Well here’s something you don’t come across very often, a prequel to a series. This is the book that tells the story of Lucy Harwin’s first case as a Detective Inspector, and what a gruesome one it is to cut your teeth on as the Senior Investigating Officer.
When a bunch of 13 year olds decide to go ghost hunting in a derelict church they get more than they bargained for. A woman is hanging upside down, on a crude crucifix made from burnt wood, with her throat cut.
Newley promoted Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin is sent to the scene as the duty SIO and meets up with her, DS Mattie Jackson.
It’s every Police Officers worst scenario, a brutal murder with no clues to work on, and a newly promoted Lucy finds it particularly frustrating. Her team are chasing around trying to identify the body and find any sort of evidence when a second body is found.
This second body brings with it another nightmare for every Police Officer and puts Lucy under even more pressure.
As the body count rises other factors start to lead Lucy and the team down some lines of enquiry that not everybody is comfortable with.
The first time I read one of Helen Phifer’s books I was taken aback by the way she writes, using the correct procedures and terminology, keeping the pace of the book up all the way through. Right up to the very end I was captivated by the pace of the story.
There’s more to her writing than that though. The stories are great, and just like the others this one kept me engrossed from start to finish.
From the first chapter I was sucked into a great scenario. Helen has chosen to use a once prosperous English seaside resort as her setting. I have recently worked in a couple of these towns and didn’t realise how much they had become run down. How they had become great places to set crime stories.
I would usually comment on whether a new book, in an already established series, could be read as a stand-alone.
Well, as this is a prequel the answer is obviously yes.
So, I’ll comment on whether people already reading the series will be disappointed by Helen going back to the start of Lucy Harwin’s career as a DI.
No, they most certainly won’t. What a great tool for giving us more of the back story to some of the key characters in the series, especially Lucy.
And what a tool for getting new readers hooked on a series that is already out there, because if this is the first DI Luck Harwin book you read, I can guarantee you will read the rest of the series and wait for the next instalment as eagerly as me.
Follow the links below for my reviews of the previous DI Lucy Harwin novels
Last Breath Published by Bookouture on November 16th 2018, available to pre-order on Amazon now