The last time I read a mystery thriller was perhaps a quarter of a century ago – John Grisham’s ‘The Pelican Brief’. Hugh Martin’s ‘For All My Pains’ justly deserves to be placed in chronological juxtaposition with John Grisham’s classic, particularly as I am sanguine that Hugh Martin will soon be leafing through various offers for his maiden effort to be transformed on to the silver screen.
In a word, ‘For All My Pains’ is enthralling. I can promise any reader that you will not put in down once you start reading. I never did. It replaced the Sunday Newspaper in my self-enthronement ritual, which my family instinctively understands to mean: ‘I ain’t coming outta here until I finish it’.
I will not give away the plot here suffice to say that it is a real 21st century detective thriller; the principal character Richard Dixon, Assistant Bank Manager and ‘the coming man’ in a large Jamaican Banking institution, having been made the victim of car-tracking, telephone bugging, computer hacking, then a near-fatal bullet to the head which leaves him in a state of amnesia.
Martin has weaved a compelling tale of intrigue, romance, and great detective work, in which, incidentally, the victim himself, by way of flashbacks, hits upon the critical solutions, and good old familial bonds.
Based upon the span of time between my reading of Grisham’s ‘Pelican Brief’ and Martin’s ‘For All My Pains’ one might readily deduce that I am not a fan of fiction, and particularly in the genre of mystery thrillers. Hugh Martin has certainly opened my eyes and whetted my appetite for non-science fiction as both reader and perhaps – who knows?