Monday, October 22, 2018

Flesh and blood by Nigel McCrery

Flesh and blood is the fifth book in the DCI Lapslie series so there are ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the other books in the series.  You can read this book as a standalone but you may find it confusing without the background from the other books in the series.  I highly recommend reading this series in order.

There is nothing that shakes the confidence of a police officer more than having a defense lawyer make a fool of them on the stand and set their client free, and for DCI Mark Lapslie that is exactly what happens in the case of Alastair Tulley.  Instead of the case being about the rather gruesome evidence of a young boys severed arm found in Tulley's home, it becomes about Lapslie and his medical condition which lead to some unconventional police work.  Licking his wounds and angry about the process, and if he's honest himself, Lapslie throws himself back into his police work with little grace.  He doesn't have to wait long for another boy to go missing and when the evidence leads to a new suspect it seems as though Tulley is in the clear, but something doesn't feel right to Lapslie and his team.

Josie Dallyn may be young, but she is already a dedicated journalist and when she has the chance to uncover more information about a story she doesn't hesitate to follow up and in the process nearly ends up a victim of a serious crime.  Escaping was just the start, because some people may think she is paranoid, but she knows she has stumbled onto a big story, and the more she digs the more she discovers about the links between cases.  Josie is not the only person looking into the disappearances of young boys, and it soon becomes clear that the disappearances aren't random, and that they are not limited to a small area.  Can Josie, Lapslie, and the other researchers connect the dots before it's too late?

This was one of the more interesting and involved storylines for this series and in a way it was a shame that the timeline bounced around so much as I sometimes got distracted or hand to go back and check dates to see where I was in the timeline.  I get that it is a writers technique to move between time periods quickly, but I feel that it let the story down a little as it took away the smoothness and took some of the edge out of the story as it got a little convoluted.  The over all story was amazing and was not what I was expecting, and the ending was pretty great and closed things off nicely without being too neat, and it was a challenge to try and solve the mystery before the end and I have to take my hat off to Nigel McCrery for writing a complex and engrossing story that was utterly believable and terrifying.

The characters are continuing to evolve and now in the fifth novel we see some new and interesting characters that compliment the main people - as well as some interesting developments with existing characters.  You can tell that McCrery has a background of writing for television because the chapters are short and punchy, and the action is well paced to keep you interested without moving so fast that you can't keep up.  This is a compliment as some of the best writers at the moment are using this style and you can't help but draw comparisons to writers such as James Patterson and M.J. Arlidge.  Now I just have to wait for the next book in the series!

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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