Today I’m delighted to be sharing with you my review of Michael Hambling’s latest novel, “Evil Crimes”.
About the book:
Looking for a gripping mystery by a best-selling author?
Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion.
A young man’s body is spotted in the stormy sea off Dancing Ledge in Dorset.
Did he lose his footing in the gale force winds and fall in? Or is there a more sinister cause of death?
Detective Sophie Allen’s team discover some curious links to a suicide that happened six months earlier. A strikingly attractive female student connects the cases. Alarming facts slowly come to light as the team probes more deeply.
Is the young woman as evil as she seems or is someone else manipulating her?
DCI Sophie Allen races against time to uncover the tragic secrets behind the crimes and stop any more deaths.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.
EVIL CRIMES is book six of a new series of crime thrillers featuring DCI Sophie Allen, head of the Violent Crime Unit in Dorset.
DCI Sophie Allen is Dorset’s acknowledged expert on murder and violent crime. She is 42 as the series starts, and lives with her husband and younger daughter in Wareham. Her elder daughter is studying in London. Sophie has a law degree and a master’s in criminal psychology. Her brilliant mind conceals some dark secrets from her past.
DS Barry Marsh is based at Swanage police station. He’s quiet, methodical and dedicated, the perfect foil for Sophie’s hidden fragility.
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
THE DCI SOPHIE ALLEN BOOKS
Book 1: DARK CRIMES
Book 2: DEADLY CRIMES
Book 3: SECRET CRIMES
Book 4: BURIED CRIMES
Book 5: TWISTED CRIMES
Book 6: EVIL CRIMES
*Thank you to Jill Burkinshaw and the team at Joffe Books for the copy which I received in exchange for an honest review*
A body is found in what appears to be a suicide in the stormy seas. Sophie Allen and her team are called to investigate, and while investigating find some clues that link it to an earlier suicide. They begin to get suspicious, especially as a striking young female is involved. Were they suicides? Is the young woman a murderer? Or is she being manipulated or framed?
This is the sixth book in the series, and although it can easily be read as a standalone, I did feel I had missed a little just at the very start. It’s clear Sophie and an early witness to the suicide in the sea have some history, but it didn’t affect the story.
There were several things I really liked about the book. Firstly, I liked that Sophie was given a family, and family dramas were played out throughout the storyline. I also liked that one of Sophie’s junior members of the team, Rae, was a transgender character. It’s not something you come across a lot in crime fiction.
It’s a good meaty plot for you to get your teeth stuck into, a mix of psychological thriller and police procedural.
Overall I really enjoyed it and gave it 4*.
I like to think of myself as a writer of thoughtful, contemporary crime novels that are complex and involve situations that change lives. I live in the west-country counties of Wiltshire and Dorset, and set my novels in this area. The early novels in the Sophie Allen series are based on the Isle of Purbeck, that most beautiful of coastal areas. But the rest of the county of Dorset does get a look in.
I’m a retired teacher who has tinkered with writing for much of my life. My previous efforts have usually been directed towards short stories but I have always felt that crime novels would be one of my final choices, particularly if a developing storyline allows me to introduce one or two social issues, albeit with a light touch.
I write because I constantly create scenes, people, imaginary conversations and unusual situations in my head. I have always done so, ever since I was a child. Using the richness of the English language to set down these creations in words is a great joy.