A Scottish accountant becomes a target for gangsters and Scotland Yard in Tosoff’s (Escape from Konigsberg, 2016, etc.) thriller-series launch.
After nearly a decade in a loveless marriage, Ian MacLeod returns to his hometown of Glasgow, Scotland, from Brighton, England. Things look up when he meets fetching criminal profiler Kyla Fraser and runs into former schoolmate Jordie Dunsmuir, who offers him a job. However, the gig at Jordie’s accounting firm, RIA, may be too good to be true. It consists of “night audits” in which Ian secretly looks into other accounting firms to uncover suspicious activity. His first job is digging into London company SXZ Enterprises, where he unearths financial fraud and, surprisingly, a much more unsavory crime. Then someone at SXZ, who had a pre-existing tie to Ian, turns up murdered, pointing police toward the accountant as a suspect. Ian links the murder to an earlier death involving the Glasgow mob and later pilfers a substantial amount of money from another mob-affiliated company. With authorities and gangsters on his tail, Ian needs help from anywhere he can find it, including from Kyla at Scotland Yard. But their romantic involvement could put them both in danger. Tosoff’s novel is a worthy introduction to its protagonist, whose descent into events beyond his control is plausible as well as riveting. His coupling with Kyla happens too quickly, but it does launch an unorthodox relationship. Kyla, for example, learns about Ian’s history via interviews with his ex-wife, Judith Reid, and former roommate Danny McGinnis, the latter of whom may be the reason why Ian high-tailed it out of Glasgow years ago. Scenes with the villains provide more depth; inevitable mistrust among them ultimately results in more death. The story maintains its swift momentum as Ian goes on the run, but there’s room for humor, too; for example, to find out how to unlock a desk during a night audit, Ian does something smart and a bit droll—he uses Google.
A thriller with a down-to-earth protagonist whose misadventures are invigorating.