A friend suggested this book over a year ago and I was stumped trying to find it at the library. Finally, I realized it was only available on Amazon. Loved the tightness and tension of the writing and the plot. Could not put it down. Would highly recommend to others. The second one, The Helper, was just not as good. Weak story premise and disappointing development. Good writing, though.
The first thing to say about this crime debut is that you rarely get so beneath the skin of a central character in crime fiction as you do with Doyle- you really felt engaged with him as a person as well as involved in his professional life as a police officer. I think this added to the novel as you shared his confusion at the situation he found himself in and were almost getting to the bottom of everything at the same pace as him, rather than having your mind racing ahead and trying to solve the mystery ahead of him. Hence the real villain of the piece was difficult to identify and that was great because I hate guessing whodunnit! I loved the injection of humour-some cracking one-liners- and felt the mordant wit contributed much to Doyle's character and really fleshed him out as character. I found the characterisation throughout was excellent- the sinister Bartoks, Spinner, Rocca and Paulsen particularly stood out and added to the depth of the novel in their interactions with Doyle...
Pariah is a well constructed, fast paced tale of Callum Doyle’s descent into his own personal hell. Not exactly the favourite in his precinct, Doyle suddenly finds himself in a world of isolation when a string of events turn out to be connected and Doyle is warned that anyone he contacts or associates with will die. He quickly moves out of his home and into a hotel room but unable to work or be with his family soon eats away at him. He has to decide how far he’ll go to get his life back – and if the only people who can help him are the people he’d normally be working against, he has to decide if he is willing to sell his soul?
Right the way through the book this was a guaranteed four star read for me for sure. It was fast paced with great characters, fantastic dialogue, scene after scene of pure grit. Jackson can write – he certainly has a bright future in crime writing if this is anything to go by.
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