The Photographer

Written by Craig Robertson

Review written by Maureen Ellis

Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com


The Photographer
Simon & Schuster
RRP: £7.99
Released: January 25 2018
PBK

Though part of former Journalist Robertson’s Winter and Narey series, it reads as a standalone as it tackles the disturbing subject of the hunt for a serial rapist. Thematically it is far from a whodunit as the reader knows who the perpetrator is right from the start; instead this dark novel is purely a challenge for DI Rachel Narey and her journalist husband Tony Winter to gather enough evidence to bring this monster to justice.

When rape victim Leah Watt walks into a police station claiming she's seen the man who raped her in a newspaper photograph, it turns out to be a well-known and respected local businessman William Broome. He not only raped Leah, but he beat her mercilessly until unconscious. When police raid his home, they find hundreds of photographs hidden under the floorboards - all of them of attractive young women, and it's clear that these women had no idea someone was following them, let alone taking pictures of them. When the case goes to court, the photos are deemed inadmissible, and the case collapses.

Narey not only feels terribly guilty at letting Leah Watt down, but she's distressed to think that Broome walked free, enabling him to carry out further rapes and beatings. She's determined to find enough evidence to put Broome behind bars. Running parallel to the narrative, her husband is carrying out his own investigation into the rapist; but this will put both their lives in danger, when they become the focus for online trolls.

Rape is never an easy subject to deal with, but the author does a solid and compassionate job without sensationalising it. The brutality that Broome inflicts on his victims is told in great detail, and to say that it is distressing, would be an understatement, but it's essential that we're given validation of just how vicious the perpetrator is.

Craig Robertson writes with such ease and clarity, that even though the subject deeply unpleasant, he compels the reader ever onwards. The characters are strong and completely believable, though the plot is dark and very gritty, the evidence is slowly revealed until the reader is driven headlong to the excellent climax – breathless.

Highly recommended.



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