My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - dipped in and out over 7 days
Publisher - Constable & Robinson (C & R Crime)
Blurb from the back cover
DI Kate Simms is on the fast track to nowhere. Five years ago she helped a colleague when she shouldn't have. She's been clawing her way back from a demotion ever since. Professor Nick Fennimore is a failed genetics student, successful gambler, betting agent, crime scene officer, chemistry graduate, toxicology specialist and one-time scientific advisor to the National Crime Faculty. He is the best there is, but ever since his wife and daughter disappeared he's been hiding away in Scotland, working as a forensics lecturer.
In Manchester, drug addicts are turning up dead and Simms' superior is only too pleased to hand the problem to her. Then a celebrity dies and the media gets interested. Another overdose victim shows up, but this time the woman has been systematically beaten and all identifying features removed. The evidence doesn't add up; Simms' superiors seem to be obstructing her investigation; and the one person she can't afford to associate with is the one man who can help: Fennimore.
Professor Nick Fennimore has a previous and tainted relationship with our main character DI Kate Simms. Kate needs help with an investigation where people on the force are just waiting for her to fail. Nick has a soft spot for Kate, forensic science is his thing and access to equipment to help with the case, together the two of them work together to try and crack the case. Despite things seeming to solve themselves, Kate can't help but dig deeper putting herself and her associates in danger.
This is a great wee debut novel, it starts fairly quick with a good introduction to the main characters. Despite being the first book, the two have a previous relationship one that came under scrutiny from the police. This is linked back to and referred to at points throughout the book although not explained in full, I am hoping the next book will be a kick back to this.
The book looks at the underbelly of crime, prostitution, drugs, violence, murder and relationships set in Manchester. It is engaging, gritty and had life not got in the way I could have got through this in a day. I would have liked to have gotten the full back story on what happened with Nick, Kate and the circumstances surrounding their previous relationship and what happened 4 years ago. There are snippets of information which was a little irritating as you want to know but I think the authors have done well in building the suspense.
There are a few twists in the book and quite a bit of interesting information to be learned about forensics dotted throughout which I quite enjoyed. Overall a really good introductory book, I would certainly follow this series and would recommend it to any crime lovers. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review and introducing me to a new author, 4/5 for me this time.