Chris Ewan - Safe House (3 stars)

Chris Ewan - Safe House

A credibly intricate crime thriller from the author of the Good Thief guides

Chris Ewan is best known for The Good Thief’s Guide to Amsterdam / Paris / Vegas / Venice series of postmodern novels narrated by a thief who just happens to be a crime writer. Safe House is his first standalone thriller and this time the narrator is the rather more innocent Rob Hale. A motorbike racer and plumber on the Isle of Man, Rob crashes and awakes in the midst of a dangerous mystery. Partnered by Rebecca Lewis, a competent private detective, he is sucked into concentric circles of conspiracy involving a missing blonde girl, shady European muscle and even shadier local constabulary.

The pace is heady: new information and revelations arrive in an avalanche but are never confusing. A credibly intricate plot and a range of mostly well-drawn characters is marred only by a tendency to over-play the local colour, but the potential for this to be The Good Thief’s Guide to the Isle of Man is deftly averted and Safe House is a crime thriller that’s in safe hands.

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