Author – Lee Weeks
Published – Dec 2012
Genre – Crime fiction
I chose this book from my TBR pile as when better to read a book set in winter than January. Weeks isn’t an author I have come across before but she has already published four crime titles, this one being a departure from the series she has been writing.
The book got off to a great start. There was no long introduction, it was straight into the action and the discovery of a woman’s body at a recently abandoned house. The initial results of the police investigation yield one important clue – a link to a cold-case from 13 years earlier. This was the brutal murder of a policeman’s wife and daughter and a female friend. Some of those involved in the original investigation are now in positions of authority and are reluctant to re-open this case and risk uncovering their past failures.
Rather than being a standard police procedural this is more of a “crime thriller” with the reader also entering the world of Callum Carmichael, the ex-policeman who some thought could have been responsible for the earlier murders. He is determined to take his revenge and manages to outsmart his ex-colleagues. This is a gruesome book with some unpleasantly graphic scenes – many of them involving Carmichael!
I liked the characters of the two main Police investigators and it made a nice change that in a pairing of a male and female officer there was no sexual tension. What a relief! DC Ebony Willis is a relative newcomer to the team and this is her first murder case. She has the traditional “dark past” although it’s not a secret, it is, however, something that colours her relationships and view of the world. She’s partnered with DS Dan Carter, something of a lothario, but with a pregnant girlfriend and worries of his own. I’ve seen conflicting opinions in other reviews about how well that characters are drawn, but for me they felt lifelike without too much of the angst and navel gazing that some authors can overdo.
There are multiple points of view and in some cases we learn things from the villains or victims which I would have preferred the investigation to uncover.
I was disappointed that in the latter half of the book the plot and the editing seemed to deteriorate. I am used to reading the occasional proof copy and understand that there will be odd errors, but this wasn’t a proof and there were some glaring errors in both the text and the plot. In hindsight I also wonder if there were proper plot holes and technical errors in the police procedures. I’m not normally fussed by the detail but there were a few moments which made me go “really – they did that?”. These niggles disturb the flow and remind you that you’re reading a book!
Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy of this book. You can see another review of this title at Emma Lee’s Blog. Let down by some glitches towards the end what started out as a 4 star read ended up with a more moderate 3 stars.
Score – 3/5