Reading books is often about escapism – travelling to another place and getting away from the troubles of the “real world”. I often read books set outside the UK for that reason. But, sometimes there is no escape.
The thing that I have always enjoyed most about Mark Edwards’ books is that he takes characters that you can identify with, creates situations that seem believable and unremarkable, and then twists everything around. How many times have I thought “that could have been me?” when reading one of his books? It doesn’t matter that aspects of the situation are different. It doesn’t matter if things get escalated so we have to suspend aspects of belief (I have written many times about the importance of having “pillars of truth”, particularly in the first half of a book/movie). You are onboard for the ride. More than most authors I know, Edwards does this all so well.
Many of the early books of Edwards’ that I read were set primarily in the UK. But he has also done some set in the USA, and “No Place To Run” is the third one recently (and, I believe, the last for a while). Set in the USA? “Yes”, I thought. “Some escapism (from the UK)”. But, no. By the time I’d finished the Prologue, it was clear that there would be no escape.
It was also clear early on that this book is yet another “confliction” novel, as I like to call them, by Edwards – one of those books where you are conflicted as you desperately want to know what happens next, but also don’t want it to end.
The nature of Edwards’ books is that I really can’t say much without spoiling some of the contents for you. You just need to read it for yourself.
Together with the story, there were a few lines that I particularly enjoyed – such as referring to a major news story as “media catnip” for journalists. This is a phrase I intend to drop into my academic writing at some point. And quoting Mark Edwards in one of my academic texts would seem appropriate given that the Mayor in “No Place To Run” is one Christopher Hood. We are told that the characters are “purely fictional” – perhaps I should leave this to others to judge!
All of Edwards’ books would make great movies, but, this is the one that is perhaps most in-tune with the contemporary world and would act as the best introduction to what his stories and characters can be like.
In the meantime, make sure you get a copy of “No Place To Run” as it’s a fabulous book.
Here are links to Mark’s other books which I have already written posts about: