I love a British police procedural and read many, but this stuck with me. Somehow the execution of the (no spoilers!) denouement felt so well tangled into Moon's process - I heartily enjoyed it and look forward to more of this pair!
by Charlotte Taft
I am always up for a Charlie Moon novel, and this one is excellent. Jenny Francis does a great job of putting you right in the middle of the territory, the action. Her protagonists, both police and bad guys, are well rounded and for the most part likable. The mystery is well hidden until revelation and poor Charlie Moon seems really tired in this one. Brings out the sympathy and a pot or two of tea.
by Bonnye Reed Fry
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end and read it in one day whilst on holiday. I'm not usually a murder mystery/thriller type reader but this had me gripped from the first few paragraphs. I found the characters believable and I warmed to Charlie Moon. I thought it was a good plot with an interesting twist which was well hidden. So many times I find myself losing interest in books towards the end and start skim reading but not with this one.
by Pauline Hainsworth
DI Charlie Moon is called to the site of a horrific murder, the like of which he has never seen before.
Allison Quigley starts a new temporary job, sent by her temp agency to a company owned by her new, very obnoxious boss. She's troubled by a persistent stalker who is filming her with a camcorder, either following her in his car or parking near her home. When she sees his face peeking into her window she has no idea who the man is and she chases him off. This doesn't stop him, he keeps reappearing.
The book takes place just before the Millennium, but there are chapters that take us back to the '80's in which there are scenes of a young boy's unrelenting bullying.
Charlie Moon and his team realize the identity of the victim is not who they thought and when following leads provided by other police departments, find 4 other unsolved cases which are identical to their victim. The MO is spot on and it looks like they have a serial killer on the loose.
This book was addictive; I found the main protagonists extremely likeable, and the atmosphere very appealing. It's hard for me to put into words, not being a writer, but the mood of the book was exactly why I became a British mystery fan in the first place.
There is a 2nd book featuring Charlie Moon which I want to read as well. If you're a fan of English mysteries that are more than just cozies, make sure you grab this book!
by Hannelore Cheney
Perhaps a book for today with reference to recent anniversaries and high profile celebrities trying to establish transgender issues. Not that this book has a campaigning zeal about it.
It is an interesting plot involving a tired old fashioned detective no longer prepared to tow the political line and an horrific murder.
Since the victim was s bit of a thug who no-one will really miss. There seems little drive to solve the case. Yet from Detective Charlie Moon's perspective crime is crime and he has an inkling all is not as it seems.
He starts to believe there may be links with 3 or 4 similar murders and starts to wonder of there is s serial killer at work. However, no one has seen any previous connection or made any link with the victims.
Did to the way the book is written the reader had no more sense of the crimes or what motives may lie behind them. Meanwhile, we are introduced into the world of a bright young temp who is being stalked and wonder as we gain a fondness for her character if she may be the next victim.
Unconventional plot exposure with both short and very long chapters. Moon holds his section of the novel together, while Allison Quigley is one step ahead of her boss.
I like reading new authors and welcome Matador's policy of promoting less traditional authors.
This is a classy novel in terms of risks taken and control of the narrative. All who see it's worth will read to the end and be pleased and some even annoyed. But an author has to use their imagination to reflect society and pose difficult issues.
Don't be one of those who jump.before the end midway through this book. It demands to be read to its clever denouncement and will perhaps leave the reader more work to think about plots and endings rather than providing the formulaic approach.
Brave writing giving hours of pleasure to me.
by Richard Latham
Detective Inspector Charlie Edgar Moon is part of Team Panda. He partners with DS Dave Thompson to attend to the horrific murder committed in Gooch Terrace. The murdered man’s name was John “Jock” Gregson.
As the investigation begins, the police go to Jock’s sister’s home to notify her of her brother’s death. Only they find out that all is not well. This is a case of mistaken identity. Then Charlie stumbles upon four other identical murders spread across the years and geography of England.
Charlie meets up with his friend Jo Lyon, who is a journalist, and learns of a disturbing individual who is apparently working in the area. Jo agrees to see if she can obtain more information.
Meanwhile, Willoughby, Charlie’s boss, is being a micro-manager. Complaining about overtime and other petty concerns, he is on Charlie’s case big time. Charlie mostly avoids him, but he knows that this is not good for his career.
At the same time, a young woman named Alison who is temping as a secretary to an engineering firm is being followed. She sees a man with a camcorder filming her seemingly constantly. She begins to get frightened. Her temporary boss, a Mr. Widdowson is cold and arrogant. Alison gets involved in a little intrigue on the job.
This book goes back and forth between 1999 and the 80’s. We see a young boy being badly bullied. I am sure this will set the tone for future events.
Charlie is removed from the case by Willoughby and sent home. Two weeks later he is called into the office and assigned to a stalker case. He and DS Thompson go to Alison Quigley’s home where she and her boyfriend are awaiting. Alison responds to Charlie’s question with one word answers and doesn’t seem too happy to have the police there.
Charlie and Dave tail the suspect to his shop. Demanding to see the videos he took of Alison, Charlie spots an amazing coincidence.
This novel is both well written and plotted. It tends to wander a little here and there, but there is quite a bit going on in this story. The intrigue and suspense begins immediately when Charlie and his team are called out to a horrific murder. The suspense continues throughout the story. I liked Charlie, but I’m not sure why. He treats his subordinates with care and respect. The book didn’t give a lot of background on him. I liked the way the team got along with one another. This is my first Jenny Francis novel, but I immediately went to Amazon to look at her other books. I am going to watch this author.
I want to thank NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Ltd/Matador for forwarding to me a copy of this delightful book to read and enjoy.
by Joyce Fox
Spell binding tale of murder, mystery and intrigue. The author seamlessly blends the past and present together to unveil a stunning ending. THe characters are well developed and so believable. Who hasn't had a boss like Willoughby. All of the characters have their own little dramas going on which only adds to the story.
by Margaret Holmes (via NetGalley)
I love a good murder mystery and this was fab. Well written and a good little plot to keep you guessing!
Careers authors Patricia Scudamore and Hilton Catt are the writing team behind the novels by Jenny Francis.