Monday, November 19, 2018

Murder Has No Guilt (DCI Isaac Cook #9), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, November 2018

A mass shooting in a high-end hair salon for men is the start of a big problem for DCI Isaac Cook and his team. Even the minor local mafia boss doesn't seem like a likely target for this type of killing. But  as Isaac and his team keep digging, it begins to look like it had nothing to with anyone there--and everything to do with a brewing gang war between a Romanian gang well established in the area, and a major Russian mafia gang moving in.

The deaths in the mass shooting are, of course, not the last deaths.

An informant of DI Larry Hill's, a leader of one of the local West Indian gangs, a source DC Wendy Gladstone has cultivated in the course of this investigation, all find their lives abruptly shortened. No one is happy about the Russians, more violent than any of the established gangs, moving in but working with the police is a hard step to take.

All the characters have more than just one layer, even the worst criminals. For our recurring characters, they continue to develop into every more fully-fleshed characters, and their lives progress, as age, relationships, and experience all have their effect.

Strang is just really good at this, and keeps turning out highly readable and satisfying police procedurals about convincingly real characters. Very much recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am  reviewing it voluntarily.