The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver

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The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver

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Buy The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: Private Investigator David Raker gets to grips with his latest case - a teenage girl from a good home who's suddenly disappeared. As he tries to piece together the jig-saw; danger, greed, evil and much more all bubble to the surface.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 560 Date: February 2011
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0141042442

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At over 500 pages this book covers a lot of ground. I immediately took to Weaver's style. Plain, not showy or over-flowery, just sensible words telling a story. Conversational almost, as if he were telling it over the breakfast table, so that even as early as page one, I knew that I was in for a decent read. PI David Raker has a troubled past and a rather sad personal life so he puts 110% into his work - and then some, in order to try and dull his own pain. But does this strategy work? He's not unattractive to women but you can just tell he's not all that interested. A microwaved dinner for one is the order of the day and anyway, the unsocial hours that his job warrant don't make for an active social life. I liked him straight away and no, I didn't feel the need to feel sorry for him.

A teenager called Megan has disappeared. She comes from a middle-class family and as far as her distraught parents are concerned had no problems and certainly no reason to disappear. This happened around six months ago and the police have drawn a blank. Will David do any better? He's dogged, intelligent, persistent and has bags of patience and so yes, he's able to winkle out the odd fact that the police had overlooked.

Weaver shares David's painstaking detective work with his readers: the long chats with Megan's school friends, teachers etc. He checks out her mobile phone numbers and her computer history as well as scanning her diary and photo albums. But is any of this very time-consuming work worth the effort?

But we also see that David is human too. In order to carry out his professional duties and keep sane, he attends some sort of support group. And there he meets several people who have a bearing on the Megan case and who will later on in the book draw David deeper and deeper into the complex situation which is unfolding. We spend quite a bit of time with the local police force, either in the local police station or out investigating so, there's a smattering of man-talk - You scratch my balls, I scratch yours type of thing.

Weaver's writing is so good that I had no problem conjuring up images in my head of various scenarios in the story. This book is one of those good, solid crime tales that you're happy to keep reading and turning the page. Everything comes together and develops into a complex plot involving all sorts of desperate individuals resorting to desperate actions for desperate reasons. And as you might expect, Weaver lingers time and time again over the spooky location known as The Dead Tracks which gives the book its title. We also get the whole sorry background and history of the location.

A psychological aspect is also apparent here which I thoroughly enjoyed so it's not your graphic blood-and-guts read (also it is written about where relevant). There's a nice and steady build-up of suspense as we feel David reaching his goal. A good crime story, well told. Recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then try Acts of Violence by Ryan David Jahn.

Buy The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dead Tracks by Tim Weaver at Amazon.com.

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