Publication Date: Available Now from Faber
Source: Review Copy
In The Long Count, the first book of JM Gulvin’s masterful new crime series, we meet Ranger John Quarrie as he is called to the scene of an apparent suicide by a fellow war veteran. Although the local police want the case shut down, John Q is convinced that events aren’t quite so straightforward.
When his hunch is backed up by the man’s son, Isaac – just back from Vietnam, and convinced his father was murdered – they start to look into a series of other violent incidents in the area, including a recent fire at the local Trinity Asylum and the disappearance of Isaac’s twin brother, Ishmael. In a desperate race against time, John Q has to try and unravel the dark secrets at the heart of this family and get to the truth before the count is up…
First of all I LOVED this. Probably should get that out there right at the start. As a big fan of atmospheric scene setting and engaging unforgettable characters The Long Count was definitely one for me.
Heading back to 1960’s Texas, JM Gulvin weaves a brilliantly addictive and dark tale around his main protagonist John Quarrie, Texas Ranger and single father who gets all caught up in some violent goings on – the author has a brilliantly evocative turn of phrase and slowly but surely sucks you into the vortex – I read this in one sitting so immersed was I in the beautifully written multi layered storytelling.
The mystery elements are wonderful, slow burning intricate plotting that keeps things flowing yet allows you to take stock and really feel the events as they unfold- going back to my love of scene setting, JM Gulvin is masterful at creating imagery through language – every moment of The Long Count was a joy to read. John Quarrie as a character is brilliantly drawn – if this keeps up he could easily become one of my favourite literary characters, principled and sincere, intelligent and appealing. As a reader you are more than happy to follow him down the rabbit hole into the darker layers of human nature.
What a way to open a series – and thank heavens it is exactly that – because I want more. Preferably now. What I have to wait? Well ok then but hurry things along please….
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