Standalone or series
Series (first in a planned series featuring DCI Boyd)
First time reading this author?
Why I picked this
The author posted about it in the UK Crime Book Club, and as a fan of other UK-based detective series I was intrigued.
Review copy or purchase
Thank you to the author for access to a proof copy in ebook form. This is an honest and voluntary review.
What it’s about
Boyd and daughter Emma have moved from London to the coastal town of Hastings. Two years on from the death of his wife and their infant son Boyd is finally ready to go back to work as a CID officer. Instead of the quiet introduction he’d expected Boyd is plunged straight into investigating an abandoned boat full of blood and belonging to a man reported missing by his estranged wife.
As with many first in a series books we spend a bit of time getting to know Boyd, his daughter, their adopted dog Ozzie and his CID colleagues.
Boyd gives the impression of a no nonsense cop who isn’t against bending the rules when he feels it’s justified. His baggage is his grief, the impact of which is honestly discussed and not simply used as an excuse for another grumpy loner detective.
Teammate Sam Okeke gets off to a good start, her banter with Boyd suggests this is a long-term partnership, and she also shows willingness to follow the boss when he goes off the beaten track in search of justice. Lead forensics team member Sully didn’t get a lot of book time, but there’s a sense he’s going to be a recurring character able to provide witty contributions to lighten a dark crime scene. Overall there’s a good balance between backstory and establishing conversations and actual plot.
Plot-wise there’s a lot of action. It edges up to being unbelievable when Boyd gets into one-on-one life endangering situations twice in one day. But, his own reflections on what he should have done to avoid it helped keep this grounded. It’s something to watch for the future though. By portraying Boyd as relatively stable living with his adult daughter and their rescue spaniel, not an alcoholic or unnecessarily violent, creating situations where he refuses to wait for back up all the time could get tricky and risk undermining the character.
It’s a good start to a new series and I look forward to reading more.