THE WRECKAGE - Michael Robotham
I can't tell you how pleased I was to finally get to read THE WRECKAGE. I've been a fan of this series since it's inception, with only one minor disappointment in the last book which headed off into shock tactics a little too overtly for my liking. THE WRECKAGE, however, is a terrific thriller, with a complex and masterfully executed plot and a sense of pace and tension that is nicely balanced with a bit of romance and some family secrets.
It probably doesn't hurt that the action centres around Vincent Ruiz in this book, one of my favourite of Robotham's shifting cast of central characters (in itself a particularly clever idea). The book is made up of a number of different threads, some of which are reportedly based on true events. Using a series of short, sharp chapters, Robotham switches the focus amongst these seemingly unconnected threads. Handled well this idea of chopping and changing the viewpoints and the story threads really provides a strong sense of pace and tension, cutting and weaving the story, moving rapidly through the various events, never giving the reader time to relax. Here it's handled very well.
The other aspect well handled in this type of scenario is whether or not these disparate elements - robberies in Iraq, a missing British banker, and a young female scammer in danger from a shadowy, and very efficient assassin connect. It's less of a surprise these days when they all do, but how they do is extremely important. Here it's done with considerable assurance and believability. The reader is drawn towards the conclusion, rather than fed the details up front, there's enough to guess about, wonder about to really keep you turning pages.
I'm not much of a fan of star ratings, or arbitrary numbers when it comes to books (even though many sites insist that you use them). My private rating system is all to do with whether or not I got much sleep whilst reading this book. Needless to say THE WRECKAGE rated very very highly - it's a book that kept me awake most of the night as it was next-to-impossible to put down.
Baghdad: Journalist Luca Terracini is living outside the wire and investigating a series of deadly bank robberies involving tens of millions of dollars. But in his pursuit of the truth, he's about to get in the way of clandestine agents and powerful nations who seek to bury secrets and manipulate the truth, regardless of the cost.
London: A thousand miles away, ex-cop Vincent Ruiz is drinking in a bar. He rescues a young woman, Holly Knight, from a violent boyfriend but wakes next morning to find that she's robbed him. It was a set-up - an elaborate scam. Furious at himself, and at her, he sets off to find Holly ...