Sudden Vengeance by Nik Morton

Sudden Vengeance by Nik Morton

When trust in the forces of law and order break down, when child molesters, rapists, thieves and murderers go uncaught or virtually unpunished then something’s got to give. Reading this tale of a righteous vigilante on the loose in the crime-ridden English town of Alverbank, I was reminded of a possibly apocryphal tale doing the rounds when the first ‘Death Wish’ movie was screened. The time was 1974 and New York a dangerous place to live. Charles Bronson was cast as a mild-mannered man whose family was devastated as a result of a violent home invasion. So he buys a gun… The story goes that whenever the film was shown in New York, every time Bronson blew some punks away, the audience stood up and cheered. A recent film ‘Harry Brown’ had elderly ex-soldier Michael Caine reaping revenge for the murder of his friend by a teenaged gang on his North London housing estate. And what with Marvel Comic heroes going back to the 1930s, stories of avenging angels are nothing new. Here, however, Morton’s writerly viewpoint offers a twist in the tale because the reader doesn’t know the identity of this masked avenger – The Black Knight – until the end. Several highly plausible possibilities are thrown into the frame while the police warn, the villains quake and the local press praise.
This novel works on two levels, firstly as a crime mystery where readers become the detective and secondly by forcing each reader to question their own take on the morality or lack thereof of The Black Knight. In other words, would you stand and cheer like those folks in 1974 New York? Answers on a postcard, please.

Posted in Book Reviews

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