Night Driver by Marcelle Perks
Publisher – Urbane Publications
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW and WOW again,this is a fast paced,action packed,nail biting,gripping thriller that had me hooked in from the first page right through to the jaw dropping,shocking unexpected epilogue. Marcelle Perks has informed me that it took over seven and a half years and 170 rejections from other publishers before Urbane Publications agreed to publish Night Driver. It was called dark,perverse and overly graphic,one publisher even rejected it because one of the killers was gay. Having read this book I honestly don’t understand why it was rejected so many times. Yes its a story about prostitution,people and organ trafficking,drugs,a gay killer and violent attacks on both men and women.But I wouldn’t say it was overly graphic,I have read loads of books that were far more graphic than this one.
All heavily pregnant Francesca Snell had ever wanted was security,a partner and to have children,she hadn’t wanted this stilled life,stuck in the suburbs of a foreign country where she struggles to understand and speak the language,has no friends and a husband who has changed from the loving,attentive personal he was before they married and moved to Germany into a cold,controlling bully. In an effort to get herself more mobile and also because she will need to be able to get provisions for their baby once it is born she starts taking driving lessons.It is during one of these lessons that she has her first terrifying encounter with lorry driving serial killer Lars Stigelegger,a huge man who thinks intimidating other drivers with his lorry is hilarious.After Frannie miraculously passes her test,she decides to try some night driving to gain experience on the eerie roads. But after a early morning encounter with a Polish motorcyclist who is searching for his missing sister,Frannie finds herself becoming sucked into the terrifying world of shady nightclubs,autobahn prostitutes,organ trafficking and into the sights of Lars and his twisted psychotic boss Hans Grans
This heart pounding thriller is voiced by a number of characters including Frannie,Lars,Hans and Dorcas,a prostitute with whom Frannie strikes up an uneasy alliance. Frannie was a feisty,stubborn,likable character who refused to let the fact that she was heavily pregnant stop her helping Tomek find his missing sister.You couldn’t help admiring her guts and determination and I spent the whole book in a heightened sense of anxiety and fear for the lives of Frannie and her unborn baby. I had mixed feelings about Dorcas and wasn’t always sure wether Frannie could really trust her. The villains in this book are evil,spine chilling,twisted individuals although I surprisingly found myself feeling a tiny bit of empathy for one of them by the time I finished the book.
I absolutely loved this adrenaline ride of a thriller.The authors descriptions of Frannie`s health issues due to her pregnancy and her nervousness when she was driving were realistic and believable. I love being in a car at night but I have never learned to drive myself,I’m nervous enough as a passenger.The characters were vivid and well rounded and the story told in chapters that vary in length held my attention throughout. In my opinion this book is worth far more than five stars and I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future.
By Nicola Richards