Published April 7th, 2023
The Ink Foundry
This is the seventh book in the ever-gripping Eddie Collins series, about a grumpy CSI from Leeds who just can’t stay out of trouble. While each book in the series stands alone, I do recommend reading them in order, as there are evolving character arcs that won’t otherwise make sense, and Eddie is definitely not a “love at first meet” character – you need to know him to appreciate him! While this wasn’t my favourite of the series, it’s another clever noir thriller from a brilliant author who uses his real life forensic experience to give the books a gritty realism.
One a dark and stormy night, Eddie is called to analyse the scene of a vicious knife murder, but few clues remain. Then a young school teacher is found hanged – presumed a suicide, Eddie is shocked to find a link to the first case. When his sympathy for the bereaved mother puts his job on the line, his determination to do his best for the victims, no matter what, will once more endanger both him and his colleagues. Meanwhile, a film crew is shadowing him, his colleague Benson is having a midlife crisis and his father Charles is behaving very oddly…
I beta read this one for the author a few months ago, then speed read the final version to refresh my memory. Yet again, he’s crafted an unpredictable police procedural which brings back some of the best characters from the series, and introduces an intriguing new one, conflicted DS Regan Parker. This one wasn’t as dark as some of the previous books – not a bad thing – and the action took a while to get going – most of the thrills are in the last quarter – but they’re worth waiting for. Eddie is as rude and sarcastic as ever, but his caring side is winning through more often now. I didn’t guess the perpetrator at all, and loved all the twists. I’m intrigued to see where Barrett takes his beleaguered hero next as his life gets ever more complicated…