Duke, Simon - 'Out of Bounds'
Kyle Hunt lives in Charleston, South Carolina with his partner and children. He struggles to survive on his salary as an installer of security systems and cameras and has debts including back rent. When he is contacted on his private telephone number offering him $20,000 for a private installation of equipment at a house after work hours he is very tempted. Little does he know that this is the start of his troubles with the police and some very frightening criminals. A murder at a storage facility leads the police direct to him although he has no knowledge of how or why his name came to be on the files of the facility.
When his family is subsequently threatened, Kyle realises that he must try to get to the bottom of who set him up if he is to make sure that he gets out of the mess that surrounds him. However, his investigations just seem to make the situation worse. He finds himself pursued by a criminal who is quite prepared to kill anyone in his way and the detective in charge of the murder who is convinced that Kyle, although perhaps innocent, still knows more than he is telling.
I found the characterisation interesting: Kyle is a loner and therefore has few friends that he can call on and seems incredibly naive and almost juvenile in his response to his problems. The story includes flash-backs to explain his history of drug dependency and depression and while this does go somewhere to explain his reactions, I didn't find it totally believable. I found most of the other characters rather thinly written – for instance that of his partner, Pilar – she is a very important part in his life who seems to influence a lot of his actions and I wanted to know more about her.
This is a first novel and there is a mixture of writing in the first and the third person. Personally, I find this style of writing rather irritating as, as is the case here, the transitions between scenes written in first person and those in third person jar for the reader and therefore break the flow of action.
OUT OF BOUNDS is an interesting read. There is a lot of description in the book - which at 390 pages is quite long - and this sometimes slows down the action in the story which is actually, at the core, quite fast paced.
Susan White, England
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