Please don’t let me die. Please don’t. The final words of teenager Spencer Cardoso as he bleeds out on a London street, his life cut short in a single moment of rage.
Detective Inspector Kieran Shaw’s not interested in the infantry. Shaw likes the proper criminals, the ones who can plan things.
For two years he’s been painstakingly building evidence against an organized network, the Eardsley Bluds. Operation Perseus is about to make its arrests.
So when a low-level Bluds member is stabbed to death on Gallowstree Lane, Shaw’s priority is to protect his operation. An investigation into one of London’s tit for tat killings can’t be allowed to derail Perseus and let the master criminals go free.
But there’s a witness to the murder, fifteen-year-old Ryan Kennedy. Already caught up in Perseus and with the Bluds, Ryan’s got his own demons and his own ideas about what’s important.
As loyalties collide and priorities clash, a chain of events is triggered that draws in Shaw’s old adversary DI Sarah Collins and threatens everyone with a connection to Gallowstree Lane…
PUBLICATION DATE; 7th February 2019
This book isn’t in my usual wheelhouse and when I came round to reading it, I did half wonder what the heck had gone through my mind when I requested it from NetGalley – after reading the synopsis, I got the impression that this was Nia from the past telling me to read outside my usual areas of interest and also that teen knife crimes are a huge epidemic in our country and it’s time for me to pay more attention. Past me might be a bit demanding, but she has good taste in books.
This is a gritty crime procedural novel that’s investigating the murder of a teenage boy with gang connections. The chapters alternate in perspective, so we can see the incidents through the eyes of the boy’s best friend and police officers at different levels of the hierarchy in the investigation. This gives a much wider view of knife crime and how it affects different people, especially the teenagers at the bottom of the totem pole.
Between you and me, I didn’t particularly like any of the police officers in this book. They’re all cold, self-serving and surprisingly callous given that a child has been killed out on the street. I found myself sympathising completely with Ryan, the victim’s best mate as you could really feel how little the authorities cared for the situation.
The pacing of this novel was quite slow to start off with, with plenty of the mundane and kinda depressing details about the personal lives of the investigating officers. At the end, however, everything comes to a boil and ends very rapidly.
If you’re a fan of police procedurals with gritty and realistic characters, this is going to be a great series for you to pick up.