Safe House

safehouseSafe House
by Chris Ewan (Brit)
2011 / 448 pages
read by Simon Vance  10h 53m
rating B+  / crime

The story starts out with a bang and Rob Hale,  our 1st person protagonist,  finds himself in the hospital following a motorcycle wreck.  The trouble is that Lena,  the drop-dead gorgeous young woman who was his passenger, (or he thought was his passenger)  is not there – the doctor tells him there was no passenger found.

A bit of a back story shows that Lena was a rather mysterious character and Hale had only known her for a very short time,  a matter of hours.

Turns out someone, or everyone perhaps, is hiding something –  it starts with who called the ambulance,  goes on to who picked up Lena,  and who were those other people in the house where he met Lena?  But there’s the question of who is Lena anyway and why is she apparently being hidden away?  Was she escaping when she asked Hale to take her for a ride?

Hale teams up with Rebecca Lewis an investigator who turns out to have been hired by Hale’s parents to investigate the suicide of their daughter, Hale’s sister Laura,  who looks a lot like Lena.   Then  suddenly there are lots of characters in at least 3 groups all playing hide and seek,  who’s got the keys, getting some batting practice in, and working with or against some kind of conspiracy to ???  – it gets violent – people die.

One of the more interesting characters is  Hale’s grandfather who lives in a the family’s  assisted living facility but is observant, bright, insightful and funny – heartwarming.

Ewan’s debut novel is fast paced with good writing, believable characters, the main characters anyway,  and a nice twisty story.  Read by one of the business’ top professionals doing a splendid job.  Still,  nothing really stands out about it and I have a sad feeling I’ll forget it in a few days.