Today I’m handing back over to Mandie who has a review of Dark Angel, the latest in the DI Greco series from Helen Durrant. First up, lets take a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Love gripping crime fiction? Discover Detective Stephen Greco, a meticulous policeman with a messy personal life.
Two young men break into an expensive house in Cheshire. They take money and jewellery — and a large amount of heroin. Within twenty-four hours they are found brutally murdered.
The killings have all the hallmarks of a local drug baron. The two victims were also “angels” helping in a community project which seems to have been lowering the crime rate in the area. But not everything is as it seems.
Meanwhile, Detective Stephen Greco’s colleague and on-off girlfriend Grace is pregnant. He isn’t sure how he feels about this, and they haven’t told the boss.
And just when Greco seems to have cracked the case, new information comes to light which threatens to change everything.
This gripping and fast-paced crime mystery ends with a series of shocking twists.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this best-selling crime fiction writer.
The book starts with a decomposing body being found at a music festival and if I am honest I initially thought that this would be the main thread of the book. Whilst the body does play a part in the story it really begins with two local chancers breaking into a house and stealing some drugs whilst sending a picture of the location to the local police. When their bodies are found mutilated and dumped its clear they stole from the wrong people and the method of their murder pointed to a local drug baron.
DCI Stephen Greco and his team are sent to investigate the murders. Greco is a bit of an odd fish. Suffering from OCD he is also struggling with the fact that after a brief fling with his DS he has discovered that she is pregnant and he is not exactly happy about it. Although he has promised to support her he can’t hide this fact or the concern about how his superiors will view it or how it will affect his career or the team and at times this distracts him from the investigations. She on the other hand is excited about the prospect of having the child and eventually forces the issue out into the open.
The team seem to work well together and are more than capable of coping with the investigations with often little leadership from their distracted DCI, although when it looks like they might be stepping on the Vice Squads investigations into a haulage firm he backs his team 100% and refuses to be intimidated.
Everyone seems to have some kind of secret that makes the investigation hard but as a reader kept me hooked right to the end. As the story progressed and I discovered the backstory of some of the characters, I even felt moments of sympathy towards one of them despite the fact they were smack bang in the middle of the drug smuggling. As for the ending … well you think you know where its heading but there is a little hook that might just take you by surprise.
Dark Angel is the fourth book in the DCI Greco series but it is also the first one I have read. It works well as a stand alone as you get enough sense of the dynamic of the team and there is just enough of their personal lives dotted throughout the book for it not to matter if you have not read the first three books in the series. That being said now that I have discovered DCI Greco and his team, I look forward to the next instalment and intend to go back to the beginning to find out what I have missed.
With thanks to publishers Joffe Books for the advance copy of Dark Angel for review and to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting Mandie to be a part of the blog tour. The book is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Helen sets her books in the area she has lived in for many years. The towns and villages that sit in the shelter of the Pennine hills. This is an area between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills. It offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein.
Helen always planned to write crime novels. But until she retired from full-time work in a local further education college, it had to go on the back burner. Once she did retire – there was no excuse. She now writes full-time. Retirement proper will have to wait!
Currently there are seven books in the ‘Calladine & Bayliss’ series available – Dead Wrong, Dead Silent, Dead List, Dead Lost, Dead & Buried, Dead Nasty – and the latest – Dead Jealous.
Also available are three books in the new ‘DI Greco’ series – Dark Murder, Dark Houses, Dark Trade and the latest – Dark Angel.
Do make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour.