Ages ago I was really enjoying Jardine's Bob Skinner series then suddenly I realised I wasn't. I'm not sure if it's because Skinner was just too good for words (handsome, kind, good lover, perfect man, bleeagh), or because I started to smell a slight whiff of acolyte about all the women around him, or simply because all the books started to morph into one, that I threw the towel in. Which meant that when THE LONER arrived, I sort of dodged it for a while. Which suddenly struck me as a bit unfair as this book is not part of that series.
From the Blurb:
Xavier (Xavi) Aislado is a gentle giant, half Spanish and half Scot, brought up in Edinburgh by his grandmother Paloma Puig, a ferocious old lady whose grim brand of care sees him into his teens, until his father moves back to Spain, leaving him to grow up fast. His emergence into manhood is colorful and eventful. After a short career as a professional footballer, he turns to journalism with a bloody introduction to the trade, as his first assignment ends in violent death. Inevitably, Xavi's life and his love become entwined with his work, and he is immersed in tragedy, loss, and betrayal, going halfway around the world in search of a truth that may destroy him. Quintin Jardine’s evocation of Xavi’s fated world, of the towering being that is Grandma Paloma, and of his love, the beautiful, willful and hypnotic Grace Starshine, is an unforgettable story of a man riding a one-way train to oblivion. Will he escape, before it hits the buffers, full-speed?