“Problem with moving into a new body, you never quite know where it’s been.”
Touch is the second novel by British author, Claire North. The entity known to his/her/its enemies as Kepler has been around for quite some time. And Kepler is not the only entity of this type: a ghost who can move from body to body by touch. Carefully done, this can happen with minimal disruption to lives; of course, long term hosts will find their lives much changed, although Kepler tries to leave them significantly better off. But just as Kepler is settling into a mutually beneficial arrangement with Josephine Cebula, she is shot and killed in a Turkish Metro station, by a gunman who is clearly watching for where Kepler will go next. Who is trying to kill Kepler, and why?
This is a fast-paced thriller that spans over two centuries, and at least three continents. The plot is highly original, taking several turns before reaching a spectacular climax at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. North gives the reader characters who will charm or, in some cases repulse. Their flaws and foibles are realistic and may well have the reader wondering about their own reaction to this sort of immortality. Their dialogue is natural, and the banter between Coyle and Kepler is often snappy and amusing. North gives a whole new meaning to the concept of “estate agent”, and her description of the chase through the museum conjures the image of a Mexican wave. This latest offering by Claire North is clever and often funny, and readers who enjoyed The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August will not be disappointed. Quite brilliant!
With thanks to Hachette and TheReadingRoom for my copy to read and review.