Published: 7 November, 2012
Novelist Drew Fox (now if that isn’t the name of a thriller writer then I don’t know what is) delivers a punchy slice of twenty-first century action in this debut novel that introduces readers to an intriguing and alluring female protagonist, Orchid Nazari: think a female James Bond but without the suave table manners.
A plot that involves Orchid embarking on a journey across Europe to track down the killer of a beloved mentor is not wholly original, but Islington resident Fox has a writing style that is slick and engaging, with lush descriptions of European locales combined with scenes of stylised action.
Characters surrounding Orchid are equally well-written and interesting: a morally ambiguous boss who may have more than a vested interest in Orchid; an ex-prisoner who is looking for a route to redemption and sibling killers with a penchant for the sadistic are just a few of the individuals occupying Fox’s sprawling novel.
A criticism of the novel could be that not enough is written about the central character’s mysterious past – there are hints to tragedy, but never confirmation. The reader is left with questions towards the end of the novel; however this is not necessarily a bad thing, as these are questions that will no doubt be answered in the inevitable sequel.
Fox’s debut is a well-crafted, controlled thriller, with a central character who has the tenacity and depth to warrant interest from any readers with a taste for excitement. And as a footnote - it’s nice to see a female character with strength and depth that isn’t from Scandinavia.