As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, Chris Ewan is one of the most interesting young writers around. He has my admiration not only because of his entertaining crime novels, but also because he was brave enough to quit the law at a young age in order to write full-time. Something that, for a variety of reasons, I never really contemplated.
Chris’s career is taking off in a big way with his move to an excellent publisher, Faber, and his latest novel has just come out. This is Safe House, a stand-alone thriller of which I had an enjoyable sneak preview earlier this year. It represents a departure from his earlier work, and a step forward in career terms, I’m sure.
Rob Hale wakes up after a motorbike crash and wonders what has happened to the woman who was his passenger. But he is told he was riding alone. This is a teasing situation with which to kick-start a thriller, and although we never doubt that Rob is right, the twists keep coming as a mystery from Rob's past is unravelled, though not in the way one might expect.
One of the best features of this book is its setting, in the atmospheric Isle of Man. I’m very keen on the island, which is rich in character, and once wrote a short story set in Peel; it was called "Sunset City". Chris, who has lived there with his wife Jo for a number of years, knows it inside out. This lends an authenticity to the story which is highly appealing. I’m sure Safe House will be a great success and expand his readership yet further..The photos, by the way, were taken over a very enjoyable week-end I spent on the island with Chris and Jo last year. I hope to get back there before long.