CRIME

CRIME

DEAD GROUND by M. W. Craven (Constable £16.99, 448pp)

DEAD GROUND  

by M. W. Craven (Constable £16.99, 448pp)

The difficult Detective Sergeant Washington Poe and his socially awkward computer expert Tilly Bradshaw have become one of the most engaging teams in crime fiction. Faced with a murder in a backstreet brothel in Carlisle, the pair discover that it is linked to a global summit being held nearby.

Enter the spooks of MI5, who want the case solved quickly, but Poe will not be rushed and soon discovers a link to another murder, this time in the course of a bank robbery where nothing was stolen.

The connection is a small ceramic ornament, a rat with a splash of red paint on it, an example of which was found at both crime scenes.

What can it mean? With typical tenacity Poe and Bradshaw burrow beneath the surface, infuriating MI5 along the way. As a former probation officer Craven brings his experience to bear in the writing. You can taste the authenticity.

THE COLOURS OF DEATH 

by Patricia Marques (Hodder £16.99, 384pp)

Set in present-day Lisbon, this striking debut from the Portugal-born Marques introduces an intriguing new concept in police work.

Some officers in the force are what is known as ‘gifted’, with powers of telepathy or telekinesis which can allow them to enter the minds of individuals they are interviewing.

Inspector Isabel Reis has those powers, and she uses them to some effect as she is sent to investigate the mysterious death of a man on a crowded commuter train.

He appears to have died after throwing himself against the glass door at the end of the carriage, but why would he do such a thing? It emerges that he is one of the heads of the National Testing Institute, whose job it is to test the gifted. Could one of them be responsible?

Compelling and original, this glints with freshness.

THE MURDER OF GRAHAM CATTON by Katie Lowe (HarperCollins £14.99, 448pp)

THE MURDER OF GRAHAM CATTON 

by Katie Lowe (HarperCollins £14.99, 448pp)

This second novel from the accomplished Lowe affirms her growing stature. It opens with the 2008 murder of literature professor Catton, whose wife Hannah insists she remembers nothing from the night of the killing. Eventually the police decide it is the work of an intruder, Mike Philips, who is duly convicted, even though he protests his innocence.

Ten years pass until investigative journalist Anna Byers announces she is going to take a fresh look at the case. Byers believes the wrong man may be in jail, which horrifies Hannah. Could there have been a miscarriage of justice? Might Hannah know more than she has ever admitted?

Superbly constructed, Lowe keeps the tension ratcheting ever higher as the twisty plot unfolds.

To buy any book reviewed here, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193 

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