I am not a frequent reader of thrillers, although I do have quite a fondness for John Le Carré. But A.C. Fuller caught my eye when I read in an interview somewhere that his favourite book was Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game. I was impressed. Most people haven't even heard of it, let alone liked it, and I have always been of the opinion that it was far superior to Hesse's more famous Steppenwolf. So I got a little excited. I guess I was a prototypical hipster, getting excited about the things nobody else has heard of. (One year I dressed up as a hipster to greet kids at the door for Halloween, and nobody realized it was a costume... Wait, I'm supposed to be writing a review.) A thriller writer who likes obscure German literature that I also happen to like. That was a promising start. I figured I'd get a thriller with a difference, so I asked for a review copy.
And yes, there are some differences from what I normally expect in a thriller, but not enough to offend readers of the genre. There is a bit of a mystical touch and he delves perhaps a little more deeply into the personal issues of the characters than is normal in a thriller (at least the ones I've read apart from the aforementioned Le Carré).
In The Anonymous Source Alex Vane is a young and rising newspaper journalist in 2002, hoping to break into TV journalism. He's been assigned the courtroom beat and fortunately for him, is covering a murder case that has transfixed NYC. All is going well until he starts getting tips from an anonymous source, one that has taken the care to use a voice scrambler. Alex starts going beyond courtroom reporting and starts investigating the murder itself and it isn't long before he finds himself in the crosshairs of an assassin who is taking his assignment far too personally.
I don't know if this is going to be a signature of Fuller's work but food is something that figures prominently in the book. Meals are often described in loving detail, and Fuller seems to find amusement in underscoring the differences in eating habits between Alex and Camila, a lady who finds herself more involved in his investigation than she would perhaps wish. Don't read this book while hungry or you could find yourself snacking more than you should... ;o)
Fuller leaves us hanging on a number of details, which would normally be a fault, but seeing as this is not meant to be a standalone book, we can hope that they will be resolved in a future episode. While the story does resolve in a satisfactory way, Alex still doesn't have all his answers, and somebody still wants to pull his strings. And I personally want to know about the sense of shame that Alex feels on occasion. He's not sure where it's coming from and I do hope we will find out before the series (?) is over.
All in all, I would recommend this book to thriller lovers. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.