THE CIRCUS

Written by James Craig

Review written by Calum MacLeod

Calum MacLeod is a reporter for the Inverness Courier and had been writing for SHOTS since its early days. In 2009 the Highland and Islands Media Awards' judging panel awarded him “Highly Commended Feature Writer of the Year”.


THE CIRCUS
Constable & Robinson
RRP: £7.99
Released: 14th February 2013
Pbk

The fourth book in Craig’s series about Inspector John Carlyle, this is something of a showdown between the Clash-loving and authority baiting detective and his nemesis Trevor Miller, ex-policeman turned “security advisor”. In practice, that means doing the dirty work for the rich and powerful.

At first Carlyle has plenty to keep him occupied, a murdered journalist, a missing teenager, another teenager wired up to a bomb, with a busybody neighbour blown away as a bit of collateral damage, violent crimes linking in with naughtiness in the art world, shady dealings in high places and very topical investigations into unethical practice within the newspaper industry.

And with characters like a befuddled and beleaguered Prime Minister, his ambitious Mayor of London brother-in-law and a powerful female newspaper editor, your mind will not have any trouble linking with real life counterparts.

While the plot threatens to become a little cluttered with all these competing strands, everyman copper Carlyle remains a hero to root for, especially given an “ability to get results only matched by his capacity to be immensely annoying and totally unmanageable”.
Perhaps not the best jumping on point for the series, given Carlyle and Millar’s previous history, but there is plenty here to make catching up with Craig and Carlyle an attractive proposition in future.

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