Jonathan Freedland has been the Guardian correspondent in Washington and a reporter for the Washington Post and for BBC news. Seems this is his first book under his own name having written several bestsellers under the name, Sam Bourne. Always puzzles me when writers suddenly decide drop an alias. If it was not important why do it in the first place?
Never mind, he has written a terrific book which I found a slow burner but persisted with. Lots of characters to introduce and scenes to set and it is important to take your time and get all this in your consciousness in order to then enjoy the cracking story.
The Third Woman is written from the perspective of a journalist, Madison Webb, and you soon forget this is a male writer as he is totally at ease with the female persona he has taken on as author. I suppose being a journalist makes it easy. Madison is a reporter obsessed with exposing lies and corruption and leads a busy, somewhat narrow focused life when she is shocked out of it by the murder of her own sister, Abigail. She is found dead of an overdose of heroin and, at first, the police decide it was an accident but when Madison discovers at least two other women have died in the same way, she is determined to prove there is a serial killer on the loose.
OK no more. Just to say that there is a conspiracy behind all this, a mayoral election is taking place with all the wheeling and dealing involved, Madison is followed, bugs placed in her home, a friend is knocked down in a hit and run and all sorts of dark shadowy figures are at work. I can already seen the film in my mind's eye.
An excellent read and tightly written and plotted. I loved it.
And, naturally, I am now off to read the books by one Sam Bourne....