I don’t review often on this blog but Never Seen Again inspired me! I bought this title at a convention several months ago when it first came out, but only just got around to reading it as it resurfaced on my TBR stack. (I am on a crusade to bring my TBR mountain under control and gradually working my way down it!)
What is it about? : David Kelman was once the hero of local journalism until he pushed that bit too far and one of two kidnap victims paid with their life and his career when bottom up. Six years later, and riddled with guilt when a staggering clue from that case lands in his lap. Jodie Martindale, the second kidnap victim is still alive; a captive and begging for help. Kelman enlists the help of colleagues from his old post with The Essex Enquirer and sets about finding her, uncovering a web of trafficking, police corruption and organised crime linked to the most influential high fliers in the city.
What did I think? : Like all good books Never Seen Again begins with a quiet question and ends with a bang as we follow Kelman’s steps through a body strewn trail of intrigue and menace.
Kelman not that likeable in theory. He is a bottom dwelling journo who will do anything for a scoop, but as the plot unfolds his nature changes, or at least becomes more apparent.
Kelman is on a one man crusade for truth and failed to envisage collateral damage from his actions; which included the careers of his fellow newshounds. Anushka is now a supermarket checkout girl while Norm has taken enforced retirement to write his memoirs. Kelman persuades both to join him in his search for Jodie and for justice.
The clues are all there, seeded throughout with consummate skill. The tension rises inexorably as each complex layer is pulled away to expose another, and each one darker than the next, until the book reaches an inevitably high octane end. The violence in Never Seen Again is never gratuitous, nor dwelt on, and always with a logic that leads to the ending with a meticulous eye on detail that can’t be faulted.