blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: To The Grave – John Barlow

Will the truth be buried with the dead?

When DS Joe Romano first meets Ana Dobrescu she’s nervous, in serious danger, and clearly needs help. The next time Romano sees her, she’s dead.

There was nothing more he could have done, but that’s cold comfort for Romano. He’s determined to catch Ana’s killer. Although the prime suspect, her millionaire boyfriend, is in a coma.

With the help of his larger-than-life partner Rita Scannon-Aktar, Romano begins to piece together a puzzle that places Ana at the centre of something much bigger than they could have imagined.

But while they’re hunting a murderer, those higher up are more concerned about the money. So it’s up to Romano to get justice for Ana. And whatever she knew, he’ll just have to pray that she didn’t take her secrets to the grave.

My thoughts: from what looks like a simple pub fight on the surface, to murder, people trafficking, exploitation and dodgy financial dealings in the small town of Batley, Yorkshire.

DS Romano, himself the grandson of immigrants, is sensitive to the plight of a group of trafficked Romanians, stripped of their passports and forced into horrible jobs for little to no pay, living in squalor. But Ana had a plan to help them, can Romano and his team unravel all the threads in this gritty and dark thriller?

I liked Romano, even if he really could use a clean suit and a good night’s sleep, he’s very determined and forges on even when he’s told that Ana’s death is “probably a domestic”, he knows there’s more to it than that and he won’t rest till he’s helped the same people Ana wanted to. I liked his partner in solving crime, Rita, not your stereotypical copper, and her no nonsense, take no prisoners attitude too, she was good fun.

The case felt timely and real – Brexit may well mean more people trafficking as it’s harder for migrant workers to come into the country legally to do the work Brits don’t want to do, some unscrupulous individuals will take advantage wherever they can. Hopefully the real DS Romano’s out there will put a stop to them.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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