With a reputation for solving bizarre murders Detective Inspector Jonah Pennance, recently transferred to the National Crime Agency, is brought in to investigate the mysterious death of celebrity fund manager, Grady Carnegie – choked to death, then his body arranged and ready for a wake.
Then a second corpse turns up under identical circumstances – that of washed-up investigative reporter, Stan Thewlis. But how are the two men connected?
Soon, Pennance’s partner, Sergeant Simone Smithson, comes under suspicion for the deaths – the evidence seems overwhelming. To save her Pennance must determine what role the shadowy organisation Blackthorn plays and who is in the background, pulling all the strings…Buy
Keith Nixon is the best-selling author of sixteen novels and one million words in print, including the Margate based Solomon Gray series of over 250,000 copies in circulation and reached no.1 on Amazon in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Keith lived near the gritty seaside town of Margate, where many of his novels are based, for 17 years before relocating to the edge of the Peak District with his family where he lives today. Keith works in a senior sales role within a high-tech industry and has regularly travelled all over the globe.
His novels are published by Gladius Press and Bastei Lubbe (German)
My thoughts: financial crimes can be a bit boring, so I’m glad this had several weird murders to liven things up. A man choked to death on cheap white bread forced down his throat, no one quite gets the symbolism, but then it turns out, after another victim is killed the same way and two more are almost poisoned to death with salt, that it’s all smoke and mirrors. Something has prompted the killer or killers to carry out these very specific crimes. Can DI Pennance put the pieces together, work out how the victims are connected, sort out his love life, and prevent any more tragedies?
Racing back and forth across London from crime scenes to interview witnesses, sometimes on the tube and sometimes on foot (someone get this man a car!), going into strange old buildings you might walk past every day and huge glass towers where the wealth management play brings Pennance into contact with an interesting cast of characters. And somewhere in amongst them could be the killer.
I’m not entirely sure many of the characters, especially the cops, have anything approaching normal lives – no one seems to sleep much or eat proper food – certainly vegetables don’t play a role. I do sometimes wonder how fictional detectives don’t all fall down at their desks. The adrenaline alone must come crashing down – Pennance seems to do everything at breakneck pace. But then again lives are at stake, plus the British economy and his romantic future. I suppose he doesn’t want to slow down.
Intelligent and enjoyable, with some very quirky characters, this was a nice introduction to a series I’d not yet come across but will certainly be searching out the back list for.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.