Member Review

Jack Was Here

Pub Date:

Review by

G H, Reviewer

Last updated on 27 Mar 2018

I Recommend This Book


If you are looking for a crime thriller that incorporates suspense, exotic locations and a high body count then this debut from Christopher Bardsley. could be something for you. Hugh Fitzgerald is a damaged former Australian military man suffering from PTSD after serving in Afghanistan. He has split from his fiancee, is under the care a psychiatrist (although he only attends to tick a box to secure his pension) and has been proscribed much medication which he cheerfully throws away. Addicted to drink and drugs Hugh's life is spiraling ever downwards when he is unexpectedly contacted by his brother regarding the disappearance in Thailand  of 19 year old Jack Kerr a former pupil of his and who's parents were once family friends.

Having now no real aim in life together with being paid well by Jack's parents Hugh accepts the task of finding their son. We are then taken on a ride through the seamier underbelly of Thai and Cambodian society where drugs and prostitution are rife and corruption among the law enforcement agencies is common.. The writing is very descriptive and you can visualise and feel the heat, smells and bustle of the streets and the seedy bars that Hugh frequents. We learn of how Hugh's past has caused his present state and how this complex character is morally ambivalent when it comes to the act of killing.

This may not do much for  the Thai and Cambodian tourist industry but it certainly acts as a warning of what dangers are there for the naive and unsuspecting traveler. The pace increases as the book progresses to it's inevitable bloody climax. I liked the book and because it can be completed in a few hours it is ideal to be taken on a journey although perhaps not to Thailand.

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