This was his first encounter with Steve Mosby, but he'll get used to it as he moves enthusiastically on to the back catalogue.
Mosby does disturbing brilliantly. He writes stories that envelop the reader like a sinister fog, leaving them disoriented and often scared. They're also highly suspenseful and demand finishing. The final leg of our journey included a solid 10 hours of driving and left us 42 minutes short of finishing the story at about 1am. I think we'd both have happily driven for another 40 minutes to get to the conclusion.
An oblique to sequel to the brilliant 50/50 Killer, I Know Who Did It is told (largely) from the view point of two detectives, David Groves and Mark Nelson. Groves, still coming to terms with the murder of his young son Jamie, receives a chilling card on his son's birthday bearing the inscription, 'I Know Who Did It'. Initially dismissing the card as the work of another cruel crank, Groves eventually works his way back into the investigation of his son's death while looking into the death of a drug addict in a house fire.
Nelson is investigating a truly strange incident when a distressed and injured woman collapses on a street and subsequently claims to be one Charlie Matheson, back from the grave following her death in a road traffic accident a couple of years earlier.
All the hallmarks of Mosby's writing are here in this powerful and shocking story. He plays with the concepts of both place and time to very unsettling effect. He also brings to life characters that offer piercing insight into the human condition. Both the heroes (I liked Mark Nelson a lot) and the villains are complex, rounded and credible. The story is complex and the strands of its meaning often tantalisingly beyond the reader's grasp, but the narrative is orchestrated brilliantly to its stormy finale. Gareth Armstrong's narration - and in particular his command of accent - added to the experience.
Mosby's been a staple of my reading diet since this blog started and I hold to my belief that he's the most under-rated novelist I read. This is a very fine novel and I hope there's a lot more to come.
Previous Steve Mosby reviews
The 50/50 Killer (2007)
Cry for Help (2008)
Still Bleeding (2009)
The Nightmare Place (2014)