I was looking forward to this on the basis of so many strong reviews. On this occasion, I can't go with the flow at all. I was disappointed by both plot and characters. The plot had potential, a mix of past and present. But from the outset, I struggled with the credibility of the main detective. His language, thoughts, emotional response, his introspection...none of it rang true in a plausible way. His idiosyncrasies, background and current situation don't gel.
It got worse when we were introduced to his immediate boss. A dreadful blend of Juliet Bravo and Helen Mirren. A female senior officer trying to be one of the lads, a mother and a flirty siren. No, no, no. This just does not work. There is no way, in the circumstances, that she would be sitting in a car, gripping the thigh of a junior colleague. The relationship is implausible and unnatural and when you lose credibility of the two main characters, it's an uphill struggle.
The dialogue often seemed contrived, with attempts to introduce humour, intended to be sardonic, failing. Hull felt unremittingly bleak and desolate; somewhere between hope and desolation but no half way house. This is possibly one of the most frustrating reviews I've ever written. I wanted to enjoy the book, but I didn't. I love crime fiction, but this one missed the mark.