This week’s One to Watch is a thriller set in a world with an alternate history to our own. The world of J.T. Gordon’s Belleville has a dark spectre looming over it; something horrific is happening in Belleville and anti-hero, private investigator Charles Dodgson, finds himself in the middle of it. It has a crime noir feel, which puts one in mind of graphic novels: Belleville feels akin to Gotham or Sin City.
This pitch gives very little away, but it certainly intrigues:
50 years ago something changed, something so insignificant it had previously been missed. It happened far from here, away from the city, in a distant corner of the cosmos. The simplest of messages was heard, a tiny beep.
Now, 50 years later, everything is wrong. A disturbing presence has taken over a small neighbourhood on the east side of town and it's starting to get organised. The police won't go near it, the news won't report it and the tourists are literally dying to keep its secret. A has-been budget investigator might think he knows what's going on, but the truth of this conspiracy goes far deeper than he ever realised. Hopeless, broke and scared out of his mind, could this really be the saviour the city has been waiting for?
It has pace, tension and atmosphere but it’s not your usual thriller, and we think it’s worth a read.