For half a lifetime, journalist Martin Scarsden has run from his past. But now there is no escaping.
He’d vowed never to return to his hometown, Port Silver, and its traumatic memories. But now his new partner, Mandy Blonde, has inherited an old house in the seaside town and Martin knows their chance of a new life together won’t come again.
Martin arrives to find his best friend from school days brutally murdered, and Mandy the chief suspect. With the police curiously reluctant to pursue other suspects, Martin goes searching for the killer. And finds the past waiting for him.
He’s making little progress when a terrible new crime starts to reveal the truth. The media descend on Port Silver, attracted by a story that has it all: sex, drugs, celebrity and religion. Once again, Martin finds himself in the front line of reporting.
Yet the demands of deadlines and his desire to clear Mandy are not enough: the past is ever present.
Anyone who follows my reviews at all will probably be aware that I was a massive fan of Scrublands, the first novel to feature disgraced journalist Martin Scarsden, so it was with some trepidation that I started Silver because you just never know if it will be a one off moment…
Well no. Silver is truly excellent, if anything even better now you have a real feeling for some of the players. The heat and drought of Scrublands has changed to more refreshing yet equally involving coastline as Martin moves back to his childhood home, somewhat reluctantly for reasons we’ll discover. There he finds a dead body, leaving his hoped for new life hanging by a thread…
The descriptive sense of place is once again stunning, really putting you right on the spot with the characters and events unfolding. The engaging, flawed and eclectic character building is also back along with a genuinely compelling and utterly unpredictable mystery element.
Expanding on some of the themes of Scrublands and showing some of the consequences of that time, Chris Hammer also engages the reader with new thought provoking events and delves into Martin’s backstory with the intuitive eye for detail and nuance that made the first book so addictive.
This is a long novel at over 500 pages but no word is wasted and it flies by you, I was gripped throughout, I adore the way Chris Hammer writes and I’m really looking forward to hopefully many years of reading his work. This is intelligent, talented crime fiction, the kind that I love.
Warning: You WILL want fish and chips whilst reading this book. Be prepared.