Monday 19 March 2018

Dead North by Joel Hames

Dead North (Sam Williams Book 1)Dead North by Joel Hames
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and our over 3 days

Pages - 280

Publisher - Mainsail books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that's looking longer by the minute. So when he's summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won't say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career.

In Manchester he'll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defence lawyer who thinks he's stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops and people who'll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it's in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing down the ghosts of his past.

He’s working someone else’s case and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes you need the wrong man in the right place.

My Review

Two police officers killed, one suspect arrested who isn't talking and a case that had no leads and pretty much no evidence. That is what Sam Williams has been called in as an adviser to help with, Sam is a lawyer who really needs an influx of cash. With money problems and one client business is not good so he really has nothing to loose. When he gets to Manchester he is met with resistance, hostility and that is just the staff on the case he is there to help! With a race against time, Sam starts digging to get answers, finds himself in danger and trodding on toes with dangerous consequences.

This is my first dance with this author, whilst it is a serious crime and we run into violence and aggression there is humour laced throughout the book. Sam is a bit of a character, down on his luck and at times adding more problems than he is helping to solve. The suspect we know quite quickly there has to be more to, silence is suspicious and he is saying nothing. As Sam digs and stumbles about the case he has bitten off more than he can chew. I found myself questioning everyone and trusting no one. That said I had no idea why the crime had happened, I kept going chapter to chapter patiently (or impatiently) waiting to see what was coming next. You have the human aspect of the book too, Sam has a lot going on, money worries, career worries and when the cat is away.............temptation can rear its ugly head. Sam is, I thought, an interesting character, flawed but not a cliche of a guy a bit down on his luck.

Interesting characters, lots of issues covered, teamwork, police procedure, relationships, pressure on individuals working the case, working relationships, politics within the force and those helping. And whilst it is busy with all of that, it doesn't overshadow the main parts of the book, the murder case, it just ties in nicely. I did enjoy this and I think (hope) there will be more in the series, I would quite like to see what is in store fr the characters next. A story that keeps the reader on their toes, engaging from the get go and I think even those readers who can guess the plot will have their work cut out for them this time. 4/5 for me, if you like crime but with focus on the characters and relationships side with some humour then I think you will love this book. On a wee additional note, there is swearing in the book, nothing over the top but just a heads up!

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