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A cold winter morning, three days before New Year. Detective Inspector Jack Barry, senior member of the British police force, is called to the scene of an industrial fire in a pallet yard, a fairly ordinary urban crime. But not for long. A body, thought to be that of a dog, was found within the charred circle of the fire, but closer examination reveals that the charred corpse is, in fact, human. And not just human, but the body of a young girl brutally raped and murdered. But for the erstwhile Detective Inspector, catching the perpetrator of this urban crime is not enough. It seems as if the defence might have acquired some last minute evidence that could mean the difference between putting the scumbag behind bars, and letting him loose to commit even greater crime in the community.
Can Jack get to the bottom of the last minute alibi before it’s too late?
A dark and foreboding journey into evil, Fire and Lies is the debut novel from author James Rockley. Satisfyingly well written, Rockley spins a hardboiled tale that draws his readers into a murky web of murder and misdirection. There’s an edgy sense of realism here as Rockley draws on his own experience as a serving Detective Superintendent, and it brings rich and often emotive life to his characters. They’re well observed with depth and regrets as they face the grim reality of violent death, whilst a prevailing air mystery coalesces within the bleakness of his settings.
Detective Inspector Jack Barry’s characterisation is particularly strong and rarely feels manufactured. He’s intense, sharp witted and loyal to his calling which brings a welcome degree of psychological depth that armchair sleuths will certainly appreciate. With Rockley’s considered prose, it’s not a quick read, but he knows how to build tension and an intricate plot makes for a winning combination.
A strong debut that deserves to be well recieved, Fire & Lies certainly demands your attention and is strongly recommended.
Author James Rockley - In The Spotlight
Fire & Lies
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