Today it is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for the brand new thriller from Toby Faber, Close to the Edge. Thank you to publisher Muswell Press for providing an advance copy of the book for review, and to Fiona Brownlee at Brownlee Donald for inviting me to join the tour. Here is what the book is about:
About the Book
A nail-biting thriller that ll keep you up all night. Emily Koch
Exhilarating and tense, Toby Faber turns to crime with electrifying results.
Morning rush hour on the London tube. Laurie Bateman is on her way to work when she witnesses a terrible accident. Only later does she realise that what she has seen is potentially much more sinister.
Compelled to investigate, Laurie breaks into the Underground at night to look for clues. The ambush comes out of nowhere, forcing Laura to flee for her life through pitch black tunnels and deserted stations.
The hunter has become the hunted.
When I was asked to review this book, I was immediately drawn to the story. I’ve travelled on the underground many times, seen the scrum during busy commuter, hours and often thought about just how easy it would be for someone to lose their footing, perhaps get too close to the edge of the track at the wrong time and then about the potential for what could and would happen next. It’s not implausible if, thankfully, relatively rare. What Toby Faber has done with Too Close To The Egde, is take this fear, this absolutely possible scenario, and kick it up a notch, taking central character Laurie Bateman and dumping her right in the middle of a fight for her life.
The book is not the fastest thriller, no all action heroes at play here, but the pacing works perfectly for the story that unfolds. Laurie is an everyday character, very much in the wrong place at the wrong time. She suffered a great loss as a young child, one which affected the rest of her life, and one which makes her all the more curious about the man who she sees fall in front of the tube train. The way in which the author has depicted her reaction is believable, her anxiety completely understandable. She is someone I warmed to very early on, even if it was very quickly obvious that she makes some very questionable life choices, ones which had me rolling my eyes and getting a little frustrated at her seeming naivety.
I read the book in stages, something which actually worked very well with the action broken down over a matter of days. Each day saw new questions brought forth, suspicions arising and the tension slowly building. There are moments in the book which get the pulse racing, the scenes in the underground tunnels after dark, and the terror that Laurie and her father are subjected to as they dig further into the life of the victim especially notable. These scenes end in very surprising ways, and you may have to go with the flow a little, but it does make you start to wonder what would you have done under the same circumstances?
Toby Faber has really managed to set the scene for readers, from the claustrophobic nature of the underground, to the open space and freedom of the countryside around Laurie’s fathers home. He has taken a very plausible situation, keeping it for the most part grounded in reality, but twisting it slightly to add a layer of mystery and intrigue. The tension is just right, not over played, and you learn very quickly that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. The polished narrative means that you also experience the highs and lows of Laurie’s mood, her jubilation when she achieves something, her depression when it all goes wrong, and feel her fear when she is under attack. It all makes for a quick and entertaining read.
About the Author
Toby Faber was a banker and management consultant before joining the family firm in 1996. He was MD of Faber for four years and remains on the board; he is also chairman of Faber Music. He has written two highly praised works of non-fiction, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, this is his first novel. He lives in London with his family.
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