A sizzler of a book which moves at a cracking pace. If I’d not been introduced to the writer I wouldn’t have picked it up on the cover alone as guns and bullets don’t normally do it for me. But this is more than crime fiction, it is crime literary fiction. It reinforces what I’ve always found – it’s not what you write so much as the way you write it. The sort of book where you look forward to every invigorating sentence. For instance I loved this line: ‘It’s said that everyone’s good at something, which implies that we’re terrible at lots of things.’The chapters are in small bite-sized appetizing chunks which drive the pace. One of the book’s greatest strength are its colourfully-drawn characters, most of them dodgy or seedy or both. The story begins with the shooting of American banker Hershey Valentine, second in command at the bank where £20 million pounds has gone missing. What follows, told mainly in flashback, is a lot of intrigue and double-dealing which can lose you if you don’t keep up, and nobody is quite who they seem. I got to about half way and thought I had a good idea whodunnit but nothing so simple!My favourite scenes involved the interplay between Josh and Jack from their first encounter on the train - and the portrayal of discomfort and mismatch between what is said and what is thought - to their evolving friendship. Thinks Josh, ‘Jack has a gradual degrading effect like a steady ongoing dose of radiation.’ There are plenty more gritty and witty nuggets where that came from. If there is any justice in the world this should be snapped up by a mainstream publisher who can give it the publicity, marketing and presentation it deserves.