latest in the series of DI Jack Delaney thrillers finds the Metropolitan
Police’s man taking a sabbatical in Norfolk. The rugged detective is, of course,
an outsider twice over, being an Irishman in Britain and a cop from the big
city transposed to the sticks. Culture clashes are part of the story’s
The sticks in this case is Sheringham. The pleasant seaside
town in north Norfolk here masks a series of grisly crimes with their roots
going back to the Second World War. A storm batters the coast, and when part of
the cliff collapses the long-hidden body of a man is discovered. This is
followed by the murder of another man, who was sleeping with the fiancé of his
friend. Is there a connection?
It’s a nicely twisting premise, but what is enjoyable about
Mark Pearson’s writing is that the plot is almost secondary to the characters.
Pearson leads a double life as novelist and TV scriptwriter, and his work on
shows such as Doctors and EastEnders has sharpened his talent for creating
rounded, believable protagonists.
Jack Delaney has survived personal tragedies but now seems
on the verge of a happy new life with his doctor fiancé Kate and daughters Siobhan
and Jade. He is absolutely surrounded by feisty women, including Amy, the
solicitor who commissions freelance detective/security jobs from Jack, and her
hilarious assistant Laura, with Doc Martens, ever-changing hair colours and a
smart mouth. The verbal fireworks between these characters is great fun. In
addition, the evocation of the stormy coast is nicely done.
Sharply written, with terrifically engaging characters,
plenty of intrigue and dry humour, The
Killing Season is by turns charming and gripping. It’s my first book by
Mark Pearson, and I’m a confirmed fan now.