I’ve been a fan of G.M. Ford for a few years now. I’ve especially enjoyed his books about crusading reporter Frank Corso, and my personal favorite of those books is A Blind Eye. Ford writes larger than life heroes and about true evil, with a smattering of philosophy concerning the measure of an individual. Not enough to be preachy, but enough to make you stop and think every now and again.
His newest release, Nameless Night, is a good fit for him. A suspense story wrapped up with a mystery suspended by enigmas over certain death. It’s a stand-alone novel, the first that he’s written (unless there’s a sequel in the works).
The old hero-has-amnesia from a violent crime has been done near unto death. After The Bourne Identity, I really thought we wouldn’t see anything like that for a while. Or at least not see a writer pull it off quite so well.
Ford thumbs his nose at conventional thinking, though, and heads right to the core of the story on page one. His story is about an amnesiac and the people who are out to kill him, and he’s not going to back off from that.
I liked the way Ford sets up the character of Paul Hardy. Hardy is likeable and you can’t help feeling for him for all that he’s lost. His face is horribly disfigured and his skull is misshapen, which is the obvious reason he’s lost his memory. Not only has he lost his long-term memory, but his short-term memory is almost negligible as well. The characters at the house where he’s been made a ward of the state are a welcome addition, and I was glad to see that they weren’t just tossed away after the initial introduction.
As always, Ford kicks the ball into play from the opening page. Before the first chapter wraps, even Hardy’s dismal life as a mentally challenged person suddenly hangs by a thread. While trying to save another ward of the foster home, he’s hit by a car and receives even more extensive damage.