As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Quercus Editions Ltd, 2 July 2015. ISBN: 978 - 1-78206 - 317- 9
Taking Pity is a complicated
tale about the work and lives of three policemen who are all struggling
desperately to cope with their lot in life.
Trish Pharaoh and Detective Chief Inspector Colin Ray are trying to mitigate
the work of two rival gangs of highly undesirable characters who are,
unfortunately, aided by widespread corruption in the local police force.
DS Pharoh is working legitimately, but DCI Ray is suspended from work for
“slapping the piss out of some mouthy little prick in the cells.” Their work is
not made any easier by the circumstance that one of the gangs is trying to take
over the home ground of the long established resident gang. Both gangs
deal in the usual rackets involving drugs, gunrunning, prostitution and
protection, and neither hesitates to kill or maim anybody who gets in their
Set alongside the gang warfare
is a second story involving Pharoh’s protégée, Detective Sergeant Aector
McAvoy, who’s described as having “ideals that are too painful to live by.”
He’s on sick leave, and is mentally down as a result of being badly injured,
having his home blown up, and being forcibly separated from his beloved wife
and baby daughter because he annoyed the wrong people. The only thing
keeping him sane is his five-year-old son, Fin.
To distract McAvoy from his
domestic problems, Pharoh asks him to check if a charge for multiple murders
would stand up in court against a man who has been locked up under the Mental
Health Act since 1966, but who has now been declared sane.
For me, it was the rich stream
of well-developed and unusual characters, and the detailed descriptions of Hull
and its countryside, rather than the violent plot that made this book so well
worth reading. The two stories eventually merge in a chilling finale that
leaves the way clear for the next McAvoy tale. This book is well written
and is number four in the McAvoy series. It can be read without knowledge
of the previous three, but I think anyone who is interested would benefit from
starting at the beginning especially as I believe the fifth book, Dead Pretty,
has just been published. I doubt it will be the last.
Reviewer Angela Crowther
David Mark was a journalist for over fifteen years, including
seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post in its Hull
office. He lives in Lincolnshire with his family.
Angela Crowtheris a retired
scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime
fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group,
goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi