This is the book that takes all the Police Procedural Novels stereo-types, rips them up and throws them in the bin.
Set in 1985, when being gay was still seen as being taboo in the Police, the main protagonist is Detective Inspector Paul Snow.
Paul is gay, and to protect his professional “credibility” he keeps it to himself. In fact, to protect himself, he has been celibate for 10 years.
As the story starts Snow is dating a recently divorced Headmistress from a local Catholic school; and to convince himself he has changed, he even sleeps with her.
If this book hadn’t been so well written some people might find this story line insulting, but it isn’t. It highlights the struggles people had and the book is set right in a time when bigotry was rife.
The book starts with a killer washing a blood-soaked knife in his kitchen sink, and then regresses 3 months to the start of a killing spree.
Whilst Snow is on a date with Matilda, the Headmistress, a man is mugged and the mugger is later knocked over and killed in a hit-and-run. The mystery killer of the novel loves the instant karma that has served justice, and a seed is planted.
It’s not long before the killer starts his spree.
Snow and his team investigate the first murder, the victim is a drunk wife beater.
As more murders take place Snow and his team make very little headway. Pressure is starting to mount on Snow; both professionally to catch the killer, and personally as he struggles with his sexuality and a conflict in his relationship with Matilda.
The plot moves quickly, and realistically, showing the investigation from Snows perspective. His frustrations with the lack of a break in the case multiply with every new victim. The only apparent connection between the victims is the manner in which they are killed.
When he does begin to realise there is a connection he has no proof of it, leading to more frustrations.
The book crashes to an unbelievable climax that actually had me utter an expletive out loud, luckily, I was sitting in the lounge on my own. What an ending. I honestly cannot think of another one like it.
There has to be a sequel, and I can’t wait to read it.
Publisher: Urbane Publications Limited
UK Publishing date: 9th November 2017.
Available now on Amazon