Thrillers as a genre are different from mysteries, but there tends to be a lot of overlap. Thrillers concentrate on building tension and unease in the reader, but a mystery element adds to that tension. Me, I’m more of a mystery person than a thriller person, and Rollover, by James Raven, kept me reading, but took me far beyond my comfort zone. Which will have been, of course the point.
Danny Cain is a journalist, partner in a struggling independent news agency in Southampton, England, with his friend Vince. One evening he gets a call from Vince – he has to come right over. Vince has won the national lottery! Their troubles are over!
But when he gets there, Danny finds Vince dead, bludgeoned to death on the floor. Before he can telephone the police, he gets a call from his wife’s mobile phone – a strange man’s voice says to get out of there and wait for further instructions. They have kidnapped Danny’s wife and 6-year-old daughter; if he doesn’t follow instructions, they will die.
Then begins Danny’s ordeal – once of those situations where things start impossible and then get worse. He has no resources to call on, and his enemies seem organized, omniscient, and remorseless. Doing what he’s told might be impossible, and even if he can, chances of survival are low.
Meanwhile, Hampshire Detective Jeff Temple is called to the crime scene. Danny Cain looks like the obvious culprit, but Jeff isn’t sure. Things don’t add up, but he has no idea what awful revelations will come to light before it’s all over.
Taunt, tense, and remorseless, Rollover is a masterful thriller. It worked so well that I’m scared to continue on with the sequel.