By Plimmer & Long
House of Stratus, £6.99 (UKP)
Reviewed by Karen Meek
When DI Jack Priestley arrests his childhood friend Steve Blade for armed robbery, their friendship is rekindled. Though Blade goes to prison, Priestley keeps in touch. Blade is accepted into the inner circle of hardened criminals who run things inside the prison and is offered a job on his release. Meanwhile, Priestley starts to investigate corruption firstly in the council and then in the police force and finds that it stretches to the top.
When released, Blade goes to work for the gang thatís paying the corrupt officers and Blade offers to turn informant in return for never going to jail again.
Priestley finds he has few people he can trust. He thought he could trust Blade but when he shops an undercover officer, heís not so sure. Priestley is beaten up and when that doesnít deter, money is put into his bank account. Can he get the evidence he needs to arrest his fellow officers?
After a slowish start, the story really pulls the reader in. With numerous twists, the tension mounts until you canít put the book down. The writing is good, there are maybe a few too many characters to keep straight but the main ones are well drawn. The plot is regrettably very plausible. The authors are a retired policeman and a former criminal so an added attraction, especially for Birmingham residents, is wondering how many of the fictional events are thinly disguised real life happenings.
EDCOM: This book is published by a small press in Britain. It may never be available from a U.S. publisher, but it is available through Amazon.co.uk if you wish to order it.
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