After a book signing University Professor David Ryan has a drunken one night stand, which turns into an affair. He thinks no one knows but when he is given incriminating photographs in an attempt to blackmail him he panics and events conspire to put him in the middle of of a murder inquiry. In a strange twist of fate he befriends his blackmailer in an attempt to find out the truth. The pair find themselves embroiled in Dublin’s seedy underworld and the ‘dark web’, a world of violence, secrets and danger that make them question just who they can trust.
After the Affair is an accomplished debut novel from Jonathan Kaye. It is a fast paced, gritty, dark thriller with an opening chapter that will shock and grab your attention. Kaye’s writing is engaging, captivating, and erudite. The plot moves quickly whilst at the same time drip feeding details to keep you guessing , with each revelation you never know where the plot is going and what you thought you knew is turned on its head. By the time I got to the end of the book I felt I’d been on a rollercoaster ride and I definitely didn’t see how it would end.
The two main characters, Ryan and Hayes, his blackmailer, are polar opposites. Ryan is a family man, although his marriage is now in trouble after the affair. He teaches English at Dublin University and is a published author. In contrast Hayes was part of Ryan’s blackmail attempt. He is a small time con-man, and hacker who frequently breaks the law. I really enjoyed the interaction between these two characters, there is a sense of verisimilitude in their interaction, with no awkwardness and they complimented each other in the investigations. A brilliant pairing from Kaye, I’d like to see the come back in another book.
To coin a cliche this book really is a ‘page turner’ . It has the plot and writing of an experienced author. After the Affair is a tense, chilling and twisted story that will take your breath away, it is simply brilliant.