The Official Book Blurb
12 DEAD GIRLS
As dawn breaks on a snowy February morning, a refrigerated lorry is found parked in the heart of London’s Chinatown. Inside, twelve women, apparently illegal immigrants, are dead from hypothermia.
But in the cab of the abandoned death truck, DC Max Wolfe of West End Central finds thirteen passports.
WHERE IS SHE?
The hunt for the missing woman will take Max Wolfe into the dark heart of the world of human smuggling, mass migration and 21st-century slave markets, as he is forced to ask the question that haunts our time.
What would you do for a home?
Die Last marks the welcome return of DC Max Wolfe. Called to the scene of an abandoned truck in Chinatown, nothing can prepare the team for what they are about to find inside. The bodies of 12 young women, seemingly frozen to death for reasons which are not clear. Now I have to be honest and say that I have had this book burning a hole in my kindle since its release date a couple of months back and I really wanted to read it but blogging commitments took my attentions elsewhere. So I bit the bullet and cashed in an audible credit to buy the audio book, giving me the opportunity to listen to it on one of my many work trips.
I really like the character of Max Wolfe. He is a sensitive sole, single father and dedicated to both his family and his job, and yet he also has a hard edge, taking some of his frustrations out at the local boxing gym. He uses violence very sparingly, relying on his wits which makes a refreshing change for a male protagonist to be fair, as does the sensitive side to his persona. In this book he is pushed to the limits, having to watch as one of the women they find passes away, and then having to deal with her young brother when is is brought to the UK to identify her. He doesn’t always follow the exact rules when it comes to dealing with the brother, Nesha, but he tries to do his best by the boy. You can also see his growing feelings for his colleague and partner Edie Wren, his resentment and protectiveness over her married lover more prominent than ever in this book.
I love the pairing of Max and Edie. They just seem to work. And Edie has a great relationship with Max’s daughter Scout, a child who is wise beyond her modest six years that’s for sure. Whether a relationship between the pair of them would be a good or bad thing for the series remains to be seen but it would certainly be interesting. Max and Edie end up in great peril in this book on more than one occasion, Max being another of those characters it might not be that safe standing next to in a tense situation – he’s a trouble magnet as most fictional cops are. But they are both strong of will and spirit and know how to battle their way out of the scrapes they get into. Edie is very independent and focused, something which costs her personally in this book.
We get to experience a little more of the extended team in this book too, although in this ends in tragedy. As you would expect in a story surrounding trafficking, prostitution and the transportation of illegal immigrants, the adversaries the police are dealing with are not nice people resulting in some rather grizzly deaths. As in everything in this series, it is not gratuitous in the telling but it is wince worthy nonetheless. And nobody, it seems, is safe.
This is a very timely tale, touching on key themes affecting, or should I say, blighting modern society. Perhaps it is because I was listening to rather than reading the book, but I can honestly say I didn’t expect the ending to be quite as it was. I had an inkling on the who when it came to the trafficking by about half way, there were a good few hints dropped, but the extent to which they would go to get what they wanted was quite surprising. I don’t think the pacing was quite as frenetic as some of the earlier books, ins spite of a couple of chase style scenes and one moment when Max goes undercover and it looks like his detecting days may be cut short, but it was still enjoyable and intriguing and kept my ears glued to the stereo all the way to the city and home.
Overall, another great addition to the Max Wolfe series and I can’t wait to see what comes next, especially for Max and Edie.
Die Last is available to purchase now from the following retailers.