Johnston, Paul - 'The Soul Collector'
Crime writer and journalist Matt Wells is living in London with Detective Chief Inspector Karen Oaten who heads up the elite Violent Crimes Co-ordination Team. He has been preparing with friends for the possible revenge attack by an ex-lover, Sara Robbins, for the killing of her brother a few years earlier, the self styled "White Devil". When Matt's friend an ex-SAS soldier is found murdered Matt's worst fears seem to be realised. When crime novelists seem to be targeted and a gang war breaks out between Turks, Kurds and Albanians the police, as well as Matt and his friends, have sleepless nights and nightmares ahead of them.
The author is the son of a well known Scottish novelist. This is his second Matt Wells book, but he also has two established series: one set in 2020 Edinburgh, the other set in Greece. I haven't read the previous novel to this, THE DEATH LIST, and this perhaps put me at a disadvantage. I thought it was a clever ploy to refer to Matt as having written The Death List book and this is the basis for much of the aggravation that Matt experiences for having written about something that happened to him.
Unfortunately, I found the characters unbelievable and I never really identified with any one of them and consequently wasn't too interested if they survived or not! When Matt and his friends are introduced as physically perfect and with plenty of money - one of them is a computer hacker who can access any secure site and another can break into any property - this for me is fantasy land. However, the book moves at a fast pace and is easy to read. Predictably reference to Scene of Crime Operatives (SOCO) as CSI illustrates how the American tv show has started to influence British crime novels.
Geoff Jones, England