“Twenty-four hours after he walked away from court a free man, cop killer and gang leader Simon Talbot is found murdered. In his possession; the name of a protected witness from his trial.
For DI Hannah Robbins, it’s a race against time to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.
But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation.
Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?”
Fighting Monsters is the third book in the DI Hannah Robbins series written by former police detective, Rebecca Bradley. I have a confession to make, this is the first full novel from Bradley which I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed her prequel novella published in 2016, Three Weeks Dead but haven’t managed to fit Shallow Waters (book 1) or Made to be Broken (book 2) into my reading schedule as yet. Having recently finished Fighting Monsters I can assure you that that will indeed change in the near future, so look out for a review or two coming soon.
Change is afoot as the reader is introduced to new girl, Pasha, as she tries to desperately fit into a well-oiled and cohesive unit. Not easy when the shoes she has to fill are those of a recently deceased colleague and well-valued member of the team. Not helped by the arrival of a new DCI who doesn’t have the same work ethic as his predecessor. When Hannah and her team are instructed to investigate the murder of gang boss and suspected cop killer, Simon Talbot, all personal issues are put to one side (or so they should be anyway). With Simon’s grief-stricken brother at her heels, and with many of her colleagues firmly believing that whoever killed Simon Talbot did them all a favour, Robbins finds herself under a great deal of pressure. Not wanting to face the fact that the investigation may take them to places they don’t want to go and, ultimately, the possibility of arresting a fellow police officer…
Bradley’s characters really stood out for me. I enjoyed the working relationship between DI Robbins and her DS, Aaron. I got the feeling there is a lot of history between these two characters and I particularly enjoyed the scenes they shared. I was also interested in the relationship between Hannah and the new girl, Pasha, but this was a whole different dynamic. I felt quite sorry for Pasha. Trying to fit into a well-established team and despite trying your best, every time you open your mouth, reminding those around you exactly what they had lost. I will be interested to see how (and if) Pasha makes her mark in future books.
There were a number of unexpected emotional moments during the story. I really felt for Lee, one of the young PC’s seconded to the team, as we discover he looks after his elderly Nan who suffers from Alzheimer’s and, as a result, leads no life of his own. The reader gets to know Lee and his story, but more importantly, I found Lee fast becoming one of my favourite characters in the book. Other heartbreaking moments involve Simon Talbot’s neighbour and her young son. There is one particular scene where I was perched precariously on the very edge of my seat!
Would I recommend this book? I would. I read it as a standalone and I think it works perfectly well without having read the first two books in the series (I am planning on reading and reviewing both soon, though!). What you get from a Rebecca Bradley novel that you might not find elsewhere is realism. Bradley previously worked as a detective so she knows what she’s talking about and as a fan of the police procedural, I love that. Well worth checking out.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Fighting Monsters. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK on Monday 19th February 2018 and is available in eBook format (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |
I live in Nottinghamshire with my family and two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep me company while I write. I need to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if I could, I would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.
After 16 years service, I was recently medically retired from the police service where I finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.
My first crime novel, Shallow Waters is set in Nottingham. The lead protagonist is DI Hannah Robbins. Because the novel is written in first-person narrative you get a pretty good feel for who she is.
I blog about my writing, policing, social media, occasionally the above disorders and anything else that springs to mind. It’s a loosely connected place inside my head and it’s possible anything could come out. I would genuinely love to see you around and to hear your thoughts.
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Author Image and Bio © http://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/about/
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com