This is by no means the best of the Faraday/Winter series of books but it follows a very high standard set by the author over these last ten years or so.
To my mind, the previous novel has been the best so far. This one seems mired a little in the efforts made by the arch-criminal-turned-social-benefactor Bazza Mackenzie to set up a Trust for disadvantaged children, most of whom seem to live in Portsmouth.
At the same time, there is the obsession with the police to bring him to justice, by any means they legitimately can. Naturally enough for this series, there is a murder to be solved, an increasingly disillusioned Faraday senses he is being put out to grass and the now DS Jimmy Scuttle plays an ever-increasing part in most of the investigations.
This is still a very good read. Character development continues, ex-DC Paul Winter is well to the forefront of his own investigations for, as usual, both he and Faraday are intent on doing their own thing, leading to the right result. In and amongst all this is the sudden and unexpected kidnapping of Bazza's grandson. Mix this with a deal gone sour in southern Spain, a cold case rape and attempted murder and Hurley brings all these strands together in his usual seemingly effortless way.
In this book, there is little of the interreaction of Faraday with his ex-lover, Gabrielle and son, J-J. The former has disappeared to Canada, the latter to London, leaving Faraday morose and uncomfortable. Add this to his perception of the state of the Country and one begins to feel for the man. There is goods news, though. Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait for the next book next year to see where that goes. What shall we do until then?