We are Here by Michael Marshall: Which turns out to be far better than expected

Cover imagePoor H was afflicted with a nasty cold this weekend, sliding into a runny-nosed heap late Saturday afternoon fit only for sitting in front of the TV watching Gladiator. We have the kind of open plan house in which it’s difficult to get away if one wants to watch what the other doesn’t so I needed something easy but absorbing which would shut out the blood and noisy Roman guts. I pulled Michael Marshall’s We Are Here off the TBR pile. Billed as a ‘page-turning thriller’, not usually my style but it’s a legacy from my reviews editor days and I’m determinedly working my way through those.

Several chapters in and it’s turning out to be much better than I expected. It has two narrative strands so far. In the first David has just signed a book deal, lunched sumptuously with his editor and is bumped into on his way to the subway by someone who whispers ‘remember me’ in his ear then disappears. In the second, a young woman enlists her boyfriend’s help when a friend becomes convinced she’s being stalked by an ex-lover. Mysterious figures in long coats loiter at street corners waiting to pass messages. Others are glimpsed then vanish. David’s loose change appears in a small, carefully arranged pile on his doorstep. I have a theory about all this but I suspect that I’m not far enough in yet for it to be correct. It’s not great literature but it’s intriguing – a pleasant surprise given that I picked it up fully expecting to stick it in the charity bag after twenty or so pages. Going back to dodging germs, now.

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