I do love a police procedural, so it’s always good to find a new series to get into, albeit one still in its infancy. Even better, these two novels are set in my hometown of Sheffield and recognising locations used gives an extra element of interest for me.
The first book, the debut novel for this author, begins with a body discovered bricked up in the walls of a house, turning a years old missing persons enquiry into a murder case for the Cold Case Review Unit, presenting an opportunity for the main character to resurrect his stagnating career. Early on, he realises he is hopelessly compromised in this case, but presses on regardless of the consequences. Meanwhile, a series of arson attacks plague the area and a cryptic blog taunts the police. Want more – a sinister series of notes are sent to an elderly lady about a secret she is keeping. Alas the dementia that ravages her mind means she’s unable to remember what the secret is! A strong cast of characters are introduced in this gripping tale, which also takes a look, with a cleverly light touch, at bigotry and institutionalised racism within the police force. A super debut effort.
The sequel, Nighthawking, continues and develops the story of the main protagonists. The title refers to the practice of searching for buried treasure under cover of darkness, but one such expedition leads to a body being uncovered in the city’s Botanical Gardens – another case for the same investigative unit. Multiple plot lines intertwine – a hoard of valuable ancient Roman coins, some rare plants, a Mr Big of the local crime scene and the mystery of what really happened to the lead character’s father, all come together to create an explosive and unexpected climax. This is certainly a worthy successor to Firewatching, and bodes well for the next books in the series.
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Police procedurals, mysteries.
One thing you’ve learned
I can’t decide which of these two novels I like the most, so I’ll settle for saying they are both very good indeed – I’m already eagerly awaiting the third instalment to see where the author goes next with this storyline.