|Date Published||14 April 2016|
The House of Fame
Nick Belsey is a disgraced policeman, living in a recently closed police station. An insistent knocking at the door introduces him to a woman who is searching for him by name, to help her to find her missing son. Helping her leads Nick into the world of celebrity, obsessive adoration and corruption.
Posing as a security guard, Nick visits Amber’s highly secure home, and this results in his accompanying Amber to a party, as her chaperone. Here, he meets a wealthy girl, gets drunk and discovers the next day that the girl has been murdered, and his card has been found with her.
Nick, embarks on an investigation, despite his disgrace, lack of support from the police and hostility from Amber. He uncovers a sordid world of exploitation until, of course, he successfully exposes the truth.
Do not be put off by the cover of this book. The image suggests something rather trashy but in fact, the story inside is gripping and is highly readable. The main protagonist gathers both interest and sympathy. His reckless determination and his resilience despite the odds that are stacked against him, mean that, as reader, it is not easy to be certain of the directions his actions will take and, indeed, what the outcomes of those actions will be. The result of this is that the plot trots along at a fast pace.
The tone of the novel, its intimations of the shallowness of celebrity and the associated exploitation, gives a strongly evocative picture of the overlap of fame, obsession and exploitation.
This is the third of a series of books concerning Nick Belsey and I have already put the first two onto my ‘read next list’.
Reviewed 04 February 2017 by John Barnbrook