I've got to start rationing this sort of thriller. I'm starting to develop a bit of a twitch when there are any loud bangs anywhere, and don't get me started on the reaction when anybody a bit furtive-looking is walking towards me on the streets of the local towns.... Although I will admit there's something rather appealing about close protection bodyguards. Except maybe not the lot that James Bishop gets himself mixed up with in THE WRONG MAN.
Bishop's been framed, and the initial action in the book sets up the circumstances of that event at breakneck pace, continuing that right to the very last page. A debut novel, THE WRONG MAN also has an interesting plot which seemed refreshingly unique to me. His ex-military background is part of what got him the job, and got him involved with the people that are trying to screw him over. It's part of the reason for his actions and his abilities, but that's about where the military style involvement ends. We're not talking politics, or lurking baddies of <insert your threatening culture / belief system here>. Just a good old fashioned "I was framed yer honour", and a bit of hard graft to sort it all out.
Sure Bishop's another stoic loner and more than a bit of an energiser bunny type, who gets the girl and then doesn't quite know what to do about it. There is a bit of daft fem-jep going on which was mildly disappointing, although there was some redemption of that towards the end. Of course there are lurking baddies in the picture, but mostly it's about self-interest, and most of them are very matter of fact about Bishop as a threat to their own agendas. There's also a satisfying level of special effects type action, and a lot of personal jeopardy and bugger the consequences going on, but that's balanced well with a plot and some characters that you can get a bit of a connection with.
THE WRONG MAN was one of those books that was a sit down and read in one sitting. It was highly entertaining, exciting and a nail-biting at points, overall a satisfying, good debut novel. Hopefully there are more from this author in the pipeline.