It takes a special kind of writer to see a connection between two disparate events and create a bright line that links the two. In his newest book, Michael Robotham does just that by connecting the global financial crisis with the anarchy in Iraq. (Please, please, please let it be fiction!)
First, a word about two of the main characters. One of the leads is Vincent Ruiz, a retired London Detective Inspector who is a main character in five of Robotham’s previous books, along with psychologist Joe O’Loughlin, who has a supporting role in The Wreckage. It’s important for readers to know that reading the earlier books isn’t necessary to understand and enjoy The Wreckage, because Robotham easily introduces both characters and fleshes them out without overly referencing the previous books. The downside is that they are such well-written characters that you’ll want to go back to the start (Suspect) for more.
Ruiz’s story is but one thread in the novel, and readers can be pardoned for thinking that Robotham takes up too many threads in the early going. By the middle of the story the strands start coming together and it is readily apparent that he is weaving a complex tapestry that defies a simplistic approach. The other storylines include a traumatized young woman who runs a con game with her boyfriend; a woman searching for her missing husband; and a freelance journalist working in occupied Iraq. To say any more would be to not just give away the story, but to spoil the pleasure of watching Robotham create.
It’s not uncommon for reviewers to call fiction about current events “an intelligent thriller.” Sometimes that makes readers feel better about their pleasure reading (remember The First Law of Reading – “never apologize for your reading taste“). Sometimes it fulfills the contractual obligations of the publisher’s other authors. In the case of The Wreckage, it is dead on. If you want to read one of the most intelligent thrillers of the last couple of years, here’s your book.
Check the WRL catalog for The Wreckage