Sunday, 6 November 2016

Road To Nowhere by Jim Fusilli

Road To Nowhere by Jim Fusilli
Published by Thomas and Mercer in November 2012. Brilliance Audio edition, narrated by Patrick Lawlor published in December 2012.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For years the drifter haunted the background of American life, roaming the side streets and highways that crisscross this vast country. Cool and handsome, with a single teardrop scar and a knack for silence that keeps the world at bay, he is a man alone. That all changes on a rainy night in Chicago, when he witnesses a brutal assault on a young woman. By the time he reaches her, the assailant is gone, leaving a trail that is all too easy to follow. But playing the good Samaritan may be more trouble than it’s worth, when his moment of conscience hurls him into a shadowy world of violence, intrigue and deception.
Caught between duty to his fellow man and the anonymity of life on the road, the Samaritan could walk away. But when his estranged teenage daughter is threatened, he will make his choice—and never look back. By turns violent and insightful, this suspenseful novel from acclaimed journalist and author Jim Fusilli introduces an unforgettable hero to the ranks of contemporary American fiction.

Quite why our unnamed drifter decides he must help Mary-Louise, when he has presumably passed by many other needy people during his years on the road, isn't explained. Neither is where he gets the money for his frequent purchases of new shirts. Fusilli has gone all out to create a darkly mysterious hero, but has made him so enigmatic that I was unable to get a grip on who this man actually is. Consequently, I found it difficult to empathise or even care about much of his self-imposed mission. This is a shame because otherwise the story is pretty good. The trio of female characters are interesting and more real than is usual for hardboiled crime fiction, and I liked the washed-up British ex-spy and the indestructible Carlos.

Fusilli keeps a fast pace throughout and keeping track of detail is important, so I was often irritated by his habit of having whole paragraphs refer to an anonymous 'him' and not identifying which character was the focus. Sometimes 'him' is our hobo hero, but sometimes it isn't and I didn't want to keep jumping back through my audiobook to relisten to sections. With such a sparse writing style, clarity is vital. However, overall Road To Nowhere is entertaining and, at just under six hours, doesn't overstay its welcome. Lawlor does an good job of the narration once his female voices settle down, and his voice is well suited to the book's atmosphere.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jim Fusilli / Crime fiction / Books from America

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