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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Review: Driver by Mark Dawson

This, the third, in the John Milton series is the best yet.  Milton is now in San Francisco holding down two jobs:  independent taxi driver and ice deliverer.  He makes barely enough to get by, but that’s just fine. He likes to read.

One night he accepts a fare against his better judgment because he realizes she’s an escort and it’s illegal to participate, i.e., drive, someone who is about to commit an illegal act.  They arrive at a fancy house in a wealthy neighborhood.  He agrees to stay since he’s worried about her safety and when screams erupt from the house he investigates only to have her run out of the house and down the road banging on other doors, clearly high on something.  She disappears.

Milton has to walk a fine line in any interactions with the police but he feels a sense of duty -- more on that later -- and teams up with her boyfriend to try and find Madison, the hooker. Milton can’t afford to have the police look too closely at his identity because he’s still on the run from his former MI-6 handlers.  

Dawson does a nice job of laying the groundwork for Milton’s overly developed sense of altruism. One of the tenets of AA, which Milton attends regularly in an effort to stay sober (shades of Lawrence Block’s protagonist,) is to make amends, and Milton has a lot to make amends for having killed many people in his former job.

Well-developed story.
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