I'm really hoping that some of his books may be made into films as I'd love to see how they'd portray them on the screen. You can get his books online on Amazon and Ebay for around £5 which is great.