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Nameless Night    by G. M. Ford order for
Nameless Night
by G. M. Ford
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With Nameless Night, author G. M. Ford has put aside his acclaimed Frank Corso and Leo Waterman series, hopefully for only a moment, to offer an extremely fast-paced thriller that will keep readers flipping pages turning at breakneck speed.

Paul Hardy was found severely injured in a railroad car. For seven years, he has been a ward of the state, unable to function without supervision. After being hit by a car, he recovers to find he has a memory though he still doesn't know who he is. A name fills his mind. An Internet search on that name brings the FBI to his doorstep and sets him on the run. It's hard to believe the FBI are truly as uncaring, dictatorial, brutal and arrogant as they are depicted to be here. Or am I being extremely naive?

During his flight from the FBI, Hardy drives cross country to what he feels is the right destination - Florida. He's sure that he was somehow involved with NASA. Along the way, he has encounters with unusual but devastatingly interesting characters - some you'd love to love and others you wouldn't want to meet in an alley in the daylight, let alone an alley in the dark of night. From Ford's remarkable descriptions of the places where Hardy finds himself, it's easy to place the characters in these settings. And I'm sorry we won't be seeing the young boy Acey again as he was a complete delight.

Nameless Night is a wonderful story from a writer who has a tight grasp on his talent and is willing to share it with us.

2nd Review by Hilary Williamson (Rating:2):

Writers in all genres are often hard on their heroes - but it's difficult to imagine one starting off more down and out than Paul Hardy in G. M. Ford's unusual thriller, Nameless Night. Found with horrific injuries (and resultant brain damage) in a railroad car - looking 'like somebody had crushed the front of his skull with a crowbar' - he has spent the last seven years in Harmony House, 'a long-term residential facility for physically and developmentally challenged adults.'

What changes? Paul is injured again, saving a fellow resident from being hit by a car. Though he dies three times, he lives to benefit from plastic surgery paid for by the software tycoon driver of the car that ran over him. The meticulous craniofacial surgery corrects some of the original damage, so that Paul essentially becomes aware once more, regaining the abilities that had been suppressed for so long - and remembering a name, that of Wesley Allen Howard.

After an Internet search on that name brings the FBI thundering into Harmony House, in a shockingly heavy handed manner that ignores residents' basic rights, Paul escapes and embarks south towards Florida on a quest to find out who he is. Along the way and with the FBI in close pursuit, he rescues a young woman named Alma and delivers her back to her family and fiancÚ, earning their aid in return. He also helps an engaging street kid named Acey who rides with him for a while. And sympathetic assistant DA Kirsten Kane weighs in on the side of the angels.

Paul wants to uncover the truth, but ruthless people in high places have careers at stake and will do whatever it takes to protect themselves. Ultimately, he comes full circle to Harmony House, whose residents enthusiastically welcome New Face Paul back. Of course, the villains converge there too, leading to a highly satisfying ending facilitated by the most ornery member of Harmony House. If you're looking for something very different in a thriller, you won't regret reading Nameless Night.

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