“Russell Hill positively hits the mark.”
There’s a touch of the old mixed in with the present in this fast moving novel. Deadly Negatives hooked me right away when the protagonist, Michael McSwain, ventured into a camera shop specializing in old film loaded cameras. Unless you’re a baby boomer, you probably haven’t had much exposure to 35mm cameras. Those of us who took thousands of photos with these cameras will experience delicious déjà vu.
McSwain doesn’t realize he’s gotten himself into a lose-lose situation until it’s too late. He buys an old camera and discovers a strip of negatives secreted away in the camera’s box. After questioning the former camera owner about the negatives, he discovers the images contained on the filmstrip can potentially destroy the life of a very important person.
It soon becomes evident to the people seeking the negatives that McSwain has them. Once the word is out, McSwain goes on the run, and along the way encounters some very interesting people.
Deadly Negatives is a well-written mystery with plenty of action and suspense. The author pulls no punches in describing the demise of several individuals, but doesn’t go overboard describing violent scenes—very realistic, not gratuitous.
Plus Russell Hill writes concisely. His chapters are short, his sentence structure tight, and his pacing rapid—making for a quick, enjoyable read.
The ending was satisfying, although another twist to the story would have added a welcome layer of intrigue and satisfaction. Deadly Negatives and its characters would make for quite an interesting movie.
Russell Hill positively hits the mark.