Friday 7 April 2023

The Messenger by Megan Davis BLOG TOUR #TheMessenger @MeganDavis931 @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview


Wealthy and privileged, Alex has an easy path to success in the Parisian elite his father mingles with. But the two have never seen eye to eye. Desperate to escape the increasingly suffocating atmosphere of their apartment, Alex seeks freedom on the streets of Paris where his new-found friend Sami teaches him how to survive. But everything has a price - and one night of rebellion changes their lives forever.

A simple plan to steal money takes a sinister turn when Alex's father is found dead. Despite protesting their innocence, both boys are imprisoned for murder. Seven years later Alex is released from prison with a single purpose: to discover who really killed his father. Yet as he searches for answers and atones for the sins of his past, Alex uncovers a disturbing truth with far-reaching consequences.

Playing out against a backdrop of corruption, fake news and civil unrest, The Messenger exposes the gritty reality of a changing city through one son's journey to redemption and the truth.

The Messenger by Megan Davis was published on 30 March 2023 by Zaffre Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Compulsive Readers Blog Tour, organised by Tracy Fenton. 

The Messenger is an intense read. It's classed as a thriller and certainly has all of the elements of one. However, it really is much more than that too. The author takes a city that is known to be a city of light, full of wealth and glamour, fashion and fun and reveals the underworld that is hidden from the sight of tourists.  Add in the development of the main character and you have a read that is complex, informing and intriguing. 

We are introduced to Alex who has just been released from a seven year prison sentence. He has a parole officer and is living in a run-down hostel. Alex was convicted of the murder of his father, his co-defendant was his older friend Sami. Sami received a twenty-five year sentence for the killing; he was older and during the trial Alex maintained that it was Sami who was the actual murderer. 

Alex doesn't believe that his father was dead when he and Sami left him that night. They'd intended to steal money, not to kill and he is certain that someone else is guilty of the murder. Determined to discover what his father was working on at the time of his death, he finds himself immersed in the darker side of Paris.  The reader is also exposed to the poverty, the dangerous sex, and the terrors found within the immigrant camps of the city. 

I enjoyed the dual time line of The Messenger. We learn about Alex as a young boy, struggling to deal with an absent mother and a father who is overbearing and very controlling. We understand how he finds himself involved in criminal activities and although he makes some very bad decisions, we cannot help but want him to succeed. 

This is a complex and detailed plot, often straying into very uncomfortable areas, yet always very believable and real. Megan Davies writes with authority and flair, her depictions of the darker side of Paris and her handling of conspiracy and criminality are very well portrayed. 

An intelligent thriller, something a little different and an intriguing read to boot. 

Megan Davis was born in Australia and grew up in mining towns across the world. 

She has worked in the film industry and her credits include 
AtonementIn BrugesPride and Prejudice and the Bourne films. 
Megan is also a lawyer and is currently an associate at Spotlight on Corruption. 
She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. 

Her debut The Messenger won the Bridport Prize for a First Novel in 2018, judged by Kamila Shamsie, as well as the Lucy Cavendish Prize for unpublished writers in 2021. 

She has lived in many places, including France for a number of years, but now lives in London.

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