Nick Newman used to be a City trader but now he shines shoes in a busy London train station for a living. He was happy with his lot until Kay Talbot and her husband, Lee enter his life. When Kay employs Nick to carry out an unusual task his world steadily becomes more complicated and when he stumbles upon a nasty conspiracy things get deadly.
This is a good, solid debut from Knaggs. It’s pretty well written with a decent small set of characters that play out their anguished lives during Know Your Place. Talking of place, London, its busy concourse and the relatively hectic pace of life is well drawn, a major strength. Nick’s shoeshine oasis is an interesting contrast. The dialogue is pretty good too.
I hesitate to be critical of it simply because it’s not my type of book. Fundamentally, it’s about relationships – Kay is in an unhappy marriage, whilst Nick is happy with his girlfriend, Justine. But Kay cannot help herself and embarks upon several destructive relationships. There are periods of introspection whilst Kay and Nick examine their respective situations. Again, I’m not saying this is wrong.
The conspiracy is only alluded to and doesn’t seriously come into play until the final chapters. This is particularly well written and creates good tension. The hanging ending is pleasing and leaves plenty of questions for a sequel.
I’d certainly recommend it and, on the evidence of Know Your Place, Knaggs is likely to deliver in the future too.
Originally published on Books & Pals blog.
Rating? Three Stars
Would add this to my bookshelf? Yes