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==Synopsis of the book:==
After MP Jason Giddings body is discovered dismembered in a local park DCI Derek Harmsworth and his assistant DI John Gray are brought in to solve this high profile murder. Things continue to go badly wrong in connection with this case when this highly respected and close to retirement DCI is found dead having driven his car of a known blind spot onto a motorway below. Everyone with the exception of his DI believe this is a very unfortunate accident,as his body is full of alcohol. However his faithful assistant is adamant that he would never drink while involved in such an important case and never drive afterwards.
As soon as DI Gray starts investigating both cases he is found dead too in his flat as it appears he interrupted an intruder. Patrick Gillard an ex-MI5 officer and now a member of SOCA and his partner and wife Ingrid are brought in to access if there are any further risks to the Police. As they start in to investigate they find others are doing likewise and trying to resolve these murders. But are they all murders? And are they all linked somehow to the MP? Gillard and Ingrid Langley must find out without putting anyone else including themselves at risk.
==My thoughts on this novel:==
I really had such high hopes when I found this novel at a car boot sale recently. To start with I love Police related investigations of which this was one. But the main reason I couldn't wait to read this one was its brilliant title. I thought that was a master stroke and it certainly conjured up in my mind many exciting and possibilities, as I really enjoy an intense and cleverly written investigation where there solutions are deviously well thought out.
However that for me was as good as it got. I thought this was a very poor piece of fiction. And while I could say as per normal I didn't help myself by reading the 11th book in a series that already contains 14 books. This for me does not explain the fact I found this story very difficult to believe in and harder still to follow and understand. I think the only thing that kept me going was that I knew it was only 217 pages long and it must get better but sadly it did not.
So lets start back at the beginning. Once I purchased this hardback version that set me back a whole pound, I discovered later it was not available in paperback version. First I looked at the summary of the story on the inside cover. This sounded very interesting to me with the death of the MP plus the two investigating officers dyeing in unusual circumstances. It was two action packed paragraphs long and had some good concepts that the story would be based upon.
The start of the story had an unusual feel to it as it started with an epitaph that dealt with the deaths of the two Police officers after the MP had been brutally killed and introduced Patrick and Ingrid to the story. This all happened within eight pages and I found myself immediately with too much information to deal with and remember everything. I would have liked a slower introduction and as a result I felt I knew little background about the case or the investigating officers, but I was sure this would be correctly when the first chapter began.
The story I found confusing because there where Police Officers not involved in the case but still involved in it if you take my meaning. And while I understand that different departments may investigate different cases and even not necessarily work together. I found myself confused about who was on whose side and why were they almost working against each other. For me this was resolved but I thought the author could have written this in a clearer way as it appeared it was every person within the Police force for themselves.
The pace of the story was good and there was always some action to get your teeth into. And it did surprise me both in a good way and a bad way the way it was full of unexpected and expected twists and turns. Some where good and genuinely impressed me while others where signposted the whole way along.
And while the pace was exciting and fast towards the end I thought the concluding chapter was disappointing. Without wanting to give too much away for me all the excitement preceded the last chapter which was a damp squib and for my money produced a solution that was disappointing and lacked imagination.
For me a good Detective investigation is as much about the officers as the crime itself. Sadly I found I could not really relate to the husband and wife team. It was all too cosy, there was no edge to their work together. Again I may not have helped myself by picking a later book in the series but I found I knew little about them and I disliked their 'lovey dovey' approach to each other. As a result I preferred the scenes when they were working separately as for me this was when I learnt a little more about them both. But never did I feel I knew them or was comfortable with them being the main characters in the story.
For me this was a story that promised a lot in respect to its title and its concepts but failed miserably to live up to them. I thought the two lead characters where very disappointing and the story while at times quite cleverly thought out was confusing and difficult to remember who was on whose side. On this form I would definitely not recommend this and feel it is one of the poorer Detective stories I have read.
Thanks for reading.
© CPTDANIELS January 2011.