Is the truth worth dying for...?
The Loner is a unique and gripping stand-alone novel from masterful novelist Quintin Jardine - a powerful story of one man who discovers shocking secrets. Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.
Xavier (Xavi) Aislado is a gentle giant, half Spanish, half Scot, brought up in Edinburgh by his grandmother, Paloma Puig, a ferocious old lady whose grim brand of care sees him into his teens, until his father moves back to Spain, leaving him to grow up fast. His emergence into manhood is colourful, and eventful. After a short career as a professional footballer, he turns to journalism, and has a bloody introduction to the trade, as his first assignment ends in violent death.
Inevitably, remorselessly, as his autobiography unfolds, Xavi''s life and his love become entwined with his work, and he is immersed in tragedy, loss and betrayal, going halfway round the world in search of a truth that may destroy him. Quintin Jardine''s evocation of Xavi''s fated world is an unforgettable story of a man riding a one-way train to oblivion. Will he escape, before it hits the buffers, full-speed?
What readers are saying about The Loner:
''Jardine is a great writer when it comes to keeping up the suspense and drip feeding the reader information and clues''
''Quintin Jardine''s writing flows and keeps you hooked right to the end''
''This book shows just what Quintin Jardine is capable of''
Jardine's first stand-alone lacks the twists and compelling lead of his Bob Skinner police thrillers (Grievous Angel, etc.). The book's conceit that the fictional Spanish-born journalist Xavi Aislado (whose last name means "the Loner") has shared his notes for an autobiography with the author doesn't add anything, but the bigger flaw is the slow-moving story line of Xavi's life, as he transitions from student through professional footballer to Scottish crime journalist. The elegiac opening, in which an older Xavi recalls, "There was a time when a few of the sun's rays shone into my life," sets the stage for the inevitable tragedy that derails him. The overly detailed description of his vicissitudes as a goalie may appeal to sports enthusiasts, but those sections will drag for Jardine fans used to gritty scenes of violence and Skinner's navigation of the treacherous shoals of office politics.