DI Tom Ridpath is an unusual main character for a crime series.
Separated from a wife who still loves and cares for him, missing his daughter, and recovering from cancer. He has a strange job. Having had months off with his illness he has been seconded to the Coroner’s Office, and is tasked with investigating deaths which are suspicious in more ways than just the common murders encountered in most books.
This has brought him into conflict with his colleagues on the Major Investigation Team of Greater Manchester Police in the past, but he is determined to prove he is fit to return to the team.
Keeping in the spirit of originality the story has a cracking opening scene. As Ridpath is driving home through the early evening rush on the motorway a naked man runs out in front of him. Ridpath stops in time but the man is hit and killed seconds later.
Amongst the horror of the accident Ridpath sees a man on the hard shoulder holding a gun, but he is gone in an instance and no sign of him is left behind, and nobody else saw him.
Sticking to his guns Ridpath closes the Motorway at its busiest time and suffers the wrath of the traffic police.
All this in the first few pages.
What follows is a great story as Ridpath tries to identify the mystery man, if he ever existed, and find out why he was chasing the naked man onto a busy motorway.
It’s not long before another death occurs and puts Manchester on the edge of a gang war.
Working as a Coroners Officer Ridpath tries to engage his old team but not everybody wants him back.
This is a great story. Ridpath is a great character and MJ Lee has a really good way of bringing the story to life.
Ridpath’s frustrations at being side lined are almost palpable. The scenes are vividly described as are the victims and perpetrators.
Can anybody stop Manchester erupting into violence, not if they don’t start working together.
This is a really good read. Roll on the next book in the Ridpath series
Publishing date: 11thApril 2019