Stealth by John Hollenkamp

I really love discovering new authors of crime-related fiction.  Especially Australian writers.  Meet John Hollenkamp, and, if you enjoy crime-related fiction, read ‘Stealth’.

Stealth by John Hollenkamp

‘He’s my friend.  And friends help each other in times of need.’

Meet Darren Mangan, he’s a cab driver in Sydney.  Darren spends most of his time on the right side of the law, but he’s been known to cross the line, especially if a mate needs a hand.  But Darren’s life changes completely after two chance meetings with a young man named Martin.  The first time, Martin attacked a friend.  The second time, it’s Martin’s cruelty towards his dog that has Darren take note.

Because of a friend, Darren becomes caught up in a search for a stolen gun, a .38 Smith & Wesson.  And the search for this gun leads Darren into some fairly dark places.  Trying to find the gun and trying to track down Martin become Darren’s objectives.  Darren’s journey takes him from Sydney to the News South Wales south coast, and then to Townsville.

In the meantime, Martin is on his own mission, and you just know that this isn’t going to end well.  Will Darren prevail, and at what cost?

‘Taking responsibility for your own stupidity is something I grew up with.  The old man paid the price for his habit.’

Delivered in short, sharp chapters, this is a story that held my attention from the first page to the last.  Darren’s motivation is easy to understand, even if some of his choices are questionable.  And, in Martin, I’ve met a character with absolutely no identifiable redeeming features.

Did I enjoy this novel?  Yes.  It’s black, it’s bleak and it moves quickly.  This is Mr Hollenkamp’s first published novel, and is to be the first of a series featuring Darren Mangan.  I’ll certainly be in line to read the next one.

Note: I was offered, and accepted, a free copy of this novel for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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