Right more detectives.
The Hanging Club - Tony Parsons. I read the previous one in this, so far, short series, The Slaughter Man and found it well written and tightly plotted if at times a little gruesome. It did not make me watch out for the next one, however, so when I was sent The Hanging Club and asked if I would review it, I was not sure at first. Well, give it a go and within five minutes I was hooked and read it through in one fell swoop. In my previous post on a Plethora of Detectives, I mentioned that the latest Inspector Banks brought in mention of a Pakistani group who had groomed young girls (this given a lot of news print in the last year or two) and this is also mentioned in this title. The difference being that we are not lectured about it. This does not mean that the author dismisses this as trivial, on the contrary, we are plunged into its knock on effects almost immediately, but we are left to make up our own minds as to the outcome of the narrative.
Book begins with Mahmud Irani, a taxi driver, who has just finished his Friday prayers, picking up a far outside Regent's Park. Little does he know that this man is going to kill him. His execution by hanging is filmed and shown on the internet gathering huge interest and support almost immediately when he is identified as a member of the group who had raped and abused young girls. He had got away lightly and it is clear that somebody has decided to dispense their own justice.
The second victim could not be more different. A hedge fund manager in the City who mowed down and killed a young boy on a crossing and, again, got off lightly. DC Max Wolfe has a serial killer on his hands, but finds very little support from the public and the press who feel those killed got what they deserved.
Well written, fast moving events and narrative and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Little bit graphic in places but nothing too over the top and I shall now look forward to the next one.
Saving the best till last One Under - Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. This is the latest Bill Slider mystery and I simply love these books. Apart from having the novelty of a happily married Inspector, he has a marvellous relationship with his sidekick Atherton, and the wit and humour of these books does not detract from the seriousness of the crime or the dedication to solving it, but balance it out beautifully.
Starts with a suicide. A middle aged man has jumped in front of a train on the London Underground. No doubt he jumped but there seems to be very little reason for his death. CCTV finds a mysterious man who stopped and said something to him just prior to his entering the station. Who was it and what did he say? Then later there is a hit and run which Slider checks out. On the surface both of them straightforward and not connected in any way but we know full well that this will not be the case. When Slider finds there is a link to both and also a link to a prominent MP he knows he has to tread carefully. Once again, the topic of teenage grooming is raised but it seems to be dealt with more humanity and understanding by this author. Another winner and I sat and read straight through.
I have also just finished reading Death and the Chaste Apprentice by Robert Barnard, a recent discovery. Set in the middle of a drama/music festival with thespians abounding (shades of Ngaio Marsh) and the murder of an interfering, obnoxious landlord at the local hostelry who liked to find out dirty secrets about his guests, witty and amusing and well written. Loved it. On my Kindle and have some more by this author already lined up. This is currently costing 98p on Amazon at the mo so if you have a Kindle no try it.
And halfway through Art in the Blood by Bonnie MacBird, a Sherlock Holmes adventure. Not sure about this one so far...