Ok, first up… I’m in this book. Alex Call appears as a CSI some way into the book. His appearance is very brief, and thankfully he survives to live another day. He’s probably there because when Peter first told me about this book two or three years ago, I was sold immediately and have been waiting impatiently for it ever since.
Absolute Proof concerns Ross Hunter, a freelance investigative journalist based in Brighton – the city famously the home of James’ other creation Detective Roy Grace.
But this isn’t a crime novel – this is an all-out adventure in the vein of Dan Brown.
Ross Hunter is contacted by Harry Cook, an elderly gentleman who claims that with Hunter’s help he can prove the existence of God. This sets off a dangerous chain of events that sees Hunter risk everything to follow the lead on his biggest story ever.
While there are obvious similarities to Brown Absolute Proof feels much more grounded in real life. Those that have read the Roy Grace series will be familiar with the detail that James imbues into his books. The level of detail, both in terms of procedures and locations adds an extra layer of believability to the type of plot that can stretch credibility somewhat.
And while – for this non-believer – it does stretch credibility (they might as well be searching for absolute proof that I wrote Harry Potter – it’s a nice idea, it just didn’t happen) it takes what we do know, it takes facts about DNA, mixes it with myth and then adds a sprinkle of ‘what if’.
While I’m sure it won’t happen… the events of this novel could happen.
Crime fans used to James’ style will love this novel and people who have never read him before will find this the perfect gateway drug to his rich backlist.
For me, it’s one of my favourite books of this year.
Absolute Proof is available now from Macmillan