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Monday 10 March 2014

Price of Justice by Alan Brenham


This was indeed a fat and juicy crime thriller: something to really get your teeth into. Don’t make the mistake I made and read it when you can only squeeze a few pages at a time. You’ll not want to put it down. It had everything you could possibly want from a thriller: action, intrigue, corruption, deceit, and a very likeable detective on the hunt of some especially vile, seedy and slimy criminals. 

Detective Jason Scarsdale, after tragically losing his young wife—for which he blames himself—struggles to find the strength to be both parents to his young five-year-old daughter. His job, hunting down paedophiles, is not an enviable one, especially when the guilty sometimes go free. Scarsdale is on the trail of a particularly disgusting paedophile ring, but his investigation is thwarted by wrong conviction, secrets of a co-worker (Dani) and departmental leaks at a high level. And when it gets personal and his daughter’s life is at risk, Scarsdale has no hesitation in breaking the rules…

The author’s characters are perfectly conceived: it was easy to like Jason, it was easy to like Dani, his co-worker, who herself has a tragic history and a rather unorthodox approach to justice. It was easy, actually, to like all the good guys. And his portrayal of the villains was equally perfect; they weren’t just bad guys, they were the lowest of the low. The writing is slick and carries you along easily as you race to reach the end of this book. This would, without doubt be a five-star book, but just a few things knocked a star off: the formatting was a little dodgy, and editing was slack: amongst other things, Lasiter occasionally became Lassiter, Dani’s character, written in the first person strayed rather erratically between past and present tenses, and there was a bit of headhopping. But, such things are fixable. Although I can’t fault the plot, I found it a little hard to believe at what could be achieved in three weeks at the end of the story. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this gripping story and hope Detective Scarsdale gets another case to solve.

1 comment:

  1. I can forgive a lot as long as the characters are well written. Sounds like a good read.