Friday, March 19, 2010
Out of the Blackout (1995)
Robert Barnard is one of my favorite contemporary mystery writers. He's a little hit-and-miss (who isn't?) and his prose style is closer to Dick Francis than, say, Ruth Rendell, but his plots are always great. This book is a little different for him; it's about a young boy who mysteriously shows as a child-evacuee during the blitz. He arrives in a country village off of a train and there is no record of him, and it is clear that he has made up his own name. He is placed with a family and lives his entire childhood there. As he moves through adulthood he starts to piece together his past, discovering who he was and what happened in the first five years of his life. This book starts great, sags in the middle, but ends well. Like all Barnard books, its got its fair share of despicable characters, and its got unforeseen twists along the way.