In this exciting and thrilling detective novel, we get to know and follow Detective Dan Hellier, who came down to Exeter from the London Met to start anew
Detective Hellier #1
A body has been dumped: that of 16-year-old schoolgirl Carly who is beautiful still in her looks and, as we soon will find out, also by voice, but from now on she is very dead. When the young girls’ lifeless remains are found by kids from the nearby St. Andrew’s Academy, the wheels of police investigation are set in motion. Excitingly enough, this is the first time for Detective Hellier as the head of investigations, for it is clear from the start that this is murder most foul. He will be accompanied by DCI Gould, for whom this is going to be his last case before retirement.
Hellier is struggling to assert his authority within the police force as well as the investigation because it proves difficult to get a grip on Carly’s life and the people involved. She lived with her bully of a father and her sister Jenna, their mother left when Carly was eleven. What is going on and how was the relationship between Carly and her sister Jenna? More important, was Carly that beloved as they first assumed, or did she have a darker side? Jamie May claims he was Carly’s boyfriend, but again not everything is as it seems. It seems that Carly was on her way to become a famous singer, she recorded her songs at Jed Abrams Illusion Recording Studio. When Hellier and DCI Gould – call me Ian – visit the studio, they have a bad feeling, something fishy is going on. Hellier is eager to show Ian that he is able to handle the case while at the same time making sure that DCI Gould is able to retire successfully, to “bow out in a blaze of glory”.
Why does Gould have to be so irritating and annoying to Hellier? It takes a lot of teeth gritting to work together with this relic of the past. That is why Hellier, against his better judgment, decides to go along with Gould’s audacious plan to break in at the Illusion Studios and find out what is really happening there. What follows is one disaster after another, revealing more horrifying and gruesome crimes than Hellier could have ever imagined. He is determined to get to the bottom of it, but is this case becoming too much for him? How will his colleagues trust him, unable as he is to get his life together, both as a policeman as well as in his private life as he is still recovering from his nasty breakup in London? Set aside these personal predicaments, Hellier knows that the whole of the Exeter police force is watching him, the new man, closely. How will he hold himself and will they challenge him as the one in charge, the leading officer?
B.A. (Bernie) Steadman’s book is a great and intriguing detective story, easy to read and with enough speed to keep you hooked on the story. The detective novel has a thrilling plot with twists around every corner. Each chapter in the book starts with the date and time, as well as place. That chronological order and the placing of each action is convenient and enhances the reader’s close connection to the book as well as to its characters. Furthermore, the author introduces us to the Exeter police department and the roles of those, who will be part of Hellier’s team as well as in this first book as (most probably) in the next books of the series. DI Dan Hellier is someone you can relate to and can sympathize with, that makes it a terrific character and promises exciting more reads to come in this series. The next book in the detective series is ‘Death and the Good Son‘ – read my review.
About the Author
B.A. (Bernie) Steadman taught Literature for many years and completed her debut crime novel, Death and Deception, when she finally escaped the classroom and could stop marking essays. These days she writes, walks, bends a bit in yoga and sings a bit in a choir. The emphasis is firmly on the creative, although people who have been subjected to her attempts at knitting may feel she has strayed from the path somewhat. Her innate leaning towards the world of crime, at least in the literary sense, made it her chosen genre when she sat down to write. She plans further novels involving DI Dan Hellier and his team, and has completed a first draft of a YA thriller, By Fire and By Water.
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (7 Dec. 2015)|