What have a suspected burglar and a murder victim in common? A secret box beholds mementos of crimes.Time for DI Strong and journalist Souter to investigate
The Wakefield Series #1
Trophies is David Evans’ exciting crime debut, the first of ‘The Wakefield Series’. Detectives are my favourite genre and this one is set in the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. Behind the Wakefield Cathedral, opposite the city’s Town Hall we find the Wood Street police station. There we can find DI Colin Strong with his DS Kelly Stainmore and the team of detectives of the CID.
In December 1999 a man meets his murderer – a murderer who is definitely looking for something. A month into the millennial year 2000 a suspected burglar is to be interviewed by DI Strong. What seems a pretty simple case turns into something else as Strong is shocked to recognise the accent of the suspected burglar. In an instant, he is back in time and remembers the gruesome case of the serial killer the Yorkshire Ripper whose first victim was found 25 years ago. The investigation took years and was at first without any success. When incriminating letters and a tape recording were sent to and received by the police, the hunt for the serial killer took on another level. Unfortunately, three more women died by the serial killer’s hands before the police established the tape recording and letters to be a hoax and picked up the original investigation, this time successful: the real murderer was apprehended and brought to justice.
Strong is certain the burglar’s voice has the identical accent to the one on the tape. Could it be that this is the man who sent the false letters and hoax tape, pointing the finger towards himself, away from the real serial killer? Strong has to find out, even if he has to investigate off the record. When the murder victim from December 1999 is found, it appears that he has been secretly stocking a box full of souvenirs. A lady’s cigarette lighter, a ladies’ wristwatch, a silver chain and more items. DI Strong feels that the investigation has taken on an even more serious course. In the meantime, Bob Souter returns to his hometown, where he lived most of his childhood. Devastated by the loss of his son and yet another relation breakup, he is ready to make a fresh start as a Crime and Home Affairs Correspondent with The Yorkshire Post in Wakefield. The first to call will be his old friend and school mate Colin Strong.
The friends reconnect and at the same time start a query. Each needs the other one’s information to put together the pieces of the puzzle. What was the murderer looking for and has he found it yet? Is there a connection between the suspected burglar and the souvenir box from the murdered man? DI Strong feels well .. strongly about this, but is he able to sort it all out? If the voice on the tape from 20 years ago is the same as that of the suspected burglar, does that imply the Yorkshire Ripper had an accomplice? The case gets even more complicated as slowly, one by one, the owners of the mementos are found and their stories told. Why does Souter not return Strong’s telephone calls and what is he doing? Will the friendship between the two men be jeopardised and can they trust each other? Why must Strong pursue the investigation into the connections, even if it’s off-the-record and not at all sure if he will ever get to the bottom of it?
Trophies is the first in a series of detective series around DI Strong and his CID team. The series is based in Yorkshire, mainly Leeds and of course Wakefield. The cities are genuine and what makes it even more real, is that it links the serial killer from the 1970’s, the Yorkshire Ripper, to the fictional events of the book. The exciting crime novel is thrilling, likeable, pleasant to read and has this great mix of police business with some goings on in DI Strong’s personal life. We get to know his friend from old days Bob Souter also, who we undoubtedly will see again in the next book, but will he be able to form an alliance with DI Strong in the second book of the series or will their friendship be irreparably broken? Personally I am looking forward to reading more about DI Strong in the next book ‘Torment’ of the promising detective series – my review. The third book in ‘The Wakefield Series’ is ‘Talisman‘ – my review.
About the Author
David Evans is a Scots-born writer who found his true love as well as his inspiration for this detective series in Wakefield. Having written all his life, in 2012 he decided to go for it – successfully as the next year, in 2013, he was awarded as a CWA Debut Dagger Shortlist novelist.
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (6 July 2016)|