Smoke and Whispers
Review: Mick Herron crafts a tense mystery with a complex plot and attention-grabbing characters in Smoke and Whispers, his fifth novel of suspense.
The body of a middle-aged woman has been found in the River Tyne in Newcastle. Was it a suicide, an accident, murder? According to the possessions found on her by the police, the victim was a private investigator named Zoe Boehm. But is it Zoe Boehm? Sarah Tucker, who identifies the body, agrees it looked a lot like Zoe, but the body had been in the water for some time. But she feels there is something just not right.
Sarah knew Zoe was working for a mutual friend, Gerard Inchon. She knew also that Zoe had plans to continue her pursuit of a killer who went by the name of Alan Talmadge. Zoe had told Sarah that she had no idea of just how many women Talmadge had murdered but she was aware of the last two. Talmadge lured middle aged women with talk of love, and then tiring of them he would kill them and move on to the next. Had Zoe been his last victim? Not sure how to proceed, Sarah stays in Newcastle. Sarah believes Alan Talmadge is in Newcastle but not using that name. And there are other anomalies that pique her interest. The hotel's bartender is posing as an Australian but clearly isn't. Her friend Gerald is publicly supporting, even drumming up potential investors for, a medical researcher she knows he had a falling out with years ago. From cops to gangsters, Sarah winds her way through dilapidated shipyards and to Newcastle's newest and swankiest areas. Although Sarah does not know who to trust she decides she can not leave until she discovers the truth — no matter how perilous her journey.
Smoke and Whispers is an electrifying story that doesn't let up from start to finish. The atmospheric setting, the intricately detailed, at times startling and unexpected, plot, and the compelling characters all come together to form a most original, satisfying suspense thriller.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Smoke and Whispers.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Smoke and Whispers for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Constable (Hardcover), April 2008
ISBN-13: 9781569475041; ISBN-10: 1569475040
Soho Constable (Hardcover), June 2010
ISBN-13: 9781569476437; ISBN-10: 1569476438
Location(s) referenced in Smoke and Whispers: Newcastle, England
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Smoke and Whispers by Mick Herron
Publisher: Soho Constable
Publication Date: April 2009
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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