A young man’s drinking binge sets in motion a sequence of violent and lethal crimes, leading Swansea detective, DI Harry Lambert – suspecting foul play in a suicide verdict – to continue his own investigations. Lambert is warned off the case by a Serious Organized Crime Agency officer, but when he and his team become involved in a murder case, it soon becomes apparent that there are connections between the suicide and his current murder investigation. Events take a bizarre turn when three petty criminals become involved in a deadly game of vengeance, and Lambert’s prime suspect disappears, along with a respectable young man – who claims to have gone to France on business but who could now be involved in another act of revenge. When Lambert eventually discovers the whereabouts of the missing persons, he knows the game will become even more violent, but, trusting his own instincts, he uncovers the worst case of treachery he has ever known.
One of the main reasons I wanted to read this book was due to its location and following a dramatic and entertaining victory for Wales against England in the rugby yesterday I couldn’t think of a better book to read. Set in its entirety in South Wales Missing Persons by Meurig Jones tells the story of Detective Inspector Harry Lambert, a likeable character who, like most in his position, is always at loggerheads with his superiors.
For the most part I really enjoyed the book, the story was good and it flowed well from beginning to end, it’s certainly a quick read. I did have issue with a couple of things and found myself stuttering half way through when the book just seemed to be going nowhere and over complicating things unnecessarily. I persevered through a couple of the middle chapters and came out, still a little confused with a couple of the characters – and their role within the book – pleased that I had. I was rewarded with a good and slightly unexpected finish to the book, who doesn’t like an unexpected ending?!
I would have liked a little more Welshness to the book but that’s always a tricky balance to achieve no matter where the primary location is set – it will always be local to someone – but I really am nit-picking here. I did enjoy it when the detectives travelled through Llandaff, Cathedral Road and other local landmarks and haunts, especially a well-timed visit to the Millennium Stadium where Harry witnessed a Welsh victory against Ireland in the 6 Nations competition. I don’t think the author could have timed that better if he tried!
Along with a strong protagonist in Harry Lambert – you just want him to get one up on his boss – and a well chosen location it was the dialogue, comedic undertones and police procedural that impressed me. I enjoyed the scenes set within the incident room and the official pub gatherings, they made the book all the more stronger for it.
A good and entertaining read, I will certainly look out for the next instalment and see where the author takes Harry Lambert next. Who knows, we may even get a crime set after yesterday’s match where…..well that’s for another day!
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (29 Mar 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0719808219
- ISBN-13: 978-0719808210
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