Doppelganger by Geoffrey West is the second novel in the Jack Lockwood series but it can also be enjoyed as a standalone read. From the very first page, West grabs the reader and takes us on a compelling journey of mysterious twists and turns before giving us a rather satisfying albeit not predictable ending.
The novel sees Jack Lockwood, Behavioural Investigative Advisor and successful true crime author, mired in a world of serial killers and vicious gangsters. The story, whilst being a fun, exciting yarn, also raises important, philosophical questions such, as are people capable of change and are some crimes so heinous they should never be forgiven? The plot is both clever and intriguing and the reader is never sure which direction events might take next.
For me though, the heart of the story is Jack Lockwood in whom West has created a believable, flawed and thoroughly engaging character. He is a lovable mix of unyielding toughness and naive gentleness. Jack wants nothing more than to settle down with the girl of his dreams and sees every woman as his potential life partner. There is lots of ironic humour when we see the other characters far more realistically than Jack does and we have to wait for him to catch up.
Despite his fatal flaw of an overly optimistic belief in people, especially women, Jack has a shrewd awareness of human behaviour. My favourite thing about Jack is when he acknowledges the failings of the human race but likes us anyway. This I think is down to West's own observational humour and his skill as a writer which allows him to create a world which is exciting, believable and best of all utterly entertaining.