For me, first person narrative is always a tough sell. The main character
has to be one I can relate to, one I can like, and one I want to spend
a lot of time with.
In Dennis Milne, Kernick has the perfect character. Love him or hate him,
Milne isn’t a protagonist that you’ll feel ambivalent towards.
I was delighted by the return of the cop-turned-killer from The Business
of Dying and couldn’t help thinking as I read that since A Good
Day To Die features a main character that has few lines he won’t
cross, the reader is left wondering what he’ll do next and it makes
the story anything but predictable.
Kernick has a knack for picking the right kind of murders to make you
sympathize with the killer instead of the victim. Milne is an avenging
angel – misguided, perhaps, but not unprincipled – who returns
to London from his exile when his former partner, DI Asif Malik, is gunned
down in a double murder. Milne is determined to find the answers to Malik’s
murder, despite the fact that his pursuit of the truth may, in the end,
cost him his freedom or even his life.
Having traveled Southeast Asia, the descriptions of the Philippines resonated
with authenticity. I have also traveled to England in late November and
as I read I felt like I’d been pulled out of the roasting August
heat and taken back eight months to pre-Christmas London. Kernick is establishing
himself as a talented writer who can transport the reader through time
and space with his skill at creating authentic settings. Like Milne, it’s
hard to predict what Kernick will do next, but those who want to read
crime novels with a fresh edge should put him at the top of their list.
For more information about Simon Kernick, the Dennis Milne books or the
books featurning DI John Gallan, visit www.simonkernick.com