Stuart Pawson had a career as a mining engineer, followed by a spell working for the probation service, before he became a full-time writer. He lives in the village of Fairburn, in Yorkshire only about four or five miles from where I live myself. A place I regularly visit to look at the bird sanctuary there with all the water birds and a welcome pint in the Bay Horse.
This is the eighth book in the DI Charlie Priest series: When Colinette Jones fails to return home and a body turns up not more than half a mile from her house DI Priest knows he has to make that house call that every mother dreads, and every copper for that matter. Further a field Laura Heeley is also found dead down a country lane, the only sign of violence on the body, a single stab wound.
Is there a link between the two young women, apart, that is from their unfortunate death? And what if anything is the link with a sixties rock star? In a small town to all intents and purposes cut off by the foot and mouth outbreak DI Priest knows that he must apprehend the killer before he or she strikes again.
If you like Peter Robinson you will love this. First book I have read from this author and I will be getting more. Twists, turns, frustrations, highs, lows - you are with Charlie Priest all the way. He is a great character - honourable without being a saint; deep thinking without being morose. Some humour relieves the dark subject. Loved it! Going to order more right now!
You always know where you are with Stuart Pawson: strong, plausible plots and empathetic characters. He doesn't rely upon quirky idiosyncrasies to carry the story and his main protagonist, Detective Inspector Charlie Priest, is immensely likeable.
In this eighth outing Priest thinks he might be up against a serial killer, responsible for at least three murders in and around Heckley, the imaginary Yorkshire town where the series is set. As if this wasn't worrying enough it seems that the victims are being selected entirely at random.
Priest finds himself summoned down to New Scotland Yard where he is advised that there might actually be a further three victims from a couple of years ago, all around Greater London. Priest and his team carry on their investigation against mounting odds.
The resolution is very well-constructed, and the clues and pointers are all there. In fact, my only cavill against this novel was Pawson's major solecism in stating that the town of Loughborough, where one character lives, is in Nottinghamshire. As a Loughburian and proud Leicestershire man it was almost a struggle to carry on reading!
But that was the only flaw. I don't think that this was Pawson's best book but that still leaves great scope for it to be rather better than the average crime novel, which this certainly was.
As in all his books,Stuart Pawson keeps you well entertained until the last page.Charlie Priest feels like a good friend at the end of a book,I'm always sorry we have to part.Looking forward to his next case.
I have a long and varied history of reading detective /forensic/police fiction both from the UK and USA - Stuart Pawson has to be one of the highest ranking in this genre in my opinion- He is wonderfully knowledgable about his subject his environment and the evil men ( and women) do....I have only two more of his books to read /listen to, but after all my life's experiences and cynical outlook on life generally, (Some of it spent on the high grounds of Huddersfield).... - I am falling in love with Charlie Priest and want to wash and iron his grubby shirt ( as in Laughing Boy) and prepare him a meal that hasn't been abused by a microwave. Like Stephen Booth and Stuart McBride and Richard Montanari - Stewart Pawson is not afraid to divert the reader to take account of feelings and emotions of victims, colleagues, as well as expressing the sense of frustration Charlie Priest feels when faced with crass overbearing beauocracy and the breathtaking arrogance / highmindedness of departmental agencies! - He makes it all very believable and realistic and sad and very funny...... I laugh out loud at the jokes the team play on each other. Lovely lovely books .. more please..
Really recommend the D I Charlie Priest set of books. This one is the best of the bunch so far for me. The plots in these books are excellently worked through with no 'jarring' where you think the author might have gone off at a tangent. Highly recommended for you Crime Fiends!!