The title of this mystery/thriller is a bit misleading, probably because it was based on a popular radio drama of the same name. Certainly, the main character, Walter Devereaux drives a cab, but that's not the focus of the story.
MIDNIGHT CAB is set in Toronto, Canada, and it starts with a three-year-old boy clinging to a wire fence at the side of a country road. This is Walter Devereaux; he's found and placed in a number of foster homes before he goes to live with the Devereauxs in Big River, Canada. They're an ideal family and he loves them dearly, but he feels he must go to Toronto to find his real parents. He has a letter and a picture of two little girls that he hopes will help him in his quest.
Walter has trouble finding a job but ultimately he finds work at the A.P. Cabs owned by Alphonso Piatelli, who tries to hire him off the books. His night dispatcher, Krista Papadopoulos, soon puts an end to that and a romance ensues. Oh, yeah, Krista just happens to be in a wheel chair.
A parallel story has to do with Bobby Nuremborski, a young boy who hungers for the attention of his father. Bobby will remind you of the killer in LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR. He's gay but he won't admit it; his father would never tolerate a homosexual son. Eventually the two stories intersect leading to some gripping action.
The setting of the story shifts from Toronto to Jamaica, and that's when the novel loses some of its credibility. Like Tony Hillerman, when he moves the story off the Navajo reservation, the author, James W. Nichol, needs to focus on what he knows best. The Canada sequences are believable and compelling, Jamaica not so much.
Despite these quibbles I enjoyed MIDNIGHT CAB immensely and would like to see a sequel. Krista and Walter are likeable characters and the cab company is an ideal setting for a mystery series.
Nineteen years old Walker Devereaux leaves his adopted home in Big River for Toronto, but not with the youthful vigor of living in the big city; Walker is obsessed to learn about his past starting with why his mom Lennie abandoned him on an isolated road when he was three. He has a clue from someone who apparently knew his mom; a letter that was written to Lennie from her school friend Kim that includes a picture of two girls that Walker assumes one is his mom.
In Toronto Walker obtains work driving a cab on a graveyard shift and a friend he deeply likes is wheelchair-bound dispatcher Krista Papadopoulos. Her brilliance enables Walker to follow clues that take him initially to the exclusive upper crust Forest Hill neighborhood and eventually to Jamaica. However, someone wants Walker and Krista to stop or else; perhaps that unknown culprit is the seemingly deranged Bobby Nuremborski who Walker must confront if he is to close in on the truth about what happened to his mother.
MIDNIGHT CAB is a solid suspense thriller starring two delightful lead protagonists whose banter lightens a dark tale. The prime story line is Walker's quest, but a subplot involving how crazy Bobby is will chill the audience who know that the two men will collide, but doubt whether the hero will survive. Interestingly in spite of wonderfully placed false leads and red herring missteps, fans know the altercation is coming so the suspense is somewhat muted when it does. Still James W. Nichols writes an intriguing entertaining thriller that will keep readers attention throughout.
I travel a lot in my car, so audio books are a must for me. I picked this one up at the library - and it was hard for me to turn my car off when I got to where I was going!
As you read in the summary, the book is about a 19-year-old who is trying to find out who his real parents are. He was found left by the side of the road when he was three, with only a photograph and a cryptic letter.
His hunt takes him to Toronto, where he and his new girlfriend do some detective work...and when they seem to have it all figured out, the author throws in another twist.
There is another side story in the book that takes place around the life of another teenager, but this scene is set many years beforehand.
Once the two stories meet up, everything falls into place.
This is a must-read for anyone who likes thrillers!
This book has it all ! Nichols has successfully combined warmth, hate, suspense and danger in one fascinating story. I was actually sorry when I finished it - wanted MORE (not from Midnight Cab, but from Nichols ! A boy searching for his roots couldn't ask for more adventure than Walker found. Excellent twists and turns give Walker and the reader a most entertaining reaad.
When the Midnight Cab is rolling, you can be sure that an evening's fare will lead the main character--an inquisitive young writer moonlighting as a taxi driver--with a clue to a mystery that he can't put out of his mind until it's solved. The performances center around conversations between a taxi driver and his dispatcher girlfriend in this Canadian radio series. The stories depict contemporary situations and modern conversations that entertain while leading listeners through a wide range of emotions. As a whole, the Midnight Cab series are tightly constructed mysteries with O'Henry-type surprises. These tapes are keepers!