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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
to put down.