The fifth and final blog tour I’m taking part in this month is for Mark Hardie’s Burned and Broken*, another cracking debut novel.
It’s not until I get stuck into a crime thriller that I realise how much I love them. Having spent a long time reading chick lit, then classics, then all of Jodi Picoult’s work before a load of comic books, thrillers are something that I pick up now and again but not consistently. Saying that, I haven’t read one that I haven’t enjoyed. I’m curious by nature and always have to race through to the end to find out what happened.
Of course, as with Jane Harper’s The Dry, you need a hero to root for. Here we have two – DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell. As the press releases uses the phrase ‘introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction’, I’m hoping that there’s more to come from this fantastic crime-fighting duo. When a colleague of theirs becomes the victim of a murder inquiry, they need to dig for the truth, beyond what their bosses might want them to discover. At the same time, a physically and emotionally damaged sixteen year old girl is fighting to uncover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend. Could the victims be connected? Dum dum duuuuuum!
What makes Hardie’s debut so gripping is the constant reveal of more backstory. Just when you think you’re getting to the bottom of something, a new piece of the puzzle is revealed. The timescale lends itself well to the mystery, opening with the discovery of a policeman’s body, jumping back to his last few days before building up to the resolution of the case, unearthing a few more crimes along the way.
I don’t know what it is about British crime thrillers but, as with the Bryant and May series, I can’t help but be reminded of classic ITV dramas, such as A Touch of Frost and Inspector Morse. That’s a compliment, really! It feels modern but timeless and with a determined everyday hero who’ll stop at nothing until he solves the case. In fact, I’d happily watch a TV series dedicated to the cases of Pearson and Russell.
Here’s to more from Hardie – and Pearson and Russell!
The paperback will be released in May but you can download an e-book now.
* I received this item for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.