I suspect this novel by Chris Ewan will form part of a series. In fact, I kept wondering if I’d come in part-way through as some of the characters and their relationships were quite established. It was a tad confusing but all was eventually revealed and I think – if this does become a series, which I suspect it will – it will be a good one.Long Time Lost
by Chris Ewan
Published by Faber
on May 25th 2016
Source: Allen & Unwin
Nick Miller and his team provide a unique and highly illegal service, relocating at-risk individuals across Europe with new identities and new lives. Nick excels at what he does for a reason: he's spent years living in the shadows under an assumed name.
But when Nick steps in to prevent the attempted murder of witness-in-hiding Kate Sutherland on the Isle of Man, he triggers a chain of events with devastating consequences for everyone he protects - because Nick and Kate share a common enemy in Connor Lane, a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means tearing Nick's entire network apart.
We meet Kate in the very beginning but a lot of important elements of this story seemed like they took place some time before this book kicks off.
I kept thinking there must be earlier editions in this series and checked in Goodreads a number of times, because it felt like I’d missed something.
Eventually much of Nick’s story unfolded but I’m thinking perhaps it would have ‘worked’ to have part of that as the prologue – at least to set the scene a little.
Although Nick and Kate have the same enemy this really ended up being a lot more about Nick’s story than Kate’s. And as a result there was something slightly disjointed about its telling.
It offered up something new however and although I’m accustomed to privatised investigators (Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooter series and Elizabeth Lowell’s St Kilda Consulting series come to mind), privatised witness protection and its complexity was fascinating.
Of course, things fall to pieces for Nick and his operation in this novel and he realises he’s discounted the ‘human’ component of witness protection.
While I think the plot could have been a little tighter in terms its veracity (having all client information on an iPad is something I’m fairly sure wouldn’t happen IRL, for eg) I loved the characters and whipped through this book in a night.
I enjoyed the twists toward the end and Ewan did a good job of keeping us wondering what catastrophes would befall the team as they turned the next corner.
Long Time Lost by Chris Ewan was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.