How far would you go?
The murder of a promising footballer, son of Brighton’s highest-ranking police officer, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.
Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.
GRAHAM BARTLETT was a police officer for thirty years and is now a bestselling writer. He rose to become chief superintendent of the Brighton and Hove force as well as its police commander. He entered the Sunday Times Top Ten with
his first non-fiction book, Death Comes Knocking – Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton in 2016. He followed that up in 2020 with
another non-fiction book, Babes in the Wood, the harrowing 32-year fight to bring a double child killer to justice. Both these
books he co-wrote with international best seller, Peter James.
As well as writing, Bartlett is a police procedural and crime advisor helping scores of authors and TV writers (including Peter James, Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz, Ruth Ware, Claire McGowan and Dorothy Koomson) achieve authenticity in their drama.
My thoughts: this was a really interesting police procedural written by a former cop turned advisor to writers of crime fiction. So he knows what he’s talking about.
Politics, budgeting and police cuts all play into the chaos of Sussex’s force trying to solve murders, prevent further deaths, deal with a rise in vigilantes and try to find out why so many missing persons are suspects in various crimes around Brighton and Hove.
Jo Howe is left trying to keep things together and stay on top of this extra crime wave, with about four officers to handle everything, and even then some of them can’t be trusted. Her former lover, and boss, Phil, quits after his son is murdered, making Jo’s life just that bit more complicated.
Then there’s this odd civilian security force that seems to have come from nowhere, getting awarded a huge contract to “help” the police, but are they connected to the vigilante behaviour?
This is a really clever, twisting book, just when you think you’ve got things figured out, there’s another twist or red herring in the way. The plot unfolds at near breakneck speed, speeding up as events start to collide and spin out of control. As characters start to crack under pressure and shocking new information comes to light, Jo and Phil head into a final confrontation with long reaching repercussions. Highly enjoyable.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own