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This is the first novel I've read from Tim Weaver, and the third in the Raker series - though the second book was alluded to quite often this didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book which had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Raker is the missing persons investigator who is called in by Julia who is the wife of one Sam Wren who has got onto a London tube train and seemingly vanished into thin air - it's set in 2011. As Raker follows a trail of CCTV footage and speaks to friends and acquaintances a picture of a Sam who is not the person his wife thinks he is emerges. Meanwhile, across town, the Police are in pursuit of a mysterious criminal who takes victims from their dwellings and leaves only a pile of their shorn hair. The scene is set for plot twists and mystery galore in a roller-coaster and, it has to be said, at times somewhat gruesome ride.
I found this a real page turner - this isn't the London of 2012 but a darker, gritty place. As a main character Raker works well, as the story progresses we learn about his personal tragedies and quirks and as a hero he is quite interesting as he is flawed in many ways yet ultimately likeable to the reader - I found myself totally on his side. There are lots of strands to the plots and whilst some of the characters are extremely hard to like and even despicable, I found them without exception to be convincing. I bought totally into the dark and brutal London as portrayed by Weaver - there were lots of moments were I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing on and I hardly dared read on, much as I wanted to know what would happen.
I will definitely be seeking out this author's earlier novels on the strength of this one, even though I suspect having read this title that some of the second novel will not be a surprise to me - but this is an author from whom I would like to see more. Recommended.
Currently £5.49 on Amazon - I read a review copy