Albert Clack has found a voice with this engaging and engrossing story. His characters ring true throughout and he creates fascinating but entirely realistic situations in episodic fashion which spur on the narrative.
The device of running the story in two time periods can be tricky if not handled well, but it is. It’s also a history lesson for anyone not around in the 1980s and unfamiliar with the febrile political atmosphere of the time.
His Inspector Warren is a viable DI with a liberal background and sympathies but perfectly happy to use the authority of his rank and position to get what he wants. As a result suspects are kept in custody despite having viable alibis simply because he wants to make them sweat in the hope of breaking them. This is a man not flawed by drink or emotional incontinence, but by struggling to keep his liberal and authoritarian natures out of conflict with each other.
The development of the plot rattles along and rarely falls into the trap of telling instead of showing – an example: a reactionary detective sergeant is described as being at that rank for nine years, nothing more is said about her but we know from her subsequent actions that further advancement won’t happen..
This was a great read and one I found unable to put down easily and when I did I hastened to pick it up again.