Thursday, 28 July 2016

A great new British author to keep an eye on

Introducing DCI Sophie Allen in an exciting new detective series that will have you gripped from start to heart-stopping finish.

A young woman's body is discovered on a seserted footpath in a Dorset seaside town late on a cold November night.  She has been stabbed through the heart.

It seems like a simple crime for DCI Sophie Allen and her team to solve.  But not when the victim's mother is found strangled the next morning.  The case grows more complex as DCI Sophie Allen discovers that the victims had secret histories, involving violence and intimidation.  There's an obvious suspect but Detective Allen isn't convinced.  Could someone else be lurking in the shadows. someone savagely violent, looking for a warped revenge?

Michael Hambling is a new author to me as this is a new series.  A UK author, a likeable detective, and a South West Coast of England setting.  There is just something about UK authors that strikes a chord with me and it is so good that they are coming more to the fore.  My only question is ‘Why has it taken so long for these UK authors to make a dent in a previously US dominated field?

The beginning of this novel is rather brutal (which I love) and does not let-up until the last page.

The plot is well written – and although the reader does not know who did what until the end, seemingly unlinked murders have a sole protagonist.

It is lovely to see a strong driven lady lead, who is not too damaged and un-intimidating – unless the occasions required it.  She stands up for her team who she can manage with an iron hand should the occasion arise.  Yet her main mission is seeking the truth and blast the politics.  The secondary members of the team all have their own foibles and enhance the main character adding contrast not just to her but also to the story as a whole; making rounded secondary characters. In sort all the characters are believable with their own traits that that make them personable and relateable. 

The police procedures seem to be well researched and there is painstaking detail so much so that although there is some repetition it all seems natural in the grand scheme of things.  No matter what the story shows the links seem to be tentative at best yet the detective shows her worth, and indeed why she is a DCI.

The storyline is well paced and well plotted and quite complex with many a twist and turn to keep the reader guessing until the end.

One pet peeve of mine is that UK authors have to revert to Americanisms to sell their books.  Be strong and stick to what you know.

So if you love a complex, character driven police procedural novel you can’t go far wrong with this one.  I will definitely be on the look-out for more books by this author. 

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to provide an honest review of this novel which in this case is 4 stars.

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