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SAFE HOUSE by Chris Ewan

SAFE HOUSE

By Chris Ewan

Pub Date: Dec. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-250-01256-2
Publisher: Minotaur

A London private eye helps a distraught accident victim prove his implausible story.

Rob Hale wakes up in a hospital on the isolated Isle of Man with little memory of the motorcycle accident that landed him there. As his mental fog clears, he asks about his friend Lena, who was with him and whom he saw being taken away by the first ambulance on the scene. A pair of slightly patronizing police detectives question Rob the next day, but they clearly believe that he's delusional or lying. True, Rob has been emotionally unsteady since the unexpected death of his sister, Laura, who recently drove off a cliff near London. Nor does it help that in his description, Lena bears a strong resemblance to Laura. Luckily, Rob's parents have hired a tough London investigator, Rebecca Lewis, to look into the circumstances surrounding Laura's death. She comes to the island to question Rob and, refreshingly, believes him. Meanwhile, the reader learns that Lena indeed exists, held captive aboard a boat by a creepy pair, Menser and Clarke. With local police unable or unwilling to pursue any leads, Rebecca and Rob team up. They fly to London, getting their first solid bit of evidence from wealthy but suspicious Erik Zeeger, owner of SuperZ Oil. Their trail is twisty, leading them through many offbeat characters to a connection between Laura and Lena, whose life hangs by a thread.

Ewan (The Good Thief's Guide to Venice, 2011, etc.) delivers with an amped-up first-person narrative from the appealing Rob and a swift, if shaggy, plot.