Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: DCI Ryan Mysteries #12
Publication Date: 7/27/19
Number of Pages: 280
OMGoodness! There is a LOT going on in Northumberia and we all need our running shoes on to keep up with it. Ryan and Lowerson are placed in untenable and dangerous positions, dead bodies are turning up in Penshaw, a dangerous villain from previous books turns up, and it appears there is more corruption within the constabulary. OH! MY! As always, the fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down mystery is filled with twists-and-turns that will keep your head spinning.
There has been a marked increase in crime and at the same time, a decrease in successful apprehensions and prosecutions. Because of his sterling reputation, DCI Ryan has been tasked with heading up a task force consisting of all of the various units such as drugs, fraud, major crimes, digital forensics, organized crime, etc. His task is to foster information sharing across agencies so that they can all help each other catch, prosecute, and imprison the culprits responsible for the mayhem. At the same time, Ryan is approached by his boss, Chief Constable Sandra Morrison, and DCI Andrew Blackett, of what is known as the Ghost Squad. They are sure that the policing forces have been compromised – at all levels – and that there is even a mole in Ryan’s own team. OH! MY! Ryan’s task is to figure out who, throughout the policing forces, have been compromised. Ryan is sure nobody in his squad would be compromised – one of them cannot be a mole on this very task force. Or, can they?
While all of that is happening, we are learning about the sad death of Alan Watson in Penshaw. Alan had been a robust, active, dedicated miner for years – until the great strike in the fall of 1984. Alan had been a major organizer and leader of the union and the strike, but when it failed, a rumor started, and it accused him of providing information to the government about the union’s plans. It broke him for his close-knit community to think that of him and he took to drink. Now, over 30 years later, his charred remains have been pulled from their burning home by his wife. She’s seriously burned, but Alan didn’t survive. Was he murdered or did he die of a heart attack and drop his cigarette, thus causing the fire? MacKenzie and Lowerson catch the Watson case and something about it just seems ‘off’ to MacKenzie. As they investigate, and more deaths and betrayals occur, they figure out that there is something much bigger going on.
You’ll love the mystery and you’ll see Ryan’s angst and dismay at dealing with yet more corruption within the constabulary. He thought they’d taken care of all of that two years ago and yet it is back again. It was good to see, and hope, that Lowerson is finally finding himself and realizing what is really important in life. I also liked seeing the growth in Trainee Detective Constable Melanie Yates and look forward to seeing more of her in future books.
Great read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.