Book Review: No Name Lane by Howard Linskey
I always skim other people’s reviews after writing the initial draft of my own, and I was shocked to read so many saying this was a thick tome that at first daunted them. As I received this via net galley as an ebook, I had no idea the book was so long. I certainly never once felt bogged down by it, or struggled to finish. I enjoyed it from beginning to end, and would definitely describe it as a page turner now I’ve read those comments.
The book introduces three lead characters who, if I’m not mistaken, will all be used again in a sequel/series of books.
The first is Tom Carney, a journalist from London who has just written his first front page story for a popular tabloid. Just as he should be basking in the glory of it all, everything turns sour. He ends up returning to his hometown, an ex-mining village in Northern England, to hide out until the dust settles. He also uses the opportunity to research a story based on a series of murders in the area.
The second male is Ian Bradshaw, a policeman who is out of favour with his superiors and colleagues alike. His career is down the proverbial toilet, and his only chance of redemption would be to crack the case of the latest young girl to be kidnapped, presumably by the said serial killer.
The third is Helen Norton, also a journalist. In fact she took Tom’s place at the newspaper he had worked at in the village, and eventually sees the wisdom in partnering up with him if they want to scoop their competition.
All three characters are engaging, intelligent, and have as many moments where you want to hit them as when you want to kiss them (or for them to kiss).
There is also a huge cast of supporting characters, all equally well written. I found I had no trouble keeping track of them.
The murder/mystery plot was great, and although I did guess whodunnit in the end, I think I had suspected most of the book’s characters at one time or other. The final reveal had just the right amount of chill about it to make it equal parts creepy and realistic.
I loved the time setting — 1993. Pre-internet, pre-high tech forensic, pre-mobile phones (although Tom does have one, it rarely works/has service), apparently post-police corruption, but as yet pre-UK tabloid press’s scandal. So much fun for the reader; so much easier for the writer. Although, I must admit, at times I assumed the setting to be earlier again, perhaps the 70s before the section told us the actual date. I think it could have been because I recently watched the tv series, Ashes to Ashes, and at times I had flashbacks from that show. In fact, overall, the book read quite like a tv show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did pop up on my screen one day in the future.
I’d recommend this highly, and will definitely read more by Howard Linskey
4.5 out of 5 stars