“A self-labelled enigma, Detective Inspector Jack Austin is at once miserable and amusing, melancholy and motivated. Running the Community Police Unit from his deck chair, D.I. Austin is known for his ability to solve crimes out of the blue.
Trying to work cases while struggling with his mental issues, Austin deals with a variety of major crimes, including bicycle theft. But when the case of an executed police officer lands on his desk, he accidentally uncovers a malevolent scheme.
Can he discover who is behind it all – and keep what’s left of his sanity?”
It’s the weekend! Happy Saturday and welcome to damppebbles. I’m only popping in briefly to hand over to my trusty sidekick (he’s going to kill me for saying that 😂), my husband and guest reviewer, Ryan. Ryan is reviewing the first book in Pete Adams’ Kind Hearts and Martinets series, Cause and Effect. Cause and Effect was published in paperback and ebook formats by Next Chapter Publishing on 28th June 2019 and Ryan received an eARC which has not influenced his review.
Over to Ryan…
How do you describe Detective Inspector Jack Austin? Well, I should certainly start by calling him ‘Jane’ as everyone else at his station does. To use his own words, which he muddles often, he’s a “riddle wrapped up in an enema”. An aging detective who seems to attract the odd crisis whilst nicknaming almost everyone he meets, solving crimes and getting his words wrong as frequently as possible.
If you don’t like word play, (or sometimes just the wrong darn word!) then I will suggest now that you may not get on with this book. Jane’s use of language is somewhat unique but as the book progresses you soon become used to his turns of phrase. Stick with it, it’s worth it. The story from Pete Adams is well put together with multiple strands, criminal and personal playing out at a good pace throughout the book. Supported by Mands (a.k.a. Mandy Pumps, Mandy Lifeboats, Amanda) , Jo-Jums, Nobby and KFC (no, not the chicken place – don’t ask – you’ll find out when you read it!) DI Jane sets out to solve a case that keeps growing. From stolen bicycles and assault, the story grows and ends up with major criminal rings. All whilst Jane fights with the English Language and top brass.
The story is strong and I kept picking up my kindle to sneak another chapter in whenever I could. I have already moved onto book two, Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying, to find out where the story leads. The ending is clever revealing threads that had been hinted at. I must admit in the first chapter I was a little confused by the fact everyone had at least two names (real name and ‘Jane given name’) but this added to the human side of the story and gave insight into the way Jack felt about his team. Jack is liked by most of the characters in the book, leading the reader to warm to him. Although there are times when his maverick approach does seem out of kilter with the sleepy suburbs of Portsmouth.
Would I recommend the book? I would. I can imagine some readers will find the first couple of chapters tricky but the team which emerges as the book progresses makes it worthwhile. Pete Adams has introduced me to characters I like and I enjoyed spending time with them. Book two, which as I mentioned I’m currently reading, is also getting interesting but more about that next month…
Ryan chose to read and review an eARC of Cause and Effect. The above review is his own unbiased opinion.
Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams was published in the UK by Next Chapter Publishing on 28th June 2019 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Book Depository | Goodreads |
Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.
Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.
Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.
Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.