Pendulum, by Adam Hamdy, is for those who like their coffee black and their thrillers blacker. No cream or sugar in this tale, it describes the non-stop, murderous pursuit of John Wallace by a killer who hangs his victims and posts artificial suicide notes to hide his tracks.
The adrenaline fueled pace begins when Wallace wakes up with a noose around his neck, and ratchets up from there. Hamdy paints a bleak portrait of a man, crushed by life’s disappointments, who is thrust into unimaginable horror and a flight for his life. It took me awhile to warm up to Wallace, but eventually, his grief, determination, and grit got under my skin and I found myself rooting for him as he tries to figure out why he’s being hunted. And it’s not just Wallace – he discovers a bloody trail of others who have been victims of murder, framed to look like a suicide. But what’s the connection? Through the icy winter streets of London and New York, Wallace follows a cold trail of those who weren’t as lucky when the hangman came calling and the tan noose tightened around pale skin.
It’s rare, the novel that has me in that stomach-clenched, have-to-turn-the-pages space, but like the noose, this story wound its way into my gut and pulled tight. Warning: it’s an R-rated tale, with sex and plenty of violence. I chose the bonus Booktrack version of the audiobook, and while I enjoyed the narrator’s British accent, I’m still trying to decide if I liked all the extra sound effects. At times they pulled me out of the story, and other times set the mood, pulling me deeper into the depths of mankind’s degeneracy. Despite the depravity, It’s a well-written, brilliantly conceived story, with more than its share of unexpected twists. Personally, I’m a fan of dark chocolate, so enjoyed the descent. Dark is the other side of light’s coin. Death reminds me of life’s fleeting nature, and makes me appreciate the moments when the sun shines on my face through filtered leaves.
Bottom line, if black is how you like it, you’ll savor every drop and order up the next in the series.
International award-winning thriller author.