Wednesday 9 May 2018

Review ~ What Falls Between The Cracks by Robert Scragg

Allison& Busby
19 April 2018

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

What's it all about..

When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her? It seems that Natasha’s family are the people who can least be trusted.

Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?

My thoughts about it..

I'm always interested when a new investigative duo make an appearance and Detective Inspector Jake Porter and Detective Sergeant Nick Styles have certainly got off to a promising start in this first book in a new crime series. 

Picking up the missing pieces of a thirty year old crime is always going to be fraught with difficulty and Porter and Styles certainly have their work cut out in trying to bring those responsible to justice. The mystery at the heart of the novel is well done and the complex chains which bind the whole thing together succeed with a clever edginess which kept my attention throughout the story. The twists and turns kept me guessing and I enjoyed trying to work out just where the complicated plot was heading.

As with any new series there is a certain amount of getting to know the characters and this is done with a realistic edge. I especially enjoyed the insight into the detective's lives, particularly that of Jake Porter who seems to have had more than his share of heartache. The two detectives work well together as a team, and I enjoyed reading their lively banter and the way they each have the other's back is testament to the strength of their working relationship. The other characters who make their appearance in this gritty crime story add an interesting balance of light and shade, the villains and the good guys mix together with comparative ease. The final few chapters are quite lively with lots going on and I enjoyed watching all the loose strands finally coming together in a dramatic showdown.

What Falls Between The Cracks is a very good debut novel, and gets the series off to a really promising start. I'm already looking forward to reading book two in the series by this talented new crime author.

Robert Scragg had a random mix of jobs such as bookseller and karate instructor before taking the dive into crime writing. He lives in Tyne & Wear, is a founding member of the North East Noir crime writers group and is currently writing the second Porter and Styles novel.

Twitter @robert_scragg #WhatFallsBetweenTheCracks


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