The book I’m reviewing is called “Soho Dead,” but I didn’t want that title blaring across the screen because I have many British readers. You have suffered so much horror and loss in the past months and we are all saddened on this side of the puddle. Tough times.
I’ve just finished “Soho Dead” by Greg Keen and now must wait over a year for the next installment of this thriller series. Boo hoo! The protagonist is Kenny Gabriel, a far-from-angelic skip-tracer with a core of integrity under a cloud of depression. We view Soho and its motley citizens through Kenny’s clever, bleak, and self-deprecating humor. At 57, his bank balance is low, he relies on his brother for a place to live, and has a no-talk, all-sex relationship with Stephanie.
As the book opens, Kenny is trying to decide whether he should take an antidepressant. In short order, after agreeing to hunt down a missing daughter, Kenny’s life becomes an unpredictable boxing match. With Kenny wearing a blindfold. Will he go down for the count? Kenny’s entangled in his own past relationships and mistakes, all the while hunting for a killer among a diverse group of suspects. At one point, Kenny himself is charged with murder. I was stunned at the ending because the author is that clever. I also like happy endings and this one delivers just enough hope to sustain me until the sequel is published. Keen lives in Soho, so the book rings true in every scene. This would make a marvelous movie, in part because the author adds a strong visual component, not to mention action at every turn.
“Soho Dead” is a terrific read, perhaps a much-needed distraction for folks in the midst of genuine disasters.