Friday 4 August 2017



For years the drifter haunted the background of American life, roaming the side streets and highways that crisscross this vast country. Cool and handsome, with a single teardrop scar and a knack for silence that keeps the world at bay, he is a man alone.

That all changes on a rainy night in Chicago, when he witnesses a brutal assault on a young woman. By the time he reaches her, the assailant is gone, leaving a trail that is all too easy to follow. But playing the good Samaritan may be more trouble than it’s worth, when his moment of conscience hurls him into a shadowy world of violence, intrigue and deception.

Caught between duty to his fellow man and the anonymity of life on the road, the Samaritan could walk away. But when his estranged teenage daughter is threatened, he will make his choice—and never look back. By turns violent and insightful, this suspenseful novel from acclaimed journalist and author Jim Fusilli introduces an unforgettable hero to the ranks of contemporary American fiction.

This opener in a two book series from author Jim Fusilli was my favourite book read last November.

A lone man drifter type allows his conscience to get the better of him when he witnesses an attack on a woman. Kind of similar to Reacher in some ways, though here our protagonist has a past and family which gets gradually revealed to us. He has a daughter, though he is estranged from her and not necessarily through choice. Past events robbed our main man of his wife and his daughter of her mother, events which the father is blamed for. Efforts to reach out to her are continually rebuffed though I don’t think he’s about to give up trying.

I can’t recall if our hero is identified and has a name or not, either way it doesn’t matter too much. Once he inserts himself into the attacked woman’s life and problem he’s involved to the bitter end. Our woman has been a bit reckless and naive, as well as dishonest. She’s stolen from her boss and he’s a spiteful, vengeful bastard.

Our man attempts to resolve her difficulty and get her back her life.  

Enjoyable plot, interesting main character and family dynamic, plenty of tough guy action, a bit cerebral as well. Violence isn’t going to offer a final solution to our situation here, a bit of diplomacy and negotiation is also called for.
Right book, right time.

5 from 5

I’m looking forward to the second in the series – The Billboard Man.

Jim Fusilli has written about half a dozen novels in total. 
His website is here. He's on Twitter@jimfusillibooks

Read in November, 2016
Published - 2012
Page count - 217
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle


  1. I enjoyed this book on audio. Good atmospherics

    1. I'm glad you liked it too. I don't really use the format of audio books myself.

  2. This does sound like a good 'un, Col. It sounds nicely moody, and with some interesting characters. I like it when those character layers are revealed a little at a time.

    1. Margot, I really liked this one and you're right about the slow reveals.

  3. Five on five! Doesn't happen often does it? Tbh it sounds a bit like a standard plot, but your praise counts for something...

    1. I suppose the plot is standard, but it worked well for me. Are there any original plots left? I really liked it. I'm looking forward to the second , though not quite sure when!

  4. This one sounds interesting, although maybe too violent for me? Have you read any of his other series? I have one of those (unread of course).

    1. I don't recall it being overly violent. I didn't know he had written another series, but I've just looked it up. Terry Orr - PI. They look good, but I probably shouldn't go there. I liked the look of his NARROW'S GATE but it's nearly 600 pages long, so I'm going to pass on that also.