Monday, September 30, 2019

Six Years Too Late (DCI Isaac Cook #11), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, September 2019

When the body of a murdered man is found on the top floor of an empty house, DCI Isaac Cook and his team have many questions.

The dead man is Marcus Matthews, who disappeared six years ago. died then, after sharing a bottle of wine with the person who then shot him. It looks like that last evening went exactly as planned.

And Marcus Matthews was the son-in-law of Hamish McIntyre, prominent local organized crime boss. The one thing McIntyre loves in this world is his daughter, Samantha Matthews. McIntyre couldn't have killed Matthews, in part because he had a broken leg at the time and couldn't have reached the top floor. Did he order it? Was someone else behind it?

As they start digging, they start finding links to other cases, one going back twenty years, and yet nothing provides the evidence they need. When new deaths start happening, they know they have a major problem.

There's a good, tricky mystery here, but also a study of the complex characters involved. McIntyre is aging, mostly retired, and tending his orchids--but he senses a threat to his daughter, and this violent, ruthless man will never by that retired. Samantha has her own secrets, her own resentments, and maybe her own ambitions that her father never thought of. The police have their own issues and changes, as they continue to develop as characters over the course of the series. Cook has bound a woman who is able to live with the stresses and unpredictable schedule of his police work. Wendy Gladstone still loves her work in Homicide, but she's not young, and is starting to feel her physical limits. Larry Hill is drinking, smoking, and eating too much, and Cook decides it's time for a full medical exam and an ultimatum--stop drinking and get fit for duty, or the medical report goes up through channels. Yet despite his very real problems, which affect his ability to do his job, Hill still has excellent police skills and instincts. If he has to go, it will be a real loss.

What I love about this series is the combination of solid story with solid characters who develop realistically.


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

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