The Long Count
A Texas Ranger. A burnt out asylum. A disputed suicide.
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In The Long Count, the first book of JM Gulvin’s masterful new crime series, we meet Ranger John Quarrie as he is called to the scene of an apparent suicide by a fellow war veteran. Although the local police want the case shut down, John Q is convinced that events aren’t quite so straightforward.
When his hunch is backed up by the man’s son, Isaac – just back from Vietnam, and convinced his father was murdered – they start to look into a series of other violent incidents in the area, including a recent fire at the local Trinity Asylum and the disappearance of Isaac’s twin brother, Ishmael. In a desperate race against time, John Q has to try and unravel the dark secrets at the heart of this family and get to the truth before the count is up…
Dripping with atmosphere and a sense of time and place, The Long Count is a page-turner and a psychological puzzle – for fans of Shutter Island and True Detective.
I loved this book: it has such a subtle sense of place, the clear writing pulls you in right from the start, and its ingenious plot line is both shocking and inevitable.
Atmospheric… The opening chapter…instantly grabs the reader’s attention, and sets the pulse a racing for what is to follow…Highly recommended.
[A]n excellent psychological thriller set in the South East United States ... [which] will appeal to all those who enjoyed the first season of True Detective … John Q is an excellent and empathetic detective.
Full of red herrings, beautiful descriptions of the American Deep South, moments where you find your pulse is racing a little because you just know something is going to be said or done … a fantastic appetite-whetting beginning to a series.
[B]rilliantly addictive ... beautifully written multi layered storytelling... The mystery elements are wonderful, slow burning intricate plotting that keeps things flowing yet allows you to take stock and really feel the events as they unfold ... every moment of The Long Count was a joy to read. John Quarrie as a character is brilliantly drawn – if this keeps up he could easily become one of my favourite literary characters, principled and sincere, intelligent and appealing. As a reader you are more than happy to follow him down the rabbit hole into the darker layers of human nature. What a way to open a series – and thank heavens it is exactly that – because I want more.
[Gulvin] beautifully captures the texture of Southwestern USA in this outstanding crime thriller ... The dust and heat of Texas was almost tangible, along with a creeping sense of unease as the truth starts scratching through. There's a spare elegance to Gulvin's storytelling and prose, a deceptive … A delicious and satisfying South(west)ern Gothic tale.
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