We are the Hanged Man by Douglas Lindsay
Series: DCI Jericho #1
Publication: August 23rd 2012 by Blasted Heath
Format: eBook Pages: 374
‘When the latest hit reality TV show, Britain’s Got Justice, needs an expert police panellist, DCI Robert Jericho’s boss thrusts him into the media spotlight, knowing full well that Jericho has been desperate to avoid the limelight since his wife’s unexplained disappearance ten years ago.
With the press now hounding his every move, there’s nowhere to hide.
Meanwhile, a killer, newly released from prison, resumes the bone-chilling handiwork for which he was locked away
thirty years earlier. Sinister tarot cards turn up on Jericho’s desk, each one more grotesque than its
Someone is setting him up for a neck-breaking fall.‘ – Goodreads
[Guest review by Nalisha.]
Disclaimer: Contains some explicit content of a physically and sexually violent nature.
We Are The Hanged Man is the first of the DCI Jericho series and is also the first book I have ever read by author Douglas Lindsay.
DCI Robert Jericho had spent the worst part of the last three decades eking out his existence in the smallest city in England, ‘The City of Wells’. Depression weighing heavy on his heart and haunted by ghosts of the past, Jericho wishes only to survive the rest of his days in relative anonymity. He receives The Hanged Man tarot card and is simultaneously tossed into the farce that is reality television. Jericho knows all too well; there is no such thing a coincidence.
People are disappearing, the body count is rising, and yet the show must go on – the cameras of Britain’s Got Justice and Britain’s Got More Justice almost never stop rolling. DCI Jericho has no choice but to watch helplessly as the slaughter ensues. The Hanged Man taunts him at every turn.
To all who know him, DCI Jericho has all the personality of a black-hole. He is profoundly despondent and unemotional; his go-to modus operandi appears to involve plenty of uncooperative silence, stare downs and general indifference towards himself and all humanity. Only Sergeant Haynes, the most recent of his assistants, can get close enough to Jericho without being sucked into the abyss of his depression, however, in Jericho’s absence even Haynes begins to mimic him.
Initially, I found the story slow to progress as there seemed to be much detail on the minutiae of daily life. However, Lindsay skillfully scattered many vividly horrific scenes and some unexpected affairs throughout to add to the suspense. The pace of events is hastened in the latter half of the book, culminating in destruction.
The satire on reality television and popular media through the appalling Britain’s Got Justice reality TV contest was very entertaining. There were some characters I loved to hate, such as the TV executive Claudia and contestant Cher. Others, such as Washington, the big shot TV mogul, and contestants Xav and Ando, were exceptionally vile or incredibly pathetic respectively.
On the whole, We Are The Hanged Man was an enjoyable read which kept me engaged due to its suspense-filled storyline and unusual balance of humour and horror. With so many mysteries unsolved and true motives unrevealed, Lindsay did leave me wanting to know more. I anticipate there is plenty to be discovered and explored in the next instalment of the series, We Are Death, due for release in June 2016.
I received a copy of We Are The Hanged Man from the publisher for an honest review.