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The Upper Hand: A Chilling British Crime Thriller Paperback – 22 July 2019
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- Publisher : Independently published (22 July 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 255 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1081969385
- ISBN-13 : 978-1081969387
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.63 x 20.32 cm
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What can I say about Detective Constable Kate O'Connell? She is a highly enthusiastic detective who has just joined the Murder Squad in Surrey. She hasn't been in the police force for all that long but she has worked her way up from being in uniform to being a plain clothes detective. She is eager to learn and eager to please. Kate just wants to get along with her team and she even smiles at some of the comments that are thrown at her. Kate wants to be one of the gang so up to a point she will stand whatever is thrown in her direction. Kate is partnered up with Detective Nathan Hallewell, who has had some bad experiences of late that have impacted on his mental and emotional health. I got the impression that he is an outsider and is given all the crappy jobs that nobody else wants. It isn't immediately apparent as to what it is that happened but little clues are given throughout the story that give the full picture when pieced together. Anyway I digress so back to Kate I go. Kate has an interesting family background. Her father was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), now the PSNI (Police Service Of Northern Ireland), although he doesn't like to talk about his experiences so Kate doesn't really know the extent of her father's career history. Kate and Nathan are handed a gruesome murder and both know that this could be their chance to shine and to make an impression.
Oh my goodness me, 'The Upper Hand' has to be one of my favourite books of 2019 so far. 'The Upper Hand' is seriously addictive reading. As soon as I began to read, I just knew that I would have to binge read the book over the course of a day because I just couldn't contemplate having to put the book down for any reason. I bought the paperback and trust me the book travelled everywhere with me. I think that I thought I might miss out on some vital clue or on some nugget of gossip. The pages turned increasingly quickly as my desperation to discover the truth increased. Whilst reading this book, I lost all track of time and I didn't realise just how quickly I was getting through the book until I checked and I was stunned to realise that I had read over two thirds of the book. I soon reached the end of the story, which I was so disappointed about. I don't mean that in a negative sense but I was enjoying the author's writing style, the characters and the storylines that much that I just didn't want the book to end.
A.. L. Fraine is certainly an author to watch. He has one of those writing styles that is easy to get along with and easy to get used to. He grabbed my attention from the start and he kept my attention throughout the book. It was as if the book developed a hold over me and I didn't want to break that hold. The author writes so convincingly and realistically that I felt as though I was part of the story myself and I was an extra member of the investigating team. I was blown away by the quality of the writing in this book and by the story. It is A. L. Fraine's debut full length novel, which surprised me as the smoothness and confidence of the writing indicates to me that it is the work of an author, who has released several books over the years. I have high hopes for further books in the series and I just know that they will be just as good as this one.
I do have one teensy, weeny little comment to make about a blooper in the book. As I mention above, I have the paperback. I noticed that on the back of the book, Nathan Halliwell is referred to as being a Detective Constable but within the book itself, he seems to chop and change from being a Detective Constable to a Detective Sergeant and back again. This is no way spoiled my enjoyment of the story and it's just a minor blooper, which may just be in the paperback and not in the e-book version.
Reading 'The Upper Hand' was much like being on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a 'Snakes & Ladders' board. Some of the twists I had predicted but others crept up on me in secret and when they hit, I was left feeling momentarily stunned and speechless. I was gripped by the story throughout and on the edge of my seat more often than not.
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Upper Hand' and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I can't wait to read more from A. L. Fraine and fortunately I don't have too long to wait because the second book in the O'Connell and Halliwell series called 'Idle Hands' is due for release on 19th October 2019. Whilst I wait, I will definitely be reading the already released prequel to the series called 'First Hand', which gives us a bit more detail about Kate's earlier life. 'First Hand' is a novella. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Don’t forget to check out the prequel before diving into this though, which gives some good backstory on the lead character.