Review: Safe House, by Chris Ewan


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo.

Faber & Faber, 2012. (Kindle edition). 602 KB. 441 pages. ASIN: B0086KPYWK. ISBN: 978-0-571-282227.

Safe House

The story takes place in the Isle of Man. In a preliminary note the reader will learn that the Isle of Man is located in the middle of the Irish Sea, roughly halfway between the Lake District and Northern Ireland. The island is self-governing, with its own parliament and laws, and an independent police force. For a fortnight every late May into early June, the Isle of Man stages the TT (Tourist Trophy) motorbike time-trial races. The island is thirty-two miles long and fourteen miles wide and has a population of eighty thousand people.

Following a motorbike accident that almost cost him his life, Rob Hale wakes up in a hospital with memory gaps; something pretty common after a traumatic head injury. Other than that, he’s been lucky and just has a fractured shoulder and a couple of bruised ribs. On asking about Lena, the beautiful blonde woman who was with him on the motorbike, he’s told that he was the only person that was found at the scene of the crash. Everyone thinks that Lena is only fruit of his imagination. Her description is very much like that of Laura, his only sister who took her own life recently. But Rob Hale, a plumber by trade, embarks in the hunt of Lena, a mysterious blonde whom he thinks is in danger. With almost no one else to confide in, Rob joins forces with Rebecca Lewis. Rebecca is a London-based PI, who has just come to the island hired by his parents to investigate the possible causes of Laura’s suicide. But, who is really Rebecca Lewis and why does she works for his parents?

Safe House is Chris Ewan’s first standalone book after a series of comic mystery novels (The Good Thief’s Guide to …), and has been shortlisted for the 2013 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. His last book Dead Line has just been released in early August.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Safe House, a pretty well crafted and intelligent action thriller that appealed to me since its very beginning. The pace is just excellent and it has enough twists and turns to keep the reader’s attention trying to figure out its final outcome until the last page. Besides, making of a simple and ordinary person the leading character and the Isle of Man setting have been excellent choices.

My rating: 4/5.

Safe House has been reviewed at Euro Crime (Terry Halligan), at Reading Matters (Kimbofo), at Novel Heights (Suzigun) and at Reviewing the evidence (John Cleal), among others.  

Chris Ewan official website 

Chris Ewan talks about Safe House

Faber & Faber

Macmillan Publishers

Safe house (Lugar seguro) de Chris Ewan

La historia se desarrolla en la Isla de Man. En una nota preliminar, el lector aprenderá que la Isla de Man se encuentra situada en medio del Mar de Irlanda, aproximadamente a medio camino entre el Distrito de los Lagos e Irlanda del Norte. La isla es un territorio autónomo, con su propio parlamento y sus propias leyes, y con una policía independiente. Durante quince días desde finales de mayo hasta principios de junio, se celebra el TT Isla de Man (Tourist Trophy) unas carreras de motos por etapas contrarreloj. La isla tiene treinta y dos millas de largo y catorce millas de ancho y una población de ochenta mil personas.

Después de un accidente de moto que casi le cuesta la vida, Rob Hale se despierta en un hospital con lagunas de memoria, algo bastante común después de una lesión traumática en la cabeza. Aparte de eso, ha tenido suerte y sólo tiene una fractura de hombro y un par de costillas magulladas. Al preguntar acerca de Lena, la hermosa mujer rubia que iba con él en la moto, le dicen que él era la única persona que se encontraba en la escena del accidente. Todo el mundo piensa que Lena es sólo fruto de su imaginación. Su descripción es muy similar a la de Laura, su única hermana que se suicidó recientemente. Pero Rob Hale, un fontanero de profesión, se embarca en la búsqueda de Lena, una rubia misteriosa que él cree está en peligro. Con casi nadie más en quien confiar, Rob une sus fuerzas con Rebecca Lewis. Rebecca es una investigadora privada que acaba de llegar de Londres contratada por sus padres para investigar las posibles causas del suicidio de Laura. Pero, ¿quién es realmente Rebecca Lewis y por qué trabaja para sus padres?

Safe House es el primer libro independiente de Chris Ewan después de una serie de novelas cómicas de misterio (Guía del Buen Ladrón …), y está nominado al Premio Theakstons Old Peculier a la mejor Novela Negra de este año. Su último libro Dead Line acaba de ser publicado a principios de agosto.

He disfrutado mucho leyendo Safe House, un thriller de acción inteligente y muy bien elaborado que me atrajo desde el primer momento. El ritmo es excelente y tiene suficientes giros y vueltas para mantener la atención del lector tratando de averiguar su resultado final hasta la última pagina. Además, hacer de un hombre común y corriente el personaje principal y situar la novela en la Isla de Man han sido elecciones excelentes.

Mi valoración: 4/5.

9 thoughts on “Review: Safe House, by Chris Ewan

  1. José Ignacio – Thanks for your thoughtful review as ever. I’m very glad you enjoyed the novel. I keep hearing all kinds of things about it. The Isle of Man setting does appeal to me and of course, so does the idea of an ordinary ‘regular’ sort of character as the sleuth. I wasn’t sure whether to read this; perhaps I should.

    • Thanks you for your kind words, Margot. Certainly the Isle of Man is an appealing setting and it does fit very well into the plot. Don’t think the story could have worked that well in another location.

    • Glad you find it of interest Sergio and thanks for taking your time to comment. Would like to see your opinion if you read the book. I think it will be worthwhile to follow Ewan’s books in the future, if he continues along this line.

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