Hades

Written by Candice Fox

Review written by Adrian Magson

Adrian Magson is the author of 22 crime and spy thrillers. His next book ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ (The Dome Press) - the fifth in his French police series set in Picardie in the 1960s, is out on 19 October in h/b, p/b and ebook. More information https://www.adrianmagson.com/


Hades
Arrow
RRP: £7.99
Released: September 21 2017
PBK

Hades lives and works in the city dump where (for a fee), he will dispose of certain items that people wish to disappear; including bodies.

Split into two narratives, we meet Hades for the first time when he finds a man on his doorstep with two tiny bodies for disposal; the result of an accident or so he claims. The problem is they’re not as dead as the man thought. Hades, who is rough around the edges is not looking to take in live kids. He finds himself in a quandary: what does he do with them?

Coming forward a number of years; Detective Frank Bennett of the Sydney Homicide Squad (formerly of the Asian Crimes unit and hosting his own dark memories), finds himself paired with the beautiful but coolly enigmatic Eden Archer, who has recently lost her cop partner. Hanging around in the background is Eric, her brother, also a detective, and with an overly watchful manner and a faux-friendly way of getting under Frank’s skin.

Called to an incident at the harbour, where a junkie claims to have been hit over the head and dumped in the sea chained to a large toolbox, Frank and Eden are soon faced with a grisly find of toolboxes in the sea, containing twenty bodies, all of which have been harvested for organs.

For Frank, it’s another nightmare to add to the others in his life, like finding that his wife’s coke addiction had led to the stillborn death of their child. But this deliberate killing of people for their organs, evidently paid for by wealthy individuals who didn’t like to ask too many questions, is on a different scale.

In between Frank and his problems, we follow a mystery man named Jason, who has a young woman held captive in a cage, and who seems to know more about blood types and medical matters than he cares about the people (the buyers and sellers) that he deals with.

And there are the timeline flashbacks to Hades and his two small charges, growing and flourishing almost as wild things, as he schools them the best way he can, aware that he can’t allow them out into the wider world because they simply aren’t fit for it.

Meanwhile the chase is soon on for the serial killer with a flourishing trade in organs. And there’s Frank, who has a few questions about his new partner, Eden who keeps a list of six names in her wallet, with four of them crossed off. Does that mean four down and two to go? And who are they?

Tough and extremely gritty, this story brings together a collection of hard-as-concrete characters, each with their own tragic demons, and an outcome that’s hard to see coming. Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Novel back in 2014, it’s fast and dark and contains a level of anger that seeps out of the pages. 



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