A wounded man walks into a police station in remote Western Australia and tells a remarkable story. Gabriel was picked up while hitchhiking, drugged, and woke up in chains in a barn in remote Western Australia. He’d been kidnapped by a man named Heath, who explains he’s going to make Gabriel ‘number 55’ –his fifty-fifth victim. Gabriel manages to escape and runs into the wilderness, eventually stumbling into town. The next day, a man calling himself Heath walks into the same police station and tells the exact same story. Except in his version, he is the victim.
And Gabriel is the killer.
One sitting, totally absorbing and utterly addictive read with a KILLER ending- that is “55”, the novel coming next year from James DeLargy, definitely a writer to watch although I’m not sure I’d like to live in his head.
One victim. One killer. But which is which? This is the conundrum facing our beleagured main protagonist Chandler, manning a small police station in the back end of nowhere, suddenly thrust into a case beyond imagination. Invaded by an old nemesis whose belief in his own investigative skills is second to none, Chandler leaps from one disaster to another, as the press descend and suddenly the spotlight is everywhere.
The plotting is taut and very very clever, the characters are all intriguing and fascinating- not least our two prospective killers, who you’ll waver between with every passing chapter. The setting is wide open and beautifully described adding an atmospheric sense of place to proceedings, the wilderness being a character in it’s own right.
Overall this was a hugely fun read in its mystery element and packs quite the emotional punch on occasion too. The ending really is killer, I let out a little yelp, fairly sure that one isn’t leaving my head anytime soon.
Brilliant. Loved it.