After reviewing and enjoying The Lighterman I was interested to check out the fourth book in the Charles Holborne thriller series, Corrupted. I compared the previous novel in the series to John le Carré’s work in my review, and as I read Corrupted I could not help but feel that my opinion was completely justified thanks to the exquisite characterisation and the exacting nature of the dogged lawyer Charles Holborne.
In the latest instalment in this gripping series our intrepid protagonist is settling into his perfect life: he has a girlfriend, his job is going great and things are generally peachy. This is the swinging sixties, and author Simon Michael evokes a great atmosphere that crackles with tension as he catapults his character from homely bliss to underworld grime as he cavorts with gangsters and thieves in a bit to take down the notorious Kray twins.
The plot escalates quickly, and pretty soon Charles is out of happy land and into some strong shit, as he starts courting scandal and contending with threats to his life while investigating a sex ring that involves not just the Krays and the Mafia, but extends up to the very echelons of the UK’s power.
Skilfully blending history with a fast paced narrative to create a suspenseful story, Michael showcases his creative prowess with a novel that is almost instantly classic. The integration of real historical figures adds an extra dimension that keeps the reader hooked throughout. Blending snappy dialogue with strong characterisation, the novel runs away with the reader and leaves them wanting more with each jaw-dropping, suspense-filled chapter.
So if you’re looking for some old-school espionage with elegance then look no further. With strong characters, quick conversation and an exceptional plot, Corrupted is a truly awesome thriller that will leave you coming back for more.