The Official Book Blurb
For eight long years, Detective Inspector Lorne Simpkins has tracked the vicious criminal known as The Unicorn. But the killer has frustrated MI6 at every turn and remained successful at Impeding Justice.
When Lorne is targeted in a trap that results in the death of her partner, the tragedy shakes her confidence to the core. Before she has time to recoup, her teenage daughter is kidnapped. More than Lorne’s professional reputation rests on her bringing The Unicorn to justice.
Now I won’t lie. I have been putting off writing this review. Not because I didn’t enjoy the book, although enjoy is a difficult word to use in relation to the subject matter, but because I wasn’t sure how to start. The second in the Justice Series by M.A. Comley, Impeding Justice takes the darkness that Mel Comley put into book one and kicks it up a notch. Just when you thought it was safe to pop your head above the parapet, she provides us with a killer much more evil and unforgiving than anyone you could possibly imagine.
Now a baddie with the nickname The Unicorn really doesn’t sound that bad does he? Well don’t let the seemingly cuddly name fool you – this guy is deadlier than the end of a Unicorn’s horn and there is nothing remotely cute or mystical about him. He is the proverbial thorn in Lorne’s side. The big fish. The one that got away… And now that he is back he intends to make it personal. Very, very personal. Kidnapping Lorne’s daughter and subjecting her to all manner of torture he has only one aim in mind – to totally destroy Lorne, not caring about a few more casualties he amasses along the way.
This is a very difficult story to read at times as it contains the sexual exploitation and physical abuse of teenage girls. While we do not necessarily witness the actual act, you are left in no doubt and the author does take you right to the edge making me as a reader, or in this case listener, feel very uncomfortable. There are also some very sadistic killings in this book, death by fire one of the favoured methods of disposal and there are few moments of brevity as Lorne is pushed to the absolute limit.
What is good to see is the way the team rally around, although not everyone appears to be pulling in the same direction with at least one cuckoo in the nest so to speak. With so many leads to follow and not entirely understanding The Unicorn’s motives leads to some very fast paced action and some highly tense, edge of the seat moments, as well as some really shocking and wince inducing moments. There are a few scenes, between adults this time rather than children, in which the action is much more explicit and as such, if easily offended, then I’d advise caution before reading. Nothing about this is a cosy crime caper, although there are some heartwarming moments, even in amongst all the darkness.
As I say, I’ve had to think long and hard about how to approach this review. On the one hand I really am enjoying the series and this book did hook me from the off, pulling me into the heart of the action and keeping one hundred percent invested in what was happening. But despite the pacing and the intrigue, it wasn’t a one sitting kind of read as at times it really did push me to the edge of my comfort zone and I needed to metaphorically walk away to get my head cleared before continuing. I listened to the audio book of this novel and I don’t know if that was better or worse than reading in terms of taking in the violence within. I know it’s a book I won’t easily forget. I am also looking forward to reading more as I know that the character of Tony Warner, someone we first meet in Impeding Justice returns, and he is a character I really did warm to.
Not for the feint hearted, but definitely a key book to read from a series which I can’t recommend enough.
I reviewed an audio book copy of Impeding Justice which I won through a competition run by the author. It is available now, in both book and audio format from the following retailers.