Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
It’s pantomime season and so reviewing a police procedural seems highly appropriate, they are after all often seen as the Cinderella sub-division of the crime genre, diverting to read certainly, but all too often al little dull; not if they’re written by Graham Hurley though.
Re-location from Portsmouth to the West Country DS Jimmy Suttle is looking for a quieter life; he doesn’t find it. What he finds instead is a murder case involving an unpopular property developer and a champion oarsman who may, or may not, have murdered his wife as they rowed across the Atlantic that comes dangerously close to his own troubled family life. Add into the mix friends of the late Barry Mackenzie looking to avenge his death and the quiet life is suddenly louder than an atomic explosion.
This complex and rewarding novel takes the sometimes moribund format of the police procedural and turns it into something more thoughtful. Hurley touches on themes of loss and loyalty; selfishness and self discovery in a way that avoids cosy resolutions and instead sets up situations and conflicted relationships that should sustain several subsequent novels.
Readers who enjoyed Hurley’s Joe Faraday novels will find both familiar characters and sensitivity to the awkwardness of human relations here that is hugely pleasing.