Firstly I wish to thank Agnes Rowe at midaspr for inviting me on the Blog Tour for THE MAN WITH NO FACE by Peter May.
A REPORTER WITH NO FEAR
1979. Jaded Edinburgh journalist Neil Bannerman is sent to Europe, intent on digging up dirt. Yet it is danger he discovers, when two British men are found murdered.
A CHILD WITH NO FATHER
One victim is a journalist, the other a Cabinet Minister: the double-assassination witnessed by the former’s autistic daughter. This girl recalls every detail about her father’s killer – except for one.
THE MAN WITH NO FACE
With those around him rocked by the tragedy, Bannerman is compelled to follow his instincts. He is now fighting to expose a murderous conspiracy, protect a helpless child, and unmask a remorseless killer.
The research behind The Man With No Face:
Whilst entirely fictional, The Man With No Face is heavily inspired by real life events that took place in the 1970s. These were then supplemented by extensive research by Peter May, in order to create a realistic, hard hitting crime thriller.
The original novel was first written in the 1970s, when May was a journalist and living through and reporting on political and social upheaval, with two general elections in 1974 and another to come in 1979, and an epic battle unfolding between left and right as trade unionists battled Thatcher. The 1970s was also the beginning of Britain’s EU membership which with Brexit negotiations in full swing, gives the publishing of The Man With No Face now a timely relevance. During the 1970s, May was writing for The Scotsman, and reporting on the social upheaval every day. He wanted to set a story against this background, but based between Scotland and Brussels, the beating heart of Britain’s new future endeavour. Peter made the long journey by train from Glasgow to Brussels in the bitter winter of the late 1970s. Whilst at the time travelling by train was a financial necessity, Peter later used this experience to recount the killer’s journey to Brussels, allowing the murder weapon to go undetected. Whilst in Brussels, Peter identified the key locations he wanted to use in his story, and managed to gain access to Berlaymont, HQ of the EU, giving him a unique insight into how correspondents and politicians worked in those early European days. There are many parallels to the way they work today.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is a sort of re-release of Peter May’s original novel, Hidden Faces published in 1981, but it has a few tweaks to bring it in line with Peter May’s current thoughts and writing style. The story follows reluctant reporter Neil Bannerman who is sent out to Brussels to follow the political developments with the new European Union, that will directly and indirectly affect Scotland. Bannerman is a bit of an odd ball that doesn’t really play well with others. He soon as a run in with the resident reporters and is not best pleased when he finds out that he will be sharing the home of yet another fellow reporter that already lives in Brussels.
After dinning at Slater’s home and meeting his autistic daughter Tania he ops to leave and stay at a nearby hotel. He had never liked Slater and the feeling was mutual. When Slater is subsequently found murdered along with a junior minister, at his home, there is a witness to who has done this, his autistic daughter who has a sharp mind and talent for detail and drawing but the inability to communicate which results in outburst of screaming and frustration. Unfortunately she did not see the man’s face, but the killer is already planning to tie up that loose end.
There feels an urgency and unease throughout the book as Peter May makes no cover up of the killer to the reader, you know his thoughts and plans. He is a professional and known throughout the business as being efficient. Bannerman, as journalists go are detectives in their own right, digging and delving into leads, especially where they aren’t wanted but they don’t normally have to put their own life on the edge. Bannerman had made some sort of connection with Tania and she with him. She had an ease with him that she couldn’t make with others and he felt protective of her.
This is a belting story written by an extremely wise and talented young man, that tackled issues that are very relevant in todays political climate as things have come full circle. Another outstanding read from a great author, Peter May.
I wish to thank the publisher Quercus Books for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter May was an award-winning journalist at the age of just twenty-one. He left newspapers for television and screenwriting, creating three prime-time British drama series and accruing more than 1,000 television credits. He is published in 32 languages and has sold several million copies worldwide as well as winning numerous awards. His last novel I’ll Keep You Safe (2018) was no.1 in The Times book charts and his new novel The Man With No Face is due to come out in January 2019. In recent years he won the Best Crime Novel Award for The Blackhouse at Bouchercon in the US, Entry Island won the Deanston Crime Book of the Year and Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read Award.