Sins of the Father

Written by Graham Hurley

Review written by Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson is the author of 20 crime and spy thrillers, including the Harry Tate series, the Lucas Rocco series and the Marc Portman series. His latest books are ‘The Locker’ (Midnight Ink - Feb 2016) the first in a new thriller series, and ‘Hard Cover’ (Severn House - March 2016), the third of his Marc Portman novels.


Sins of the Father
Orion
RRP: £18.99
Released: November 20, 2014
Hbk

Following the abduction and death of his daughter, Grace, and his subsequent estrangement from his wife, Lizzie, DS Jimmy Suttle is in a dark place, trying to deal with his loss by throwing himself into his work. Lizzie is also trying to cope, but in a different way: she wants to examine the background story of Claire Dillon, the mentally broken young woman who killed Grace.

Called to investigate the violent murder of wealthy recluse Rupert Moncrieff, hacked to death in his bed, Jimmy focusses on a mysterious Senagalese man who was with Moncrieff just prior to his death. That man has now disappeared.

But there are closer connections in the frame, too, as it quickly becomes clear that Moncrieff was an arrogant and appalling bully – especially to his son, Neil – and stormed through life on his own terms, taking what he wanted and giving nothing back, the head of a dysfunctional group of people who were family in name only.

The picture grows much wider when it becomes clear that Moncrieff’s past during Britain’s questionable colonial rule in Africa, during the Mau Mau troubles, might have had a part to play in his death. And when it turns out that two other people from Africa were also known to have called on him recently, although nobody knows why, it is evident to the investigating team that this part of the puzzle bears some examining.

Jimmy and his boss, DS Nandy, are despatched to Accra, to track down anyone who knew Moncrieff, and to speak with his other son, Olly, who might have been instrumental in allowing the mysterious visitor a visa to enter the UK. Was there a secondary and deliberate purpose to this decision – and if so, what?

Lizzie, meanwhile, is slowly unravelling Claire Dillon’s fateful journey to her suicide, gathering information about her desperate spiral downwards as she refused help and moved from one place to another, unable to recognise her plight and gradually slipping further between the cracks in a health service that was unable to do anything for her.

Essentially a police investigation with all the procedure and paraphernalia of a murder enquiry, along with familiar names seen in ‘Touching Distance’, such as DC Luke Golding and DI Carole Houghton, this compelling story has many intriguing and interlocking layers; the secret agonies of broken families, relationships gone bad, the empty hopelessness of loss and grief and the appalling plight of the mentally ill with nowhere to go.

Difficult to put down.

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