When Ted’s beloved girlfriend Jessie disappears from the face of the earth, he is at a loss. But when he becomes determined to find her, no matter the cost, help is at hand, ready to lead him in the right direction – for the right price, anyway.
As Ted sets off on his journey, we meet a cast of other characters away from the Ted, and as the novel progresses, we start to see how their lives tie in with Ted’s. The characters can be, admittedly, quite vile, but that doesn’t detract from the story. Yardley pulls you along, tugging you with the characters and revealing information to make you question almost everything you think you know. As Jack gives Ted small pieces of the larger puzzle, we get them too, as lost as he is until the novel ramps up towards its climax.
My only gripe with the novel was in a certain reveal, one the characters know about but the readers are left in the dark with. It’s tricky to pull off, but personally I felt that though very small hints were there, it wasn’t quite enough to guide the reader in the right direction.
That aside, The Deal Maker is a gory, violent book that will keep readers engaged right until the very satisfying ending, and the grotesque, mismatched Jack – the Deal Maker of the title – is a character who, I think, will remain with readers, long after they’ve put the book down.
4/5 – Elle Turpitt