Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: Running Scared by Bill Kitson

Running Scared by Bill Kitson, June 2018, 228 pages, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN: 719042292

Reviewed by Terry Halligan.
(Read more of Terry's reviews for Euro Crime here.)

With DI Mike Nash away on compassionate leave, DS Clara Mironova and the Helmsdale team are faced with a sudden and dramatic increase in crime. Minor offences ranging from theft, shoplifting, and poaching, pale into significance when a violent turf war breaks out between rival gangs of drugs suppliers. Within weeks the detectives have to cope with three murders, including the shooting of a police officer. As they struggle to investigate the killings, a batch of deliberately contaminated heroin hits the streets, resulting in the deaths of three addicts and causing panic in the media. The breathless speed of events puts the entire region on high alert. The detectives must capture the drug barons, break up their supply networks, solve the murders – and thwart the criminal mastermind before he can realize his ultimate ambition.

The plot of the book encompasses many different threads from murders, drug selling, animal theft to international migrant problems and it makes the very tight plot of the book twist and turn almost from paragraph to paragraph. But when all's said and done this book is a police procedural and part of the very charm of the story is the interaction of the various colourful detectives that we have learnt to know and appreciate in previous stories. Readers will need to concentrate to really enjoy the story but it is not always serious, there are incidents of wry humour to lift from the pathos of the sadder elements of the story.

As in previous books of his that I have reviewed, once you start a Bill Kitson book it is extremely difficult to put down and I had great trouble in closing this one also, until I reached the very exciting conclusion. The book may seem fairly compact but this author seems to put more storylines into 228 pages than many other rival authors can do in 400.

The author has published ten previous books in the DI Mike Nash series and five books in the Eden House Mystery series. I understand he also writes historical fiction and lighter romantic stories set in Greece under the pen-name 'William Gordon' and he has written six books in that series also. I will certainly look out for the Eden House Mysteries in the future. If you want to read a book that once started you won't want to put down then buy this one.

Very highly recommended.

Terry Halligan, June 2018.

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