Friday, August 14, 2009

The Dark Place (Karl Kane) by Sam Millar

Belfast PI Karl Kane is drawn into the investigation of abducted teens and has to take on a violent, but powerful psychopath. When his own daughter gets abducted there's no stopping him.
Karl Kane is an interesting mix of a very believable anti-hero / everday kind of guy and the wisecracking Spenser-breed. In fact, some of the conversations with his girlfriend Naomi top the witty cuteness of the Spenser-Susan dialogues. Note that Karl is a bit more offending and crude in his choice of words. There is a strong sense of humour in this novel which works surprisingly well next to the very dark plot.
It's almost obvious that Millar will be compared to that other Irish crimewriter Ken Bruen but Millar gives us a more straightforward PI-tale that will probably be enjoyed by people who think Bruen has a tendency to take sidetours from the plot too much. There is some of the same literacy there, especially in the excellently chosen quotes that start off each chapter.