19 March 2019

Today's Read: The Man with No Face by Peter May

review of The Man with No Face by Peter MayImagine that you're a Scottish journalist on assignment to investigate the political climate in Brussels as the UK is on the verge of joining the European Union. What would you do if the journalist you're supposed to meet up with is found dead alongside a high-ranking British government official? You would likely stick around to figure out what happened. That's what protagonist Neil Bannerman does.

Here's how the book starts:

Kale watched the train through the rain-spattered glass and thought, this time will be the last. But even as the thought formed in his mind it clotted and he knew he would kill again.
The Man with No Face by Peter May (Quercus, March 5, 2019., p. 3)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Brussels, 1979
  • Circumstances: Neil Bannerman, a journalist for an Edinburgh newspaper, is sent to Brussels to cover the discussion surrounding the entry of the UK into the European Union. When a fellow journalist and a British Cabinet minister are found dead, presumably having shot each other, Bannerman's plans for a routine article are abandoned, especially when he discovers the journalist's autistic daughter was a witness to the crime. The only clue she can provide is a drawing of a faceless killer. The more Bannerman looks into the crime, the more he suspects deep and dirty politics, but worse, how can he be sure the killer won't strike again. What will happen once he learns about the child witness?
  • Genre: murder mystery
  • Things to know: May wrote this book early in his career (in 1981) when he himself was still a journalist in Scotland. The novel is, as the author's note reminds us, set in a pre-internet world, where journalists still used typewriters and had to find a library, witnesses, or archives to conduct research. May was involved with this re-issue of the novel.
  • Why I want to read it: I've read several of May's books (all set in Scotland) and love how he can set a mood and create characters that evoke an emotional response. I really like Belgium, so the setting is a draw for me.
  • What's holding me back: First, I'm kind of hoping this will be available on audio. Second, although May himself still stands behind this early novel, I'm worried that it won't be as polished as more recent books. Regardless, I'm really pretty sure I'll read this in one form or another. Note that the review rating is 4.1 stars on Goodreads and 4.2 on Amazon
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to Quercus for a finished review copy of Peter May's The Man with No Face.

13 comments:

JoAnn 3/19/19, 8:32 AM  

A murder mystery with a political twist? I'm intrigued!

Daryl 3/19/19, 8:38 AM  

sounds like a good read, thanks

Laurel-Rain Snow 3/19/19, 10:43 AM  

Great premise and excerpt. I love stories with journalist characters...and I've been meaning to read this author.

Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Kay 3/19/19, 10:53 AM  

I've read several of May's books too and loved them. Another blogger who has already read this was voicing her concerns about the fact that this was a very early book for the author. She shared that, in her opinion, this one was every bit as good as more recent books. So, maybe it will be for you as well. I'm planning on getting to it at some point.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/19/19, 12:41 PM  

I'm usually afraid to go backwards too. But one can take heart from Kay's comments!

Nan 3/19/19, 1:41 PM  

Thank you! I am really interested in this. In fact, I would like to read more, including nonfiction about why Britain joined in the first place. I wonder if there was a lot of doubt at that time?

Donna H 3/19/19, 4:04 PM  

I'm not sure I've read this author. But it does sound interesting. Thanks for visiting Girl Who Reads.

bermudaonion 3/19/19, 4:15 PM  

I need to try one of his books since I have a couple of them on my shelves.

Sassy Brit 3/19/19, 4:24 PM  

A great choice for a Tuesday tease, Peter May is a very good author!

Here's my Tuesday Teaser post.

Catherine BookClubLibrarian 3/19/19, 5:15 PM  

A very intriguing title and plot line.

Tina 3/20/19, 11:24 AM  

Mays has long been on my list of authors to tackle and I just requested this book through Netgalley. Our library is ordering it too so one way or another, I will get this book.

Vicki 3/20/19, 3:54 PM  

I'd keep reading

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