24/03/2010

Snapshot by Robert Swindells - Barrington Stoke Book 10

The last book I blogged about Devil For Sale, was by a relatively new author, and I think it showed. In contrast Robert Swindells is incredibly prolific and really knows his stuff, and it is evident throughout the fantastic Snapshot.

From the title of the first Chapter, 'Happy Deathday', onwards, Snapshot grips. Our first-person narrator, Victor, has a real presence and a beautiful turn-of-phrase; "It had been like trying to push a peanut up Mount Everest with my nose"! And the tower block setting is very atmospherically described as street lights shine through the drizzle.

The story is a thriller, with a dramatic conclusion. There are the usual chases and escapes, but not the normal characterisations. The police are pretty helpful and friendly, and the criminals not necessarily evil, just dim. Similarly there are real implications to Victor's actions, that are not usually seen in generic crime stories; the effects on family, friends and the community are real and drastic.

My only issue is that Victor did not use his mobile while being chased, but mobile phones are the bane of a lot of thriller writers, so I'll let it go and fully recommend Snapshot.

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