The Wreckage is the first book I’ve read by Australian writer Michael Robotham, but it probably won’t be the last. This thriller kept me up all night, racing between a series of events in Baghdad and London, which eventually joined together in an exciting conclusion.
“Follow the money,” is the advice journalist Luca Terracini adheres to while working on a story in Baghdad, the most dangerous place on earth. Iraq is a war-zone and foreigners, including Luca’s colleagues, are just as likely to die as locals in shootings, bombings and other commonplace atrocities. Luca, who has already won a Pulitzer Prize, is chasing a story about a series of bank robberies. Enormous amounts of US dollars are regularly being stolen, but no one except Luca is interested in finding out where the money is disappearing to .
In London, a retired detective named Vincent Ruiz is robbed in a scam by a young woman named Holly Knight. Ruiz goes looking for Holly with the intentions of recovering his property. When he finds Holly, he learns that her boyfriend has mysteriously been killed and that someone else with murderous intentions is also looking for her. Ruiz becomes Holly’s protector and very soon is deeply involved in the mystery.
The story features governments with secrets, bank scandals, terrorism, blackmail and a hired assassin known only as The Courier, as well as crooked pawnbrokers and loads of other unsavoury characters. The plot is quite intricate, and I’m not sure I kept up with all of the ins and outs of the story, but it didn’t matter. I just keep racing along, trying my best to keep up.
There was a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming, but since I never manage to figure anything out until the author tells me, don’t take my word on this. Regular readers of thrillers might guess at the twist better than I can.
Michael Robotham’s writing style features loads of conversation, which I really enjoyed. I also enjoyed the fast pace and the intricacies of The Wreckage. I would have liked to learn more about one of the character’s ability to know when someone is lying to her, as this seems to me to be a handy skill, (although it could detract from my ability to enjoy a book without wondering if the plot is actually credible).
I will definitely be reading more books in the future by Michael Robotham, at least once I’ve had a bit of a lie-down and caught my breath back.