This was a stark, gritty exploration of loss, the search for truth, revenge and the lengths that people can be driven by in the hunt or the latter two. Set against the backdrop of Manchester and filled with Mancunian landmarks and personality that solidly grounded the narrative and characters in reality and gave an added sense of character to the entire book.
All Down the Line is tightly plotted and very well written, and you can’t help but be pulled into the narrative from the very beginning because Field knows just how to catch your attention and pull you not just into the pages, but into the very lives of a cast of very real characters. For me, the characters were what really sold me on this book, especially Cain, as Field did an excellent job of bringing emotion to this character, and we felt his loss – old and renewed, his pain and confusion and the growing need for answers and worse, and in such a way that you can’t help but root for him. The cast of characters around him were all varied and well-developed, and while many of them weren’t likeable, they were wonderfully real and added to the very real sense of danger and suspense that permeated through the book.
There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me on my toes, and often they caught me by surprise which was fantastic, and it was a real rollercoaster of a read that didn’t shy away from either the violence or the more emotional side of what the characters were going through. I also particularly liked that the ending didn’t tie up all the ends, or completely redeem the situation, because it perfectly matched the nature of the book, and felt so much more realistic, especially after following a character like Cain whose decisions were coloured by everything that had happened, and by being on the edge of having little to lose. It was a natural, realistic finale with a solid and highly satisfying emotional impact.
An excellent new crime novel, perfect for anyone who loves crime fiction, has a connection to Manchester as the city lives and breathes through this book, and certainly an author I will be keeping an eye on.