Funicular – TF Lince (Reviewed by Melanie Lewis)

I am delighted to welcome Melanie Lewis to Compulsive Readers as a guest reviewer.  Melanie has been part of the admin team on THE Book Club for a few years and also runs the extremely successful spin-off group TBC Audible ListenersWhen Mel isn’t listening to audio books and running the facebook group she can be found whizzing up and down her high street with her 3 dogs.  Mel describes herself as a trophy wife, if trophy wives were old, fat and irritable.  She loves to read but she adores listening to audio books. Actually, she just likes walking around with her earphones in so she doesn’t have to engage with other humans. Mel also takes the credit for inventing new words connected to audio listening, “speakos” to replace typos and eargasms for when the narrator’s voice is like being licked with a soft, warm tongue. 


A detective mystery with strange supernatural elements allowing not even the past to be trusted, full of intrigue and mystery, an urban fantasy, a crime thriller that will mess with your mind. Not your run a of the mill police procedural. Blurb below…

After his life is threatened, DI Bob Dixon leaves London hoping for the quiet life in the northern village of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. But when he takes on the case of young Lizzy Scraggs, missing since a huge tide hit Saltburn six years earlier, he embarks on an investigation that will push him to the very edge of reason.

Out on the beat, Bob learns the legend of the funicular car that left the top of Saltburn’s famous cliff lift many years ago carrying two passengers, and arrived at the bottom empty save for an abandoned ticket. And every big tide since has seen another local child disappear.

Feeling increasingly manipulated by a shadowy nemesis, Bob struggles to make sense of the seemingly impossible clues before him. How can the dead live again? Who is the tortured man haunting the churchyard in nearby Marske? And with the next massive tide just hours away, can Bob solve the puzzle and bring an end to the tragedy of Saltburn’s missing children?


Trev Lince originates from Marske-by-the-Sea on the North East coast of England, but now lives in Darlington with his wife, Claire.

Their daughter, Annie, is a very good guitarist and is setting up a band, playing every pub in the North East that she can. She’s so rock and roll, living the dream while her father is approaching his mid-life crisis.

A keen golfer and frustrated Middlesbrough FC fan, Trev gets to as many matches as work and leisure time allow. He writes in what little spare time he has, when not working as a IT Consultant for a major oil company in Surrey.


If, whilst listening to Funicular, I’d gone out and bumped into myself having coffee with Elvis, Lord Lucan and Shergar, the only thing that would have surprised me would have been the fact that I don’t drink coffee!

T. F. Lince takes a missing person’s case and turns it upside down and inside out. Just as you start to think you’ve got a handle on what’s going on, he throws a new weirdness into the mix and you’re forced to re-calibrate your brain and everything you thought you ever knew becomes increasingly irrelevant. Then, when reflecting on the story you realise how far Mr Lince has taken you. I was all like, “Right, so the moon is made of green cheese, that’s a given; but now the sun is made of coco-pops”. And all the weird becomes more and more acceptable, fitting right into the plot as if these kind of things happen all the time.

Confused? Absolutely not! The tale is top notch, extremely clever and totally compelling. I was transfixed the entire time and very relieved I got through the whole book without the top of my head blowing off.

Narration by Jade McLean was spot on as it was a very laid back and calm performance, which contrasted perfectly with the crazy of the story. This was an entirely unique and quirky take on a plot line that has been written to death, refreshing and invigorating in the telling. I do wonder what goes on in Mr Lince’s head that he can create such a tale, whilst at the same time waiting with baited breath for the next one.

I am definitely recommending this book, but buckle up and put on a crash helmet for your own safety. You can thank me later

Melanie’s Star Rating:


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