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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
There are mystery/detective thrillers that move straight and sure and true, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there are others more mysterious than thrilling, more psychological than active, and more nuanced than generic. One Night Only by G.P. Ritchie is a wonderful example of the second. This truly intriguing novel is categorical only because the plot involves a detective solving a mystery. Any presumption you have, however, about how that plot unfolds, should be immediately tossed out the predictive window. What is happening, after all, during that surrealistic scene beneath the streets of Edinburgh? What does an everyday medium have to do with several unsolved murders? Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of this multi-layered tapestry is the subtlety with which Mr. Ritchie weaves his unusual but distinctly interlaced pattern. Nothing too straight and sure and true. Something much more pleasing – a story to make you think.
Detective Andy Lorimar makes for a tenacious, socially awkward, highly likable protagonist in G.P. Ritchie’s One Night Only. The Scottish locale as revealed by its Scottish author allows for a delightfully foreign accent when applied to the basic style of a highly popular genre. This and the decidedly unique plot elements introduced by Ritchie create a wonderfully unsettled ambiance as Detective Lorimar attempts his normal, straightforward approach to crime-solving, and soon the would-be hero is infected with abnormal self-doubt and uncertainty about his abilities and his conclusions. All of this, brilliantly understated, makes for a deeply human medium in which to explore an alternate world of venality, arrogance, and pathological violence. Well done!