A gripping read... A fascinating study in dark and evil... The stuff of Great British grit and dark, dark humour … Barlow provides plenty of twists and turns before the truth is revealed. But what is most enjoyable about Barlow's writing isn't his story archs or plotting, but his characters, dialogue and sense of place... Beautifully cinematic… far more cinematic than a McDermid or a Rankin.
Barlow throws in plenty of twists before everything is untangled, since of course nothing in the case is exactly what it seems to be, and he spins the yarn in fast-paced, very readable prose. He also does a good job with the setting, the English city of Leeds, and made me feel like I'd been there. HOPE ROAD is a fine novel, the first in a series, and I look forward to reading the others.
HOPE ROAD: a psychological mystery - You can't change your past. But what about your future?
John Ray, son of crime boss Antonio 'Tony' Ray, is the straight one of the family. With a successful business and a lifestyle to match, he wants nothing to do with his father's criminal world. But what does that world want with him?
A young prostitute is found dead in John's car, and Freddy Metcalfe, his best friend and employee, is framed for her death. Freddy denies everything but it's an open and shut case: he's going down for murder. John sets out to find the real killer.
But things get complicated. A stash of counterfeit money was also found in John's car, and the police seem more interested in that than in the dead girl. Then Lanny Bride turns up; one of the north's most ruthless criminals (and an old friend of the Ray family), Lanny is desperate to know who killed the girl. But why? Meanwhile, Freddy is too scared to talk to anyone, even his lawyer.
John's police detective girlfriend, Denise Danson, has been warned off the case by her boss. But she doesn't believe Freddy is guilty, and secretly helps John look for the murderer. The problem, though, is that uncovering the shocking truth about the girl's death will force John to confront his own criminal past and risk destroying his future, as well as losing the only woman he's ever loved.
A novel set in Leeds, this is the first crime-mystery in the LS9 series.