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Book Review – “The Accident Man”, Tom Cain

A “what-if” thriller based on a real event.

As is shown on the cover of the book; 12.19am A Mercedes leaves the Ritz Hotel, 12.25am A car loses control in a Paris underpass.

This is a plausible scenario which rather chillingly brings in a number of themes and motives for certain people wanting someone removed from the world scene.

Using the same techniques used in most modern thrillers there is little subtlety in the description of events. Scenes of explicit brutality, sudden death and torture are carefully inserted into the narrative. Modern television series use a similar sales gimmick. The violence is used to hold a horrified or jaded audience.

The motives of those involved receive some recognition yet the changing allegiances of many of the characters seem to be almost random.

Regardless of my uncertainty about the characterisation this novel is tightly written. It seems as though the motives for the initial crime are those of any one of several British groups. The Russian Mafia is involved somewhere as well. Scene follows hurried scene and the denouement, rather surprisingly, occurs as a world-wide audience watches a funeral. So much has happened in the novel that the time scale seems elongated yet in the outside world time has moved at a normal pace.

“The Accident Man” has the ability to hold the reader right through until the final, surprising motive is revealed.

I would rate it around 4 out of 5.

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