Taking Pity – David Mark

Title – Taking Pity

Author – David Mark

Published – July 2015

Genre – Crime fiction

This is the fourth in the Aector McAvoy series and it feels as if this is the book that brings the long story arc about the gang of criminals attempting to take over all the organised crime in Hull and beyond into sharp focus.

If you’ve read any of Mark’s previous titles, in particular Sorrow Bound which ended on a cliff-hanger, you’ll hopefully appreciate my attempts to avoid spoilers!

The police team which featured so prominently in the previous titles is now fractured as its members all deal individually with the fallout from the activities of the ruthless ‘Headhunters’ gang. This isolates the characters and pushes some of them outside the boundaries in which, as part of the investigating team, they had been operating. There are some surprises and twists as we find out a little more about some of McAvoy’s colleagues.

McAvoy himself has been on an enforced break and Pharaoh ‘takes pity’ on him and offers him the opportunity to carry out a routine review of an old case. Of course nothing he turns his hand to is ever routine and he can’t leave well alone, so what should be a straight-forward box-ticking exercise leads him to undertake his own full-scale investigation. In the meantime Colin Ray is trying to track down the omniscient man behind the menacing mobile phone calls he’s been receiving and Pharaoh has her hands full pursuing the Headhunters and becomes embroiled in the efforts of some old-fashioned criminals who want to see the back of them.

As we’ve come to expect from Mark there are numerous plots and you need to keep your wits about you and pay attention. There’s no waste in his books – every word is important, every action, every character comes into their own. What I missed in this book, though, was the importance of his relationship with Roisin (McCoy’s wife) who has such an influence on him.

I can thoroughly recommend this series, but if you read this without at least reading Sorrow Bound first then you might feel at a disadvantage.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. You can see another point of view at Crime Fiction Lover.



  1. A bit miffed that I didn’t manage to snag a review copy of this one. I loved the first three and am glad the fourth maintains the standard. Despite the at-times grim content, these are cracking books. Looking forward to the paperback version.

  2. I’m nearly finished this – my first, although I have Dark Winter, I thought for review purposes I’d dive in. I love it. Complex, but not a hole in the plot (so far!) In fact I’m off to finish the last 50 pages…

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