THORN IN MY SIDE
BURGESS BOOKS £18.99 H/B –
Released: 20 September 2010
Reviewer: Adrian Magson
There can be fewer
places more tailor-made for a crime thriller than the atmospheric Holy
Island on the north-east coast of Britain. It has the lot: a historic
castle standing firm against the cold north sea, a small island
community… and a narrow causeway which is cut off by the tide every few
hours, isolating them from the mainland and outsiders…
This is where Sheila Quigley has set her latest work, having taken a break from writing about the Seahills Estate (the warts-and-all setting for five previous crime novels) and her main character, DI Lorraine Hunt.
The good news is, Sheila’s many avid followers should not to disappointed by their introduction to DI Mike Yorke, the central figure in her new series. It isn’t just a change of face, however, or even place (starting in London and travelling many miles north, even of her customary settings); there’s also a change of pace in her writing as Yorke finds himself returning to the north and immediately becoming caught up in the investigation of an unusual, seemingly ritualistic murder. As in all good thrillers, of course, the case doesn’t end there, but soon opens up a grim bag of all things nasty: a secret New World Order, a batch of illegal and lethal drugs hitting the streets, and the disappearance of numerous children up and down the A1 motorway. For Yorke, it’s a brutal and shocking return home.
Then there’s Smiler, a young lad from London who has had more than anyone’s share of brutality, and whom Yorke takes pity on. Can he really see into the future as it seems, or is the more down-to-earth Mike Yorke right to be sceptical?
A chilling story with a fresh cast of vivid characters… and more to come with the sequel already underway.
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