Friday Reads: We Are Here

we are hereMy Friday Read is We Are Here by Michael Marshall.

I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Marshall Smith in both his guise as Michael Marshall, award-winning horror / sci-fi writer and Michael Marshall Smith, critically-acclaimed thriller writer.

Imagine my delight when I was told that I’d get to work with him! And not only that, he was side-stepping away from straight crime to something more… unusual.

Here’s the blurb, which says it more succinctly than I ever could.

It should have been the greatest day of David’s life. A trip to New York, wife by his side, to visit his new publisher. Finally, after years of lonely struggle it looks as though the gods of fate are on his side. But on the way back to Penn station, a chance encounter changes all of that. David bumps into a man who covertly follows him and, just before he boards the train, passes by him close enough to whisper: ‘Remember me.’

When the stranger turns up in his home town, David begins to understand that this man wants something from him…something very personal that he may have no choice but to surrender.

Meanwhile, back in New York, ex-lawyer John Henderson does his girlfriend Kristina a favour and agrees to talk to Catherine Warren, an acquaintance of hers who believes she’s being stalked by an ex-lover. But soon John realises that Catherine’s problem is far more complex than anyone could imagine.

There are people out there in the shadows, watching, wanting to be with you. And they’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen…

What can I say? I loved it.

What unfolds is a fantastic mystery that plays on our view of the world around us and follows the people who live in the cracks of our perception; those we deliberately ignore in the street and those who operate in our tiny moments of inattention, those split-second moments that, so short, are all it takes for someone to pocket the phone you left on the pub table.

Like the book itself, Michael and his writing live in a similar gap. This isn’t a crime book, though there is a mystery to solve in a world we identify as our own, and it isn’t an urban fantasy, though there are characters possible of the extraordinary. We Are Here, like many of Michael’s books, plays on a facet of the world around us and uses it to take us someplace new and it takes a very special kind of writer to achieve that so elegantly.

We Are Here is out now.