Rob Scott - 15 Miles (4 stars)

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Rob Scott - 15 Miles

(Gollancz)

In this highly-strung debut, Virginian author Rob Scott takes the customary jaded-cop-with-a-drink-problem, and cranks him up a few notches. Samuel ‘Sailor’ Doyle has a supplementary mistress and dependency on powerful prescription drugs, with Scott walking the line between crime thriller and what could feasibly pan out to be supernatural horror, societal disaster or political drama.

Locked firmly within the minutiae of modern police procedure, much of the action unfolds over one ungodly holiday weekend as our anti-hero follows a call to investigate two mysterious deaths on a farm overrun by feral cats. Weaving a tight and credible plot that is delivered with heart and not inconsiderable flair Scott exhibits an exemplary talent for character and dialogue, keeping the pages turning through personal back-story, cultural commentary and technical procedural alike, and impelling the reader to race for the finish.

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