| Book Review |
Old Friends and New Enemies – Owen Mullen

 Glasgow beware: Charlie Cameron is back! This intriguing crime thriller has violent killers and ruthless gangsters, a hidden secret and a romantic touch.

| Introduction |

Charlie Cameron #2

This captivating and sometimes chilling crime thriller is a step up from the first – it has all the essential ingredients: psychopath killers and gangsters who demand instant obedience, a hidden secret and an old friend in trouble desperately looking for help. I think that sums up Old Friends and New Enemies pretty well! There is more: Charlie’s right hand Patrick could benefit from some assistance  – and Detective Sergeant Andrew Geddes has a new colleague.  It starts with a crazy murderous criminal setting out on a boating trip in the moonlight – if you have any thoughts about romance, forget it. With him a man, badly bruised, tortured and half unconscious. He suffered from beatings and burnings but still, his ordeal was not over. Soon it would be.

| Storyline |

 Private Investigator Charlie Cameron is in blissful ignorance of what happened to his old friend Ian Selkirk – his best friend when they were in their twenties. Together with Fiona Ramsay, the three of them were inseparable. It’s no wonder that, when Fiona and Ian decide to quit University, Charlie followed suit and went to Thailand with them. It was there that Carlie confessed his love for Fiona. In the end, he came back to England alone. Now, Charlie has taken on the case of a missing husband and checks the morgue to cross an unknown male body from his list. To Charlie’s horror, it is Ian’s body he finds there “cold and swollen and empty of life“. Charlie had no idea Ian was back in Glasgow but knows he must inform Fiona of Ian’s death. As much as he hates telling her, part of him rejoices at the thought of seeing her again.

Fiona is flying over from France and the two of them reconnect easily. The criminal who threw Ian overboard in Loch Lomond is one Kevin Rafferty, crazy son of the Glasgow East End gangster Jimmy Rafferty. Jimmy Rafferty is someone not to be messed with and if that is not enough, he has made even more dangerous connections with a ruthless international gangster. Charlie struggles to see what is going on, why Ian was murdered and what Fiona’s involvement is in this. Whereas Charlie is in the dark as to who and what, the criminals seem to have found him and are watching him closely. Can Charlie keep Fiona safe?  Is he even a match to the brutal gangsters and the foul games they play or is Charlie this time in over his head? That is for you to find out!

| My Thoughts |

It was a pleasure reconnecting to Charlie Cameron. The tortures in the beginning were a bit heavy but in my eyes, it was necessary to understand the type of criminals Charlie is up against. It made me wonder about the ending because I felt there was no way this could end on a positive note. Obviously, I will not provide an answer! I feel the author has stepped up with this second book in the series in the sense, in the sense that I loved the dark grittiness as well as the way the different plots were more connected and part of the bigger picture, combined with one smoothly flowing storyline. There is less introspectiveness and a thrill of increased suspense added to that, more action, mostly centred around or at least related to the main protagonist Charlie Cameron. In the first novel we learned about the reasons Charlie became a detective, this second one provides us with an insight into how his early 20s shaped him. Old friends have come back with a vengeance as we witness Charlie’s struggle, balancing loyalty and love against a growing feeling of suspicion. This well-written and fast-paced novel makes an enthralling read and a captivating thriller.

The other instalments in the Charlie Cameron series:
#1 Games People Playmy review 
#3 Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead 

| About the Author |

Owen Mullen Author Image

When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London, led a life full of travelling and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, he had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands. The first story he wrote after all those years he classifies as “bloody terrible“. Nevertheless, he kept going. And with success. His moral: “find something you’re good at and stick with it.

| Book Info |

 Paperback   280 pages
 Publisher   Bloodhound Books (6 Feb. 2017)
 Language   English
 ISBN-10  099569267X
 ISBN-13  978-0995692671

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