Set on the Isle of Man, this beautifully plotted thriller from Ewan (The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice and three other mysteries starring professional thief Charlie Howard) offers as many twists and turns as motorcycle enthusiast Rob Hale encounters during the British dependency’s annual TT (Tourist Trophy) time-trial races. After a motorcycle accident catapults Rob into the hospital, he learns there’s no evidence that Lena, the attractive blonde he’d just met who was riding on the back of his bike, ever existed. Determined to prove Lena wasn’t a figment of his imagination, Rob teams with PI Rebecca Lewis in an investigation that becomes increasingly convoluted and dangerous as they uncover links to the suicide of Rob’s sister, Laura, a few weeks earlier and unearth surprising secrets about the mysterious Lena. Meanwhile, a number of ruthless players work at cross purposes, and Rob and Rebecca take a lot of hard knocks at their hands. Ewan’s carefully placed clues will elicit several “aha” moments from readers as his heroes battle toward understanding and resolution. Agent: Valerie Borchardt, the Georges Borchardt Literary Agency. (Dec.)
On the secluded Isle of Man, Rob Hale and a beautiful woman he just met, Lena, set out on his motorcycle for a ride. The next thing he knows, he wakes up in the hospital with a concussion and is being questioned by a couple of detectives. He’s understandably concerned about the lovely Lena, whose arms were so recently wrapped around his waist, but he is told that no such person exists. When a London PI approaches him, offering her help, Rob accepts but is soon shocked to learn that the sleuth has a connection to his sister, Laura, who supposedly killed herself a few weeks prior to his accident. As events snowball beyond his control, Rob finds himself up to his ears in conspiracy, and he’ll need all the help he can get to stay alive.
Verdict The author of the “Good Thief’s Guide” series (The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam) has created an affable, everyman character with Rob Hale and placed him firmly in the middle of a cat-and-mouse game that is much larger than the quaint locale in which he lives. With a narrative that switches deftly from bad guys to good guys and plenty of suspense, this novel is anything but safe and will appeal to thriller and suspense fans alike. [See Prepub Alert, 7/2/12.]Kristin Centorcelli, Denton, TX(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
A London private eye helps a distraught accident victim prove his implausible story. Rob Hale wakes up in a hospital on the isolated Isle of Man with little memory of the motorcycle accident that landed him there. As his mental fog clears, he asks about his friend Lena, who was with him and whom he saw being taken away by the first ambulance on the scene. A pair of slightly patronizing police detectives question Rob the next day, but they clearly believe that he's delusional or lying. True, Rob has been emotionally unsteady since the unexpected death of his sister, Laura, who recently drove off a cliff near London. Nor does it help that in his description, Lena bears a strong resemblance to Laura. Luckily, Rob's parents have hired a tough London investigator, Rebecca Lewis, to look into the circumstances surrounding Laura's death. She comes to the island to question Rob and, refreshingly, believes him. Meanwhile, the reader learns that Lena indeed exists, held captive aboard a boat by a creepy pair, Menser and Clarke. With local police unable or unwilling to pursue any leads, Rebecca and Rob team up. They fly to London, getting their first solid bit of evidence from wealthy but suspicious Erik Zeeger, owner of SuperZ Oil. Their trail is twisty, leading them through many offbeat characters to a connection between Laura and Lena, whose life hangs by a thread. Ewan (The Good Thief's Guide to Venice, 2011, etc.) delivers with an amped-up first-person narrative from the appealing Rob and a swift, if shaggy, plot.
From the Publisher
“Beautifully plotted.” Publishers Weekly, Pick of the Week (starred review)
“Both an emotional story of a family dealing with a tragedy and an action-packed tale of a young man caught up in an elaborate kidnapping.” Sun Sentinel
“Ewan has...elevated the everyman thriller into a compelling, contemporary read...Safe House is an exciting, well crafted thriller, with flashes of real humour and insight.” SJ Bolton on Safe House
“Taut plotting adds substance to . . . considerable style.” Publishers Weekly (starred) on The Good Thief's Guide to Venice
“Engaging characterizations, suspenseful stories, and sharp writing, makes The Good Thief novels feel fresh and exciting.” Booklist