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Monday, 14 August 2017

‘Gregory’s Game’ by Jane A. Adams

Severn House Publishers Ltd,
5 February. 2014,


Gregory has survived a series of dangerous occupations thanks to his ability to blend into a crowd and a propensity to act on hunches.  He has worked as a soldier, mercenary and, latterly, as a paid assassin and bodyguard.  After a career, often characterised by ruthless brutality he is now contemplating retirement.  However, when Nathan Crow, who also boasts a spurious reputation, offers him a partnership, Gregory begins to question whether he is ready for the quiet life.  The consideration becomes irrelevant as events overtake the two hit men and they find themselves embroiled in the investigation of an apparently ritualistic murder.

Meanwhile, two other characters whose circumstances have changed are Naomi and Alec Friedman.  Alec, having recently survived a horrific car crash, has reluctantly left the police force.  He and his wife, Naomi, also an ex-detective, are struggling with the tensions of being suddenly and unexpectedly thrown together so closely.  The situation is exacerbated as Alec, missing the camaraderie, routine and identity that police work afforded, begins to sink into depression.  The couple’s domestic predicament is put on hold, though, when they find themselves co-opted to assist Alec’s former colleague, D.I. Tess Fuller and her level-headed detective sargeant, Vinod (Vin) Dattani, as they lead the murder hunt.  The search for the killer quickly develops into a frantic race to find an abducted woman and her baby before they come to harm.

Gregory’s Game is a tightly constructed novel in which the accounts of the different protagonists are carefully woven together until they merge to form a single narrative.  The short, pithy chapters accelerate as the book moves towards its conclusion, and the unpredictable world of spooks and crooks provides an interesting contrast with the careful routines and protocols that form the basis of effective policing.  

An exciting and compelling read!
Reviewer: Dorothy Marshall-Gent
Jane A Adams was born in Leicestershire, where she still lives. She has a degree in Sociology, and has held a variety of jobs including lead vocalist in a folk rock band. She enjoys pen and ink drawing, martial arts and her ambition is to travel the length of the Silk Road by motorbike. Her first book, The Greenway, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award in 1995 and for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award. Jane writes several series.  Her first series featured Mike Croft. Several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Seven titles featuring blind Naoimi Blake, and six titles featuring Rina Martin. Her most ret series is set between the two World Wars and featuring Detective Inspector Henry Johnstone and his sergeant, Micky Hitchens. Jane has also written several standalone novels. She is married with two children.

Dorothy Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.  She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues.  Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.  

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