“A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.
The charred body of a policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out-shell of his car on the Southend seafront.
To DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell of the Essex Police Major Investigation Team, the two events seem unconnected. But as they dig deeper into their colleague’s murder, dark secrets begin to emerge.
Can Pearson and Russell solve both cases, before more lives are destroyed?”
I am delighted to be today’s stop on the Burned and Broken blog tour. Burned and Broken is author Mark Hardie’s debut novel and introduces us to the formidable crime fighting team of DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell. The second book in the series titled Truly Evil will be published later this year.
A burnt out car containing the body of DI Sean Carragher is found on the Southend seafront. His burns are so bad his colleagues can’t even recognise him. What’s more, DI Carragher was the subject of an ongoing internal affairs investigation, which leads the team to many more questions than it answers. DS Pearson and DI Carragher’s ex-partner, DC Catherine (Cat) Russell are tasked with leading the investigation. But the more they dig, the more they realise that they didn’t really know their colleague at all. And what about young Donna? In a care home until it was forced to close, now living in her on flat and spending her days obsessing over the death of her friend. Donna knows who killed Alicia, now all she has to do is prove it to the right people. She knows it wasn’t an accident, no matter what the police reports said. It’s down to DS Pearson and DC Russell to discover who murdered their colleague before the body count rises…
I loved DC Cat Russell. I felt incredibly sorry for her as the realisation dawned that she didn’t really know Sean Carragher at all. This person who she felt was a friend (and someone to look up to) had let her down repeatedly. Her regular interviews with internal affairs and DS Pearson’s discovery that Sean and Cat couldn’t have been together when Cat claimed they were, made for uncomfortable reading. I wanted to love Frank Pearson but there was something….missing for me. He’s the type of character that I normally, immediately like but it just didn’t happen this time. Donna made me feel incredibly sad. This is obviously a character with deep psychological issues and I really wanted to warm to her but I’m afraid all I could feel was sadness. I wanted someone to spot that she was on the edge of a precipice and help the poor girl.
I struggled with the author’s style, having to re-read many sentences several times over to try and understand what was going on. As I neared the conclusion I found myself enjoying the story more than I had previously. So much so that when I came to one of those ‘read on for a sneak peek at the author’s next book’ sections that I did actually read on. Mainly to check that the next book also featured DC Cat Russell (and DS Pearson).
Would I recommend this book? This is a difficult one. I did enjoy it and I know that others will absolutely love this book and see things which I have missed. But on the whole, I’m not sure. It’s a good police procedural but there are so many GREAT police procedurals out there that it’s a hard one to call.
Three stars out of five.
I chose to read and review an ARC of Burned and Broken. Many thanks to Clara Diaz at Little, Brown for providing me with a copy. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie is published by Sphere | Little, Brown on the UK and is available in hardcover, eBook and audio formats (with the paperback being published in May 2017) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Mark Hardie began writing full time after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.
Author Links: | Twitter |