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Carlyle, obstinate, ill-humoured is even more pig-headed and belligerent to the authorities then usual as he fights to right the wrongs of a nine year old Ukranian girl. He battles his old crime protection unit to the palace, a Ukranian gangster , and of course the slow machinations and sheer apathy of the social/justice system.
This case puts a fire in his belly and he causes uproar where ever he goes not really giving a damn bar getting the result he wants, much to his bosses exasperation.
You see a side to Carlyle that is almost endearing, though he still has his foul mouth, crass observations and inner world weary inner monologue which entertained.
The gritty, twisty, multifaceted plot kept me guessing and as usual does not go down any well worn path, stubbornly forcing it's own way that stimulated and kept me guessing how on earth the author was going to end such a complex case.
As usual Joe Jameson gives life and depth to Carlyle which added to my enjoyment.,
JC's best Carlyle novel yet..
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A policeman with the quirks and foibles of the 'average' bloke isn't the most obviously attractive character to have at the centre of a novel but in this book I think James Craig gets the balance just about right.
I've listened to one other book in this series and I have to say I didn't take to the gruff Inspector at all. While I think I understood what the author was trying to do - i.e, get away from the overly quirky, emotionally incontinent, hard-bitten loner - with obligatory drink/drug/other problems - that is the stock male protagonist, the characterisation in the previous book (#1) lacked balance. Carlyle was too offhand, too devoid of empathy and lacking in any traits which I could find at all sympathetic.
Even 'nice' male leads in other books tend to be laden with neuroses and/or terrible childhoods not to mention an inability to move on from the trauma of losing a wife or a posh/mean girlfriend who gave them the elbow at an early age. Not Carlyle . He carries whatever emotional baggage he has like the stoic (ish) everyman he is. He doesn't even have a daft name.
The punk band he likes (The Clash) is the one that ordinary blokes like. There's no binbag & safety pin couture in his past. He has a wife and daughter to whom, it becomes clear in this book, he is devoted. He worries about his daughter's safety and her future. He takes his job seriously but not to the point of obsession which seems to be de rigeur in so many other procedurals. He is also, I think, committed to securing whatever kind of 'justice' is in his power.
He may be ordinary (and he is....sort of) but that in itself is a refreshing change from the tenpence-mix bag of cliches that so often populate crime novels.
As to the plot, it is far from formulaic. The ''fiends in high places' is not exactly new but it is well handled. And quite brave to judge by at least one review.
Finally, I'm sure the Inspector would far rather the alleged lack of narrative 'chords' in which his story is conveyed be compared to The Ramones rather than good old Status Quo.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful