In the tradition of grand thrillers, Jason Dean’s debut novel The Wrong Man tell the story of James Bishop, an elite private security contractor who was found red-handed on the scene of his employer’s gruesome murder. The catch being, that he was drugged and down for the count when the actual murdering was done. Imprisoned – and from his viewpoint, wrongfully so – Bishop is on a mission to find some way to get out – and get even.
This novel follows where so many other thriller writers have started – with the accused murderer in a fairly tight situation, and no clear means of getting out and clearing their name. For Bishop, once he gets free, this comes down to tracking down the money – who stands to benefit from his frame-up, and why. Without motive there’s no clear reason for the elaborate efforts that have been put into play to get him out of the picture. So Bishop has to track down his erstwhile comrades, his security team, and find out which of them has put in all that hard work to frame him. Along the way he enlists the aid of a cell-mate’s friends and relatives who operate on the shady side of cyberspace, getting him into – and out of – some pretty tense situations, and along the way Bishop realises that maybe he doesn’t need to be so isolated from the people he works with, that maybe this is the lesson he should learn from his experience.
There are all the things you need from a thriller – fast paced action, careful intrigue and mystery, a reclusive billionaire with some secrets worth protecting, gripping scenes where all the odds do not appear to be in our hero’s favour, and a satisfying resolution. But the epilogue and preview of Jason Dean’s next novel make it quite clear that Bishop isn’t finished yet, that we are likely to see more adventures from him and they will be just as thrilling as his first.
Available now: Hachette RRP$45.00