Category Archives: Police Procedurals

Betray Them All (Detective Solomon Gray #7) by Keith Nixon – Review

Today I’m reviewing Betray Them All (Detective Solomon Gray #7) by Keith Nixon

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Police Procedural Thriller

It’s 3am on a wet, dreary morning in the south of England. Detective Inspector Solomon Gray raids an ordinary-looking house, but inside he finds the exception: an illegal cannabis farm run by a sixteen-year-old held against his will.

Within minutes Gray rushes to another nearby incident. A homeowner has stabbed and seriously wounded a burglar. Semi-retired Charles Sowerby, claims self-defence against the intruder – a traveller by the name of Aidan Jupp, a man with a violent history of targeting society’s most vulnerable.

The stabbing heightens local tensions, inflamed by far-right anti-immigrant activists and the Press. Jupp’s family swear revenge on Sowerby. Then Gray discovers Jupp wasn’t acting alone, so who’s his partner?

Somehow the cannabis farm and the stabbing are connected. Can Gray figure everything out before local tensions boil over?

Set in the once-grand town of Margate, the now-broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark detective thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James. Betray Them All is the seventh book in this best-selling series featuring Detective Inspector Solomon Gray.

Review

We are back with our favourite detective Solomon Gray, or Sol to those who know him well.

From the outset things look juicy. There’s a raid on a house, a cannabis farm is located but the boy found there is unwilling to talk.

There’s no time for Gray to do much more as he is called away to a burglary gone wrong. It seems clear cut at first. Intruder gets what’s coming to him as the homeowner defends himself, there are just a couple facts that don’t add up.

Tensions rise quickly. The burglar is part of a group of travellers. The locals do not like them and it’s only a matter of time before things come to a head and someone else gets hurt.

This is an extreme headache for Sol as there is little he can do, although he does manage to form an agreement of sorts with the travellers. They seem to like his style and approach to things, and they trust him though there is only so much they can control too. Sol must work fast.

As the blurb for the book suggests the cases are linked and I won’t spoil how but as always, the author manages to weave a wonderful complex tale. Nixon really is adept at this kind of story, effortlessly putting you there with Sol. Things click into place and there is that magical moment when all becomes clear.

As a fan of series it was great to see a recurring character pop up and for us to learn of his part in recent events. Again I cannot spoil it, but this ongoing situation of Sol’s is brilliant, and I do wonder how long it will be before Sol takes a fall.

Sol has the added stress of a baby on the way, it wasn’t planned and it’s even more complicated since she is a colleague, and no one knows about them. It’s this personal stress that really makes the character likeable. We all go through difficult events we would rather not, but to give him that human side enamours you to him.

As important as character development and plot are, I also have high demands when it comes to writing style, how the tale is paced, how language is used. Nixon just knows exactly what I need as a reader. The flow is perfect, chapter length spot on allowing you to really enjoy the tale. The only downside is I now must wait for the next book to be released!

Nixon is a master of the police procedural thriller and I eagerly await more 😊

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

Salt Lane by William Shaw – Review

Today I’m going to be reviewing Salt Lane by William Shaw, Book 1 in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series.

Here’s the blurb

SHE ALWAYS WENT TOO FAR

DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing – resentful teenager in tow – from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Murder is different here, among the fens and stark beaches.

SHE WAS THE ONE WHO FOUND THE KILLERS

The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask – but these people are suspicious of questions.

AND NOW IT WAS KILLING HER

It will take an understanding of this strange place – its old ways and new crimes – to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt.

Salt Lane is the first in the new DS Alexandra Cupidi series. With his trademark characterisation and flair for social commentary, William Shaw has crafted a crime novel for our time that grips you, mind and heart.

Review

DS Cupidi has moved to Kent after a scandal she would rather her new colleagues don’t find out about. She’s trying to keep her head down and not get too pally with anyone.. a case soon hits her desk to take her mind off the past..at least for a little while.

Two murders take place in a short space of time.. this can’t be a coincidence can it? Is there a link? What makes one of the murders even stranger is the circumstances behind the woman’s death.. the time of death doesn’t make sense.. she was seen alive at the same time as she was dead in a ditch.. how is that possible?

Well I’m not going to spoil it but I will admit it’s very well executed. Until the case unravelled I had no clue where the tale would go and that’s the kind of crime novel I love! Keep me guessing 🙂

Cupidi herself is flawed like all the good detectives. She’s balancing her work but also her personal life.. a teenage daughter she’s struggling to connect with and a past that will catch up to her at some point.. this gave the character a realness I love to see. It was really refreshing having a female lead too, almost all police type books I’ve read have had male leads.

Chapter length and pace of the plot for me was spot on and the mix of personal and professional focused scenes makes it very easy to read… you’ve never get bogged down. So good infact it’s easy to devour!

The character development of Cupidi was gradual and delivered perfectly.. she’s Impulsive..she’s human..I liked her.

Do I want to read book 2 in the series? Yes!

Will I be pre-ordering book 3 due out next year? Yes!

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

 

The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon.

Here’s the blurb

Genre –  Crime Thriller/Police Procedural

A gruesome discovery. A secret long-buried. The past uncovered.

When Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is called to a quiet residential property what he discovers is truly shocking – the mummified body of a new-born baby. The tiny corpse, hidden inside a cardboard box at the back of a wardrobe, is only found after the death of the homeowner, Andrea Ogilvy.

Until a few years ago Ogilvy was a foster carer for the local council, looking after hundreds of children during her career. But something made her give up her role. But what? Nobody truly knows.

DNA analysis on the child leads Gray to three women; one of which may be the abandoned baby’s mother. As Gray digs deeper he uncovers painful family secrets and a multitude of lies. It seems vulnerable young women were being exploited by a man in a position of power. But who helped them cover everything up? And why?

And someone is setting a dog onto teenagers – criminals early in their careers. Seemingly a vigilante is operating, doing what the police won’t. And, as usual, Gray’s complex personal life interferes with his job.

Who is the baby? Why was it hidden? What lives will be shattered by Gray’s investigation?

Review

The Silent Dead is book 6 in the Solomon Gray series by Keith Nixon. To enjoy this book you don’t necessarily need to have read the rest of the series but it would certainly help you understand Sol’s personal situation. The great thing is the author very nicely links back to past events so a new reader can get an idea of what has happened whilst also keeping the loyal readers hooked.. you get sucked in..it brings everything back.. I found myself playing out bits and pieces in my head remembering the past events in Sols life… it sticks with you.

So Sol once again has his work cut out for him when a baby is found…but the poor little thing has been dead for years.. but how did they die and why was the death hidden for so long.

There’s twists and turns and dark secrets come out left, right and centre.. the author plays with you.. always misdirecting your thoughts..keeping the truth tantalizingly close until the right moment! Loved it.

Let’s just say a few people have their lives turned upside down from these events.

Sol has his personal life to deal with too and more than one stained work relationship causing him a headache. I really love this side to the story, not only does it increase the suspense, it also delivers in bucket load the character development I always yearn for.

The Silent Dead is the perfect thriller.. it’s packed with some cracking moments when the action hits. There’s also quite a harrowing side to the tale that will stick with you long after you’ve finished.

If you like thrillers this books for you… if you like suspense this books for you.. if you like police procedural novels this books for you.. if you want a heart wrenching plot this is for you.. if you want.. oh you get my drift ha. I can’t see anyone not loving this book.

Let’s talk characters for a moment.. Sol in particular.. while the ensemble cast certainly play their part well it’s Sol who sticks with you.. as he should.. he’s flawed.. he’s dealing with a lot of past pain and it shows sometimes when he really needs to step back.. but that’s what I love about the guy.. it’s real.. I’ve make errors.. I’ve needed to apologise at times.. but I always have the best intentions.. that’s Sol.. I identify with this character as I can see his thought process and would act the same as he does and this connection will keep me coming back time and time again.

I know from the author’s notes that Sol will be back.. just not soon.. While that’s hard to take I can’t wait to see what Keith comes up with next.

My rating – 5/5 Stars

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Pity The Dead (Detective Solomon Gray #5) By Keith Nixon – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Pity The Dead by Keith Nixon!

Here’s the blurb..

Genre – Thriller/Police Procedural

“Don’t waste your time, he’s just another dead junkie.”

That’s what Detective Inspector Solomon Gray is told when the body of a young man is found. But Gray recognises him – an old school friend of his daughter’s. His death is suspicious, but junkies are the underclass – who cares about them? Investigations are brief, the deaths ruled accidental, the people soon forgotten, and life moves on.

There’s a brutal a new drug gang in town. Run by the vicious Leka Krisniqi, an Albanian who rules by fear and intimidation. Gray just can’t break it. And anyone suspected of working with the police ends up dead – their drugs spiked with a powerful toxin.

An old foe calls. Sylvia – former PA to Gray’s old boss and an expert in side-eye and snide remark – swallows her pride to ask for Gray’s help. Her husband is missing. One morning he upped and left with just the clothes on his back and hasn’t been seen since. To Gray it hardly seems important compared to a spate of murders, but there’s more to it than he thinks.

Gray gets a break that just might bust Krisniqi’s gang – a street dealer called E who could help. But she’s afraid for her own life and that of her family. Before she can risk it, Gray must first do something for her…

Can Gray bring down the dealers before more people die?

Review

Keith Nixon knows what his readers want and boy does he deliver!

We are back with Detective Inspector Solomon Gray.. past events are still playing heavy on his mind but there’s no time to dwell.. Junkies are dying.. you could easily pass this off as expected but things just aren’t right..the death rate is higher than the norm.. and where are they even getting the drugs? Wasn’t the major drug stream closed down?

Thanks to some great additions to Gray’s police team light starts to be shed on the issue but with junkies reluctant to help the police, the price of talking too high,  the case stalls.. Sol’s not one to give up easily.

As the case develops a visit from an unexpected visitor occurs that throws a spanner in the works.. Sylvia who has a history with Sol asks for his help with the disappearance of her husband.. At first Sol half heartedly looks into things..with good reason.. is a domestic right? he’ll turn up… but after a bit of digging we see the bigger picture become clear.

We get twists and turns along the way and the authors normal style of sucking you in repeats past tales as you follow Sol and his team as they follow the clues to solve the mystery..utterly engrossing from start to finish.

I loved the personal development with this one. Sol has a lot of bad history behind him and we start to see current life events take precedence, is this a fresh start for Sol? I doubt it.. there’s too much in his past but it seems like this could be a turning point for Sol.

Keith Nixon once again ticks all the boxes, Sol is flawed, he’s real. Real life affects his work , nothing is clear cut..there’s frustrations, it’s messy, not everyone is nice… that’s real life. It’s the perfect mix of character development vs plot and I couldn’t have been happier as a reader.

5/5 Stars for me.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Blog Tour – Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn (@lee_leecockburn)

Today I’m very glad to be the next stop on the Porcelain – Flesh of Innocents blog tour.

About Lee Cockburn

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn

Title – Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents
Author – Lee Cockburn
Genre –  Police Procedural
Length – 266 Pages
Publication – 21st Feb 2017
My Rating –3/5 Stars

Synopsis

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

Review

I must forewarn readers that this book won’t be for everybody.. it’s dark and tackles such issues as child kidnapping and paedophilia.

It’s an engrossing and downright scary read and as a new parent it had my pulse racing at times.

Throughout this book we learn about a brother and sister who’ve suffered abuse at the hand of those they should be able to trust during their childhood.

While that tale unfolds we also learn of a present day vigilante who is standing up for those who need protection..this vigilante soon gets wrapped up in an active police kidnapping case when a child goes missing!

This book does really make you think.. these are bad people who get what they deserve but at the same time we have laws and the vigilante is breaking them too.

There’s a team of detectives on the case to hunt down this vigilante and for some there’s a very full on complicated love relationships going on and there is a load of sex scenes. For me this is the only bit I didn’t enjoy about the book. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude and it did add to the sexual nature of the book and explores the emotional needs of sex but it took my focus away from the main plot which I was fully committed to. By the third major sex scene I ended up just flicking past the pages as I just wanted to get back to the main focus of the tale..the vigilante.. that storyline had me hooked.

Did the sex ruin the book? No..it’s just not for me..It’s just not what I expected to happen.

It’s a dark and gritty book that really makes you think.. these things can and do go on in the world around us.. this is a subject most of us wouldn’t even want to think about.

As the pressure mounts the vigilante makes a mistake and the police are closing in..I kept going back and forward between characters trying to decide the identity of the vigilante until the big reveal and I wasn’t disappointed.

The ending left me wondering what’s next… either more is planned or more likely left up to your imagination and I loved it.

It’s a tough subject so by its nature some people may not like the book but it’s definitely worth the read. I can honestly say I would have rated it 5* if the book had stayed on the case and had a little less sex..but that’s my taste.. I know many of you will love the book.

A disturbingly good story..take a look

I’ve read the other reviews so far during the blog tour and the book is receiving a very positive response!

My thanks go to Authoright and the author for the chance to read and review their work in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.


Author spotlight

lee-cockburn-photo

About me, I love my family more than life itself, my boys make my heart beat, I have a beautiful wife, a lovely kind supportive mum, and my late dad was a kind and remarkable man, someone you could rely on, someone who said I should write poetry, which I did do a year after his death, and unfortunately through dementia never got the chance to read my book.  My wider family are also very supportive and believe in me, and listen to me when I‘m letting it all out.

I have always been sporty, swimming for 12 years, training 5 hours a day when I became quite good at it, swimming in the youth Olympics when I was 15, representing Edinburgh.  I then started playing rugby at 22 and represented Scotland for 15 years and the British Lionesses earning 81 caps in total.  We won the first ever 5 nations tournament, we also won the European championships in 2001 and won 70% of our games always in the top 2 or three in the 6 nations, very proud to play and represent this proud nation, appearing in 3 world cups and 4 European championships.  My last game I was punched in the face, breaking m cheek bone, nose and damaging my eye, very sore, but played on for 40 minutes. I still play the occasional game now and then and I am 48, 6’1” and 15 plus stone, a big strong lass and not over the hill yet.

 

I used to work in the Commonwealth Pool for 13 years, lifeguard/duty manager, I loved that job, very entertaining time, a really good bunch of people.

I joined the police at 32, came second in the fitness, just because my sprint wasn’t good enough, I was gutted, 10.15 for my mile and a half, never to be repeated.  I have been in response policing (front line) for most of my service, other than three years in the public order unit, which is helmets and shields and crashing down doors and that type of thing.  I was promoted at nine years service and left the public order unit and went back to response once again and I am still there.  I have been pushed and shoved around a bit, but only assaulted once when I was knocked out in my first 6 months of service, a big black eye and I didn’t see who did it, so she got off with it, but did ask at court how my face was.

I was a little bit flighty when I was younger, but it wasn’t an easy life for a gay woman coming out 31 years ago in 1986, 6 years after it was against the law to be gay as a male.  I was assaulted at nineteen in Princes Street for being gay, I sometimes had to lie about my life to protect myself.  I have always been lucky enough to have someone special in my life, and now I am married and settled.  I‘m very glad things here in Britain have changed for the better, and I hope it stays that way, for the sake of my family.

Writing, I never though I would ever write, it was all because of a dull book and I wanted to write one the way I’d like to read one, so I did and I am now on book three, I find it a great source of escapism and I do like to entertain people, and this is just a new outlet to do this.

I am a fun loving humorous woman, I love life and thrive on filling it with as much happiness as I can, especially with the children.  One thing I don’t like is unfairness, I hate bigotry, and I am a great believer in live and let live, protect those that need help, I hate a bully, and people should stand up for what is right.

I miss my dad, and I love the isle of Arran.

Purchase from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Porcelain-Flesh-Innocents-Lee-Cockburn-ebook/dp/B01MR8004F/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486590103&sr=1-1&keywords=porcelain+flesh+of+innocents

Purchase from Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/porcelain-lee-cockburn/1125500067?ean=9781911525318