THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT
By Terrence McCauley
Release date – June 5th
Guest Reviewer Andrew Salmon
EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD AGAIN
And that's a good thing!
Terrence McCauley's new novel, THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT, turns the old saying on its head. You see, McCauley got his start prowling the fictional mean streets of the 1920s and 30s when he broke onto the scene with PROHIBITION - a must read. If you haven't got a copy, stop reading and pick one up now. He followed that up with SLOW BURN and AGAINST THE ROPES before launching his James Hicks series of contemporary thrillers. So McCauley knows the vintage back alleys well.
THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT also heralds the return of Charlie Doherty, disgraced cop now working as a Private Investigator for Mr. Harriman Van Dorn. It's a sweet set-up that takes care of Doherty's needs while giving him the freedom to pretend to care about his clients. In this case, a wealthy woman who believes her husband, Mr. Fairfax, did not commit suicide but, rather, was murdered. As the dead man and his wife were associates of Mr. Van Dorn, Doherty just may put a little more oomph into going through the motions. And that's what he believes he's doing. The Fairfax case is suicide - straight down the line. Or is it?
It's difficult to discuss what follows as spoilers would really detract from the narrative here. There's a lot more going on that meets the eye and McCauley keeps things moving at a brisk pace. The deeper Doherty gets into the case, the wider his horizon becomes as the reader is drawn into a darker world just starting to show its teeth. The revelations are well thought out and should surprise readers. And the end is, really, just the beginning - there he goes turning things on their heads again! McCauley also provides an interesting palate of characters devoid of black and white stereotypes. Not knowing what the characters are capable of is half the fun!
THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT brings a lot of McCauley's fiction together. As a prequel to his University series (SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, A MURDER OF CROWS, A CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS), the connection is obvious, but sliding Doherty into the mix brings in PROHIBITION, THE DEVIL OF BELLEAU WOOD and SLOW BURN. What begins to take shape is an intriguing blend of past and present - a patchwork quilt (or should that be a shroud?) with depth and breadth well worth exploring.
THE FAIRFAX INCIDENT delivers. If you haven't read any of McCauley's work this is a good place to start. I highly recommend it.