TITLE: NO WAY BACK
AUTHOR: MATTHEW KLEIN
Details: Received from Corvus Books
Jimmy Thane is a human disaster zone. His past is littered with stupid mistakes and fatal decisions. He has been clean for over two years after spending years addicted to everything a man can be addicted to; drink, drugs, women, you name it Jimmy Thane has abused it. And in the middle of all that self-destructive behaviour his five year old son died, a death he blames himself for. So Jimmy Thane should be grateful; grateful that his wife is still with him and grateful that an old friend has offered him one last opportunity to redeem himself professionally. He has been given seven weeks to save a failing software company from certain bankruptcy; seven weeks to do what appears to be impossible.
But from the moment Jimmy Thane starts his new job things feel wrong. When he arrives at the company the place is nearly deserted. The former CEO has disappeared without a trace under mysterious circumstances and the fact that somebody has been cheating the company out of several millions is so glaringly obvious that even a blind person should have been able to see it. And that is just as far as his work is concerned. At home things aren’t right either. Thane’s wife, Libby, is behaving strangely. She disappears from their house without any explanation and appears to be either afraid or angry most of the time. And while he knows that he should be grateful that she is still with him, Thane can’t explain why she is behaving the way she is right now.
With the FBI investigating the disappearance of his predecessor, the disturbing find of a huge amount of money in an abandoned house and the friend who gave him the job more or less asking him to not notice everything that is wrong with the software company, Thane knows he has landed himself in a position where he could lose everything. Who is his mysterious neighbour who appears to be keeping an eye on him while avoiding actually meeting him? Why is he the only patient of the shrink he visits? And why is his wife actively discouraging him from investigating what exactly is going on in the company he is trying to save?
The truth is more shocking than Jimmy Thane could ever have imagined.
Actually, scrap that last line; the truth is more shocking than the reader could ever have imagined. This is one of those thrillers where absolutely nothing is what it appears to be; the sort of book where every revelation only leads to more questions.
“No Way Back” is the ultimate page-turner. While the story starts off innocuously enough it isn’t long before the tension starts creeping in. There may not be any real violence or obvious danger in the first part of the book, but the darkness is palatable underneath the apparently smooth story. And so the reader finds themselves caught in a trap. There is a constant need to know what is happening, why it is happening and who the person orchestrating everything might actually be.
This is a well written thriller. Matthew Klein knows how to pull his audience in and keep them hooked. I don’t usually enjoy books in which none of the characters are truly sympathetic but that fact didn’t bother me in this book. In fact, Jimmy Thane is the sort of character that keeps the reader wondering; is he bad, weak, stupid, a little bit of all of those? Or is he actually very clever and just a victim of his own circumstances? Every time you think you have got it figured out the events in the story will change your perception until the very moment that everything is revealed and you stare at the page in complete and utter shock. The story and the way it all unfolds in the end may have stretched my imagination a little bit too far, but the way in which it was plotted and told made up for most if not all of that.
This is a thriller that will draw you in and keep you hooked until all the secrets have been revealed, leaving you both amazed and shocked. In short, this is a captivating read.