Book review: Know Me Now by CJ Carver

When a 13-year-old boy's body is found at the foot of a bridge in Scotland, the police are quick to mark it down as a suicide.

Thursday, 11th January 2018, 9:14 am
Updated Thursday, 11th January 2018, 9:20 am

But a local doctor called to the scene is not convinced and soon the boy’s death opens up a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past.

Fasten your seat belts and prepare for another bone-rattling thriller as award-winning author CJ Carver’s fallible but fearless ex-MI5 spy Dan Forrester and his trusty sidekick DC Lucy Davies swing back into action.

This entertaining series of complex, fast-paced crime mysteries – noted for their gobsmacking twists and turns, and dynamic characters – have become must reading for fans who like their thrillers with a seductive dark edge.

And there is darkness in spades in this new death-defying mission for Carver’s ‘Dan the Man’ – a former spy whose memory was damaged several years ago by a family trauma – and the young police detective who carries her own share of personal problems.

First off, Dan is hastily dispatched to the winter gloom of the Scottish Highlands after an anguished plea from old family friend Christopher Baird whose son Connor has died in the bridge fall, only two weeks after a teenage girl died in the same way and from the same bridge.

But before Dan can start making his own enquiries, he learns that his 65-year-old father, who died recently from a heart attack while playing golf with friends in Germany, could have been murdered after discovering something that he feared might put him in danger.

With his pregnant wife due to give birth any day back in Wales, Dan teams up with his reliable friend DC Lucy Davies. Lucy suffers from synaesthesia, a brain disorder that gives her unpredictable highs and makes her mind ‘crackle,’ but Dan sees her unorthodox behaviour and intuition as a gift to their detective work.

As the pair start to investigate, they discover that the two deaths could be linked, and uncover a terrible secret… a secret that someone will do anything to keep buried.

Dan and Lucy are becoming one of crime fiction’s most charismatic combos – Dan’s cool, calm efficiency proving the perfect foil for the fizzing, feisty Lucy – creating an exciting chemistry for plots full of page-turning tension, exhilarating action and intriguing mysteries.

In trademark style, Carver has put in plenty of research for a story that explores not just the darker corners of the mind but the shadowy, contemporary world of genetic science.

Irresistibly gripping and moving at a breakneck speed that pulls in readers like a magnet, Know Me Now is a thrilling ride from start to finish.

(Zaffre, paperback, £7.99)