There is a change of country from The Harbour Master which I read earlier this year with The Candidate being set in Luxembourg. There is also a change of style, although thankfully not substance, as this book is not a police procedural, it is a fast paced thriller set in the world of corporate business.
The book opens with Nick Thorneycroft finding a pair of ladies underwear on his floor, the only problem is he has no memory of what happened the night before and no idea who they belong to. At the office things are heating up, Nick is a head-hunter and the woman the company want to acquire is Kate Novakavich a Russian executive, as beautiful as she is smart. Nick feels he knows her from somewhere but is unable to place where. So the mystery is set and coupled with some very suspicious colleagues and odd landlords the tension soon mounts to fever pitch.
Anyone who has worked in an office will find the setting familiar as the internal politics don’t vary much no matter which country it happens to be set in. With whispers about a take-over being exchanged at smoker’s corner and in bars after work everyone is on edge. Nick however is trying to find out more about Kate, he has suspicions about what she is up to and has become more than a little obsessed. He’s also struggling with an on/off relationship with his girlfriend Claire.
As you can see this book might be short at roughly 140 pages but it packs an awful lot in, all of it exciting and Daniel Pembrey manages to keep the various strands separate enough that it doesn’t fall into confusion. The ending is perfect for a novella with the reader able to fill in the ‘what happens next’ for themselves.
All of this makes for a very accomplished novella that is full of action without being too macho.
I’d like to thank the author Daniel Pembrey for sending me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.