It’s not the kind of cover I’d usually pick up, be attracted to. Yes, despite the phrase we do judge them by their covers with all kinds of subtle messages being sent to the reader by marketing teams. I was sent ‘Something You Are’ in the post by a mate from South London who’d been unable to put it down on a recent holiday. So I decided to give it a try having had a few good recommendations recently. Plus, Keith has spent nearly thirty years policing north and west London so if it wasn’t convincing I doubt he’d have rated it.
The black jeans, black T-shirt and hand holding an automatic on the cover (left) put me in mind of ex-Forces tough guys dispensing their own kind of justice. These novels are good when they’r done well, but there are many poor imitations. I’m glad to say Hanna Jameson’s first book in her London Underground series doesn’t suffer from a one-dimensional plot; it’s far more interesting and complex, but certainly brutal.
When Emma Dyer goes missing Nic Caruana is called in to help and drawn into the unorthodox world of her warring parents. Although Caruana is a tough guy who takes people out for a living Jameson quickly ensures he is caught between the threatening violence of her father and lust for her mother despite her frightening and random behaviour.
Nic’s background is respectable, middle class. He can find himself taking afternoon tea with his estranged family, but escaping to a world inhabited by shadowy Russians and violent nightclub owners. This duality is reflected in Nic’s personal relationships – his lust for Clare and his fondness for his flatmate Mark.
This first novel in the series is fast and well plotted. I’m looking forward to reading the follow up, Girl Seven.