Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect: A Novel
Ernest Cunningham is one of several mystery writers on board the famous Ghan train traveling from Darwin to Adelaide to attend the Australian Mystery Writers’ Festival. As both a participant in the story and its ex-post narrator, he (the latter) uses his knowledge of events to alert the reader to clues even though he (the former) has yet to realize their full significance. His first book was a record of a real-life murder, and he is now desperately trying to write a second, this one fiction, or is it? His fellow travelers – writers, literary agents, publishers, fans – are all suspects in the murdering to follow.
With its laugh-a-line dialogue, facetious narrator interjections and deadly deeds, Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect is steaming toward a five-star rating when it runs into a blockage on the track: the denouement. The narrator obviously feels obliged to explain each suspect’s motive, and everyone is a suspect. The whys and wherefores are intricately interwoven and link back to the clues scattered throughout by the narrator. It’s cleverly done but intimidatingly dense. The rating is sinking to four when the last few pages rocket it back into the five-star category. Overall, a hugely enjoyable read.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller