Synopsis from Amazon:
A SECRET THAT WILL CHANGE LIVES FOREVER
It was supposed to be the start of a big night out. But when Emily Kane arrives at her sister Carrie’s house, she finds the front door unlocked and no one inside. Dinner’s cooking, the TV’s on. Carrie, her husband and their two daughters are gone.
When the police draw a blank, Emily asks missing persons investigator David Raker to find them. It’s clear someone doesn’t want the family found.
But as he gets closer to the truth, Raker begins to uncover evidence of a sinister cover-up, spanning decades and costing countless lives. And worse, in trying to find Emily’s missing family, he might just have made himself the next target …
Tim Weaver is a new author to me however when this latest book (no. 4) in the David Raker series came through the door, I was intrigued. The storyline is one that immediately grabs your attention – a whole family suddenly disappears from their home and apparently no-one knows where they are – the dinner is left cooking on the stove, wallets and phones are left behind and the dog is left wandering around the house.
The advance reading copy is a whopper of a book – it’s over 500 pages but it doesn’t drag at all. The story is well paced with plot twists throughout which made me keen to keep turning the pages.
David Raker is an investigator who looks for missing people. He becomes involved in this case because an ex-girlfriend, Emily, asks him to look into the disappearance of her sister’s family. They have been missing for 10 months and despite a couple of earlier witness sightings the police have been unable to solve the case.
Raker himself is not in the best of places. He is still recovering from a near fatal attack and has relocated to his late parent’s cottage in Devon to recuperate. However he agrees to find out what he can for Emily.
Running alongside is a separate strand concerning a body found washed up on a nearby beach. Although it is at first unclear as to the relevance, all does become clear later in the book.
The action takes place in Devon and in Las Vegas. The story initially starts in December 2007 in Las Vegas before quickly moving back to Devon and to November 2012. At first I found this very confusing and couldn’t understand how this brief chapter connected to the story. Stick with it though because the story that follows is a real rollercoaster of a read with twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.
Our protagonist, David Raker is a well-developed character with a history and seems to be a man of integrity. He is not a superhero but if you were in a hole, he is the sort of person you’d want to help you out of it. I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series so I wasn’t aware of his back story but that didn’t matter. This book can happily be read as a standalone without the reader feeling disadvantaged.
There are many characters in the book (as well as dead bodies) and the plotline does become complex. The timeframe slips between the past and present however it’s easy to distinguish as the ‘past’ chapters are in a different font. These chapters are vital to the story as piece by piece the reader learns more about the reasons behind the family’s disappearance.
I had my doubts about the ending, it seemed a little too convenient, but on the whole I found this to be a tension filled, gripping read and will now be looking out for the previous books in the series.
I was pleased to see that this book has been chosen as one of the Richard & Judy Autumn 2013 Bookclub reads (see here for current list).
My thanks to Real Readers for the review copy and for the introduction to this author.
My Rating: 4/5
Author website: http://www.timweaverbooks.com