Published January 2010 by HarperCollins
Source: the publisher and TLC Book Tours
Remember when you were growing up and your mom told you not to talk to strangers? Adam Kindred would have done well to remember his mother's advice. Unfortunately for Adam, he didn't. Instead he made the mistake of striking up a conversation with Dr. Phillip Wang in an out-of-the-way Italian restaurant. When Adam discovers that the Wang's left a folder behind, he does what any good person would do. He finds a phone number for Wang in the folder, then calls and offers to return it. But when Adam tries to do that, his life is turned upside down.
When Adam arrived in London, life was looking good. He's well off financially, respected in his field of climatology, and about to be offered a dream job. Within a few hours, he finds himself homeless, penniless and on the run from both the police and a murderer.
Boyd fills his book with a large cast of supporting characters including Ingram Fryzer, chairman and CEO of the company that Wang worked for; Ivo Redcastle, Ingram's brother-in-law and a general thorn in his side; Rita Nashe, the policewoman who will become entangled in Kindred's case; Mhouse, a hooker who saves Kindred after a beating in more ways than one; and Jonjo Case, ex-military hit man for hire. Boyd does a fine job of filling in the story of each of these characters, giving each of them dimension, without losing track of his story.
More difficult for him to control is, in fact, his story. Boyd has a lot he wants to talk about in the book, including climatology, pharmacology, big business, homelessness and even cult religion. He appears to know what he's talking about on each of these subjects but sometimes it got the best of the story when Boyd got too heavily into educating the reader. Still Boyd is able to keep the tension high and the reader guessing.
Note to the reader: keep a dictionary handy. Boyd has a extensive vocabulary and is not afraid to make the reader work to read the book. He also is well-versed in the details that make London very much a character in the book. I was sucked into the book immediately:
"Let us start with the river - all thing begin with the river and we shall probably end there, no doubt - but let's wait and see how we go. Soon, in a minute or two, a young man will come and stand by the river's edge, here at Chelsea Bridge, in London."
his website. For other reviews, check out these other stops on the TLC Book Tour. Thanks to Trish and TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour.