KING OF THE ROAD
By Nigel Bartlett
Reviewed by Graeme Aitken
David is a freelance journalist living in Sydney. He’s gay, single, and is close to his family, especially his eleven-year-old nephew Andrew. He gives Andrew’s parents some respite by having his nephew to stay regularly. But one weekend, while Andrew is in David’s care, he disappears. It soon becomes apparent that David is the police’s prime suspect in his nephew’s disappearance. His guilt is compounded by the mysterious stache of child porn images that have surfaced on his laptop. David didn’t download them but who will believe him? His lawyer is skeptical about his chances, his family are turning against him, and so David makes the rash decision to go on the run and try to find out who snatched his nephew. He quickly discovers that Andrew had a secret Facebook account and this discovery provides leads into his nephew’s abduction.
This novel grips the reader from the first chapter and doesn’t let up as David draws closer to the whereabouts or fate of his nephew. Fans of crime fiction will relish this unconventional investigation, while for gay readers this is a complex portrait of an unlikely hero/action man who happens to be gay. When the climax finally comes, there is more than one twist to jolt the reader. If you are after a page-turning read, King of the Road is absolutely perfect.