Safe House by Chris Ewan

When Rob Hale wakes up in a hospital after a motorcycle crash, his first thought is for the gorgeous blonde, Lena, who was on the back of his bike. The doctors and police, however, insist that he was alone at the scene. The shock of the accident must have made him imagine Lena, especially since his description of her resembles his late sister, Laura.

And so begins one of the most average thrillers I have read for years…

It all started out well. A gripping mystery, a beautiful girl, and a setting, on the Isle of Man that I have never encountered in a novel before. Then the mystery starts to unfold, and everything just seems to fall into place too easily for our hero and his companion Rebecca (a British spy who conveniently falls onto the scene, probably so she can appear in a future novel).

Of course for anyone who reads a lot of thrillers, it often seems that a lot of the plot twists are borrowed from other novels, but in Safe House everything just feels a bit too ‘paint-by-numbers’; even the villains of the story feel like they have been stolen from one of those late 1980s action films with Bruce Willis or Geena Davis. My biggest gripe about Safe House is the mediocre ending to the novel, which left me wishing the author had taken it in a different direction.

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