Archer is your typical loner cop, physically scarred, ex-Met. Her sidekick Baines is in a relationship with his ex-wife's twin sister after the death of his ex-wife and the disappearance of his two year old son whose ghost he keeps on seeing.
A teenage reformed gang leader and a man with three identities are gunned down together. Then the National Crime Agency step in and order all the files to be transferred to them. But the deaths haven't stopped.
There are some elements of this mystery that had me gripped. The author cleverly builds up the hints and clues. As is typical of the modern form of this genre we rose to a whodunnit climax at the half way point and then resolved much of the mystery at which point the tale turned into a thriller. This always disappoints me. I find the tension of not knowing what is happening more thrilling than that of guns and chases and so on. Perhaps that is just me. I know how popular this form is now. But I measured how engaged I was by how gripped I was: Having read the first hundred pages and then been obliged to put the book down I found myself really keen to get back to it. I then devoured it up to the point where the criminal mastermind is introduced and then slowed down. I was happy to put it aside for the last few chapters and return to it the next day.
Some great lines:
- "grill him until his skin bubbled" (p 16)
- "At least the half-dead furniture that used to sit scattered about in the communal area at the front had been tidied up" (p 27)
- "The guy polishing glasses behind the bar was muscled to grotesque proportions" (p 52)
- "Blood might be thicker than water, but it could still be spilled." (p 154)
- "He was a fry or two short of a Happy Meal" (p 189)
- "You might as well cut yourself and then go swimming with sharks." (p 190)
May 2018; 288 pages