Aloysius Tempo | Book Review

Aloysius Tempo | Book Review

Author: Jason Johnson

Publisher: Liberties Press

IT’S ALWAYS nice to have the first chapter of a book fly in. And with Northern Ireland’s Jason Johnson’s fourth novel, the pace from the start to the finish is break-neck. In a weaving plot including the CIA, MI5, assassinations, paedophilic priests, questionable accidents and a thrilling car-chase, what you have is a good thriller. But all the above do not catch the imagination as much as our protagonist, Aloysius.

In this first person internal monologue, we are invited into a maze of a mind of a small time paparazzo with a chilling secret and a willingness to go that extra crucial step. On the other hand, Johnson’s pen shows the reader another, more obliging and easy to understand side. Or, should that be sides? Brett Easton Elis’s American Psycho was hard to like, to empathise with; Aloysius is a different fish. A past is hinted at, a promise made to reveal no more is broken as we walk behind the fish-eye lens revealing the little details that make an individual intriguing. There’s humanity in his observant, introverted idiosyncrasies, even if the ‘Hard Solve’ is part of the equation.

The ending is pure cliff-hanger, with the jury out. I know after reading this I’ll be back-tracking Johnson’s earlier works, and I imagine, so will you.

Conor O’Neill


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