Now here we have a mystery thriller which actually has ideas behind it, which, believe me, can be a rarity in the genre. In the first place, there is the time setting, with Capricorn’s Collapse opening with the burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices within the Watergate complex in June of 1972. It actually takes one aback slightly to realize that the event happened more than forty years ago. Wherever has the time gone?
Tucker allows the fiction writer’s imagination to inject a fresh character into the proceedings with the burglary called into security by one Tom Delaney. Delaney is one of those characters which the great Alfred Hitchcock used to great effect when played by Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant: the mild-mannered innocent caught up in a world of intrigue.
The intrigue in this novel is supplied by an IRA plot. For those too young to remember, the provisional Irish Republican Army was at the peak of its destructive path from the late 1960s through the early 70s, using methods of kidnapping, robbery, and indiscriminate bombings in an attempt to re-unite the provinces of Ulster in Northern Ireland with the southern republican state of Ireland.
What really makes this novel go, however, is Tucker’s creation of Misty Vail. Misty, raven-haired and lustfully attractive, is a predictive astrologer. Now before you think, “Oh go on, there’s no such thing!” I ask you to re-consider your cynicism. Having had the pleasure of an individual reading by just such a woman, take my word for it. As Hamlet commented to Horatio, “there is more ‘twixt heaven and earth than is dreamt of by your philosophy.” Can Misty and the earnest Delaney save the day? There is quite enough here to keep the reader turning the pages (or scrolling the screens in iBook versions).
Tucker is a writer of solid, meaty prose and doesn’t fall into the common trap of over-loading his pages with attempts at high voltage art. Thank God. Instead, he has crafted a solid story which reminds me both of those Hitchcock movies mentioned earlier as well as the work of Paul Theroux, notably the latter’s The Family Arsenal, which is also about a group of IRA bombers.
I gather Capricorn’s Collapse is a follow-up to Tucker’s earlier novel, Aquarius Falling. I have not read the latter, but I can assure you that I did not feel that it was a prerequisite to enjoyment of his most recent book. Enjoy!
|Author||Michael J. Tucker|
|Page Count||278 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Mystery, Crime & Thriller|