A serial killer is murdering and mutilating women in the streets of London, circa 1980s, and the detectives can't uncover any clues. Jeremy Miller, a young and ambitious journalist, wishes he was covering the story. Instead, he is stuck with disabled teenagers and elderly physics. But when his stories begin to converge with the murder investigation, Jeremy is afraid that his own life might be in danger.
"There is one word guaranteed to make any journalist reach for the wooden cross or the clove of garlic. It is rarely spoken in any newspaper office, as if it carries some mystical power and will cling to the walls like dry rot.
The history of modern journalism has been a crusade to wipe the world from reality. A woman who raises her children well, despite the harshness of a life of poverty, becomes a 'supermum'. The pensioner who tackles the post-office robber is a 'have-a-go-hero'.
In the world of headlines, all of life's potent dramas are played out by special, and interesting, people."
Apparently, Rhyming Rings is an auto-biography of sorts, based on Gemmell's own experience as a journalist. Although a fairly short story, it's more than enough to delve into social problems that plagued London almost four decades ago, such as poverty, homophobia and racial tension. The story-line is intriguing and well-worked out, and the result of that is a thriller equal to the works of Thomas Harris and Dan Brown. Gemmell didn't try to modernize the story (no mobile phones, no internet), therefore avoiding to use effortless plot devices, and that worked out pretty well, giving an enjoyable historical aura to the novel. All in all, Rhyming Rings is an amazing read, and I recommend it to everyone, regardless their preferred genre.
In the ARC that I received from the publisher (but probably in all other formats as well)an introduction from Conn Iggulden, who's a big Gemmell fan, was included, as well an afterword from Stan Nicholls, a close friend of Gemmell's, and one of my favorite authors. Although the intro was interesting and informative, it was the afterword that brought tears in my eyes. I hope Gemmell's legacy will live for ever through his work, and the David Gemmell Fantasy Αwards.