by Kate Bendelow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a truly excellent debut novel. There is no question in my mind that it fully deserves my five-star rating.
From start to finish, the pace never lets up.
As you would expect from a writer who is a serving CSI, the authenticity is exceptional. Not only does that come through in the characters in the SOCO team and the situations in which they find themselves, but Kate Bendelow has obviously researched the police procedural side of the story too. She even manages to capture perfectly the point of view of a young person of mixed race who is finding her feet in modern society.
The story opens with main character, Maya, a new CSI on her way to the scene of her first dead body. Although she is accompanied by a very experienced CSI, she makes an embarrassing yet comical, rookie error which draws much mirth from her colleagues when she returns to base. But she can take it. She realises that it is all part of the job. Not being able draw some humour from situations that arise in her chosen professions would make life very tough and almost unbearable.
There is something that irks her in the first scene. Although the death looks like, and is declared, as not suspicious, Maya feels that something is not quite right. Opening up about her feelings is a big mistake and her boss, Kym, is soon making it very clear to her that she must put facts ahead of feelings.
Maya is naïve and far too trusting. That quickly leads her in into more trouble with her boss and her colleagues and with the CID team. It takes her a while to understand that it is dangerous to automatically trust people from first meeting.
There is a great diversity in the characters, which are very well developed as the story moves on. My favourite character, despite some of his despicably violent acts, is a giant called Lurch. I won’t say why in my review, as you should have the opportunity to form your own opinion. I wonder if you’ll agree with me?
This is a great start to what promises to be an enthralling series. I look forward to the appearance of the second episode.
View all my reviews