Condemned by Michael McBride

Condemned: A Thriller - Michael McBride

Condemned is a gripping first person POV thriller from Michael McBride, I do like this type of narration and it’s done very well here.


Peter Webber owns an online investigative news site called Wake the Puck Up, Hockeytown! Whose primary area of reporting is the continued vandalism and deterioration of the Motor City, Detroit. Scrappers were a plague upon the city, scavenging the structural elements and liquidating it for a fraction of the money spent on it in the first place. Webber photographed the destruction and passed the details onto the police after reporting on it.


He's about to be thrust unwittingly into an entirely new area of focus via a social media tip in the Murder Capital of the United States. The tip leads him to the abandoned Eastown Theatre and a young woman's body suspended from the rafters, still dripping blood. The killer must have been there, still watching as the drops of blood splashed at his feet and the journalist realises this is only the start. One more catastrophe for a dying city.


Webber starts to investigate and soon enough another tip leads to more of the same, a body he was now convinced had been exsanguinated (my new favourite word). A very definitive victim type, pointing to racial motivations with references to John Milton's Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno, The Divine Comedy and the sculpture, The Gates of Hell. This killer is seriously crazed with a devilish literary knowledge and things can only get worse from here on out.


The Police angle comes from childhood friend Dray and his partner Aragon, both detectives and character wise that's pretty much it. The first person narrative is done very well, the detail puts you in the story and the pace is like lightening. There's tension in abundance but with such a small character base it leaves a degree of predictability. The killer is either someone we know or a player who doesn't feature at all. And that's it.