“Recuperating from his past mission, disturbed but driven D.I. Jack Austin returns to work amid a personality clash with a retired colonel – who happens to be his new Chief Constable.
When the Constable is kidnapped – and returned in pieces – DI Austin’s hapless hunt for the culprit begins. He investigates a string of cryptic murders including a beheaded minister, a drowned woman in a Hijab, and a band of terrorists with explosives.
Meanwhile, Austin battles a grievous inner conflict. Will he thwart the perpetrator, or become a conspirator himself?”
Hello again. Emma has allowed me to return to share my thoughts on the second book in Pete Adams’ Kind Hearts and Martinets series, Irony In The Soul. If you missed my review of book one, Cause and Effect, then you missed an introduction to our main character DI Jack Austin (a.k.a Jane), Amanda (a.k.a Mandy) and the motley crew of Plymouth Community Policing.
To say that Jack is more than meets the eye is an understatement, whether you are after empathy, violence, insight or intuition then Jack is your contradiction of a hero. Irony In The Soul can be picked up without having first read Cause and Effect but I would suggest starting at the beginning and taking the time to get to know Jane and the crew as things are about to get a lot bigger!
The second book in the series starts with religious hatred being stirred up in Plymouth’s tolerant and law-abiding suburbs. Within a few chapters, the feeling that malevolent forces are at work is growing and you wonder if Jane is looking at a personal vendetta or events larger than anyone at Community Policing can foresee.
Beyond the investigation is the author’s development of the personal relationships within the team, and the blossoming relationship between Jane and Amanda which started in book one, Cause and Effect. The author spends a lot of time building this relationship, providing a more rounded picture of Jack and giving the reader more of an insight into his back story.
The rest of the Community Policing group are also becoming fuller characters. Be it the ‘mumsy’ Jo-Jums or even bit-part players like Spotty the Media Officer. Even the disliked senior officer is growing in character before he is kidnapped and partially returned (don’t worry – this is not as gruesome as it sounds!) The team work quickly, with help from everyone from the local gangsters to the secret service, to understand the scale of threat they are looking at and avert disasters whilst trying to find their boss.
The villain of the piece ‘Moriaty/Norafarty or any other such sound-alike that pleases you’ is an intriguing character. Whether they are in for idealism, money or personal gain is not fully understood in this book and you can feel that the next book will bring further developments.
The ending of the book comes quickly if you read it as avidly as I did – easy to pick up – hard to put down! But I warn you, there are strings left deliberately and tantalisingly hanging for book three, A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza: In Dead Flat Major. Pete Adams has created a brilliant cast of characters whose personalities and beliefs are coming to the fore in this book. His plotting is strong and the storyline is worrying believable bringing in media, technology and larger powers. Another worthwhile and enjoyable read from this author. Just don’t blame me if you have to invest in book three too!
Ryan received a free eARC of Irony In The Soul. The above review is his own unbiased opinion.
Irony In The Soul by Pete Adams was published in the UK by Next Chapter Publishing on 14th July 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.