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I’ve read a few books from this series and they have all been very good. This book is no exception. It starts with the arrival of a boat on a deserted Dorset beach one dark night. The boat is filled, overloaded really, with asylum seekers. But as it struggles through the waves breaking on the shore the overloaded boat tips, spilling its human cargo into the water. Four out of the original 30 refugees drown. The boat skipper (people smuggler) jumps out at the first sign of trouble and disappears swiftly - the refugees are on their own!
Police swoop on the scene and try to organise some of the chaos. Meanwhile a couple of bodies have turned up dead in what police later discover are so-called safe houses. But who runs them, who were the residents hiding from? It’s all very hush hush as the spooks and the home office get involved. Detective Superintendent Sophie Allen and her team struggle to make any headway after after having doors figuratively slammed in their faces, but they persevere. What they uncover is a ruthless organisation mopping up its mistakes. There are many red herrings, dead ends and misdirection though. Can the police prevent more killings and can they catch the culprits?
I can’t say more about the plot without spoilers. What I can tell you is that is was a satisfying and meaty mystery that was a lot of fun to try and solve. It was quite intricately plotted and the characters were credible. I guess it also showed how easy it could be to exploit desperate refugees for profit without caring one iota for their welfare. Sadly this is all too common. This book would appeal to anyone who enjoys a good, plausible police procedural or putting a jigsaw together, because that’s what this puzzle was like. Many thanks to Netgalley, Joffe Books and Michael Hambling for my copy. My opinions are my own.
A dead body on an locked train, an over crowded boat of asylum seekers, empty houses on the south coast and, not surprisingly, politicians, immigration officials and police are finding it difficult both to discover any links as well as much harmony between their departments. Michael Hambling delivers a tightly woven and enjoyable piece of fun to distract us all in the pandemic.
Absolutely fantastic thank you. As usual a phenomenal storyline from an amazing author. Loved the twists and the suspense of the storyline. The characters never disappoint and being able to follow their lives is again fantastic. I really enjoy all your books and highly recommend this book to everyone.
Michael Hambling delivers another great story with an interesting plot line and some great characters. Asylum seekers, mystery bodies and mystery agencies combine to provide a story that keeps you engaged all the way through the book.
I've read the Sophie Allen series from the beginning and the story lines are always true-to-life and thrilling. This one is topical, full of twists, and the full cast of characters that the author has introduced to support Sophie Allen are given full rein. That's what makes readers keep coming back. No detective could run the case on their own, they need a strong support team, Sophie has that team and each book gives the other team members their moment in the spotlight. Watching them grow is the fascination. I can't wait for the next one.
Another excellent Sophie Allan tale with a really topical storyline. As usual, the characters (old & new) are really well described and the plot has many twists and turns. Maybe a bit too many, as I did get a wee bit confused as to who was who towards the end. Nevertheless, the read was really enjoyable which did not surprise me, having read all of Michael Hambling's other books. Roll on the next one.
Very average and, as usual with these books a really,really tame ending and a plot that you should be able to predict the outcome half way through. This author has become totally bereft of any original ideas gradually as the series goes on. Series started off well but went downhill quite quickly. As for the the main character. What an overrated, annoying, self centred, arrogant boring know it all!!