Seven years have passed since Driver ended his campaign against those who double-crossed him. He has left the old life, become Paul West and founded a successful business back in Phoenix. But walking down the street one day, he and his fiancee are attacked by two men and, while Driver dispatches both, his fiancee is killed. Sinking back into anonymity, aided by his friend Felix, an ex-gangbanger and Desert Storm vet, Driver realises that his past stalks him – and will not stop. He has to turn and face it
One of the many things I love about James Sallis is that he writes his characters as he finds them. They are dysfunctional, not always likeable, definitely broken but also incredibly compelling. So it is with Driver, who you meet as he watches his fiancé get gunned down in the street, seemingly for no reason.
In Driver’s world though, there is always a reason, and so there is here if he can just figure it out in between fighting for his life and constantly trying to stay one step ahead of a seemingly endless supply of hired guns determined to earn their money. It involves talking to shady people, hitting shadier people and never giving up. I like that about Driver – he doesn’t stop.
Like him, this book is relentless, never letting up for a second. It’s dialogue heavy with not much in the way of descriptive scenes bar the odd flashback to his childhood or earlier life, before he tried to start again. And it’s short (only 155 pages), meaning there isn’t much time to breath.
The language seems simple on first reading but then you realise that a picture is being painted, of men (mainly) who believe in action versus trying to talk things out. It’s not a world I understand but it’s lived by a code and it’s best not to break it. It’s a world where you don’t go to the police, you sort out your own problems. And it’s a world where people live with the idea of an eye for an eye.
It’s a world I was drawn into quickly and was quite sad to see the end of, especially as it was left open so you don’t know what is going to happen to Driver next and whether it will be good or bad. Perhaps it’s good for me as I will get to meet him again…I just hope it’s not another seven years before I get the chance. Loved this one and a recommended read!