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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.
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 love this series, I’m not sure this book was quite as good a read as the previous ones, possibly because there was rather less of Sophie Allen in it. Although it was fiction it was good to see an author challenging some of the ills in our society
Really good from start to finish, hard to put down, once you have started it. The story was very up to date , by that I mean it took into account a very news worthy story i.e. the migrant problem. Very informative all during the story and it felt like in some parts that the reader was actually on site.. The author is excellent at writing these stories, please keep it up!
I prefer the others in the series, when Sophie stays in Dorset, solving local murders. Didn't enjoy this as much, where she is involved with politicians, civil servant, and international crime. Also missed the family interludes, with Martin, Hannah and Jade, and Sophie's mother and grandparents. Come home to Dorset, Sophie.