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Thursday, 23 January 2020

‘Payback’ by R.C. Bridgestock.

Published by The Dome Press,
9 January 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-91253417-3 (PB)

Four years ago, Charley Mann broke up rather acrimoniously with her boyfriend of many years. At the same time she was promoted to Detective Sergeant and sent to London to further her career.
Newly promoted once more she has now been sent back to her old village as Detective Inspector and head of C.I.D. in nearby Huddersfield at her old police station.

She is not best pleased when she meets up with her old friend Kristine to be told Danny her ex-boyfriend has separated from his wife and is living back in the village working as a reporter for the local paper. The first day at work she is greeted with the news that a woman's body has been found hanging from a tree. On arrival at the scene the team are surprised to see she is hanging by her feet. It reminds them of a carcass at a slaughterhouse, there is blood on the surrounding ground. Charley is especially puzzled to see the corpses shoes are on the wrong feet.

Back at the station an incident room is set up. Charley meets her immediate boss Divisional Commander Brian Roper and remembers him being a bully and a liar from when she previously worked there. She soon realises he hasn't changed a bit and she is going to have to be wary of him.  Putting him out of her mind Charley attends the post mortem to be alerted to a few surprises concerning the body.

A few days later two young boys find another body in woods. This time it is a black man lying under a tree, he had been strangled. Are the murders connected? Both scenes contain strange articles which Charley is sure have been put there to confuse the police. For example, why was the first body wrapped in netting and at the second scene why was there a syringe with no trace of drugs either in it or in the body?

Slowly the team gather evidence, but Charley is frustrated when Danny shows himself and accuses her of cheating on him four years ago, which she positively denies. He tries to bully her into giving him information on the murders, but she is determined not to tell him anything, and he turns quite nasty.

Soil is then found on both bodies which forensics prove to come from the same place as each other and not from where they were found. Charley has the positive connection at last, but can the team find the perpetrator before they strike again?

A really good book full of red herrings and surprises. The Bridgestocks certainly have a great talent for descriptive narrative, once again their characters come alive and leap out of the book at the reader. I look forward to the rest of the new series about D.I. Charley Mann with great anticipation and highly recommend that people read Payback and all Charley's next cases.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

R C Bridgestock  is the pen anme of the writing duo Carol and Bob Bridgestock.  Carol and Bob were both born and lived in West Yorkshire until they relocated to the Isle of Wight in 2003. Between them they have a staggering 47 years employment with the police, Carol being a member of the Civilian support staff and Bob being a Senior Police Officer. As a career detective Bob worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. As a Senior Investigative Officer (SIO) in charge of homicide cases he took command of some twenty-six murder investigations, twenty-three major incidents including shootings and attempted murders and over fifty suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults, some of which were extremely high profile in his last three years alone. In 1988 Carol commenced working for the Police as a member of the support staff in the Administration Department. As a supervisor she received a Chief Constable's commendation for outstanding work for her determination and drive creating a poster competition for an Autumn Crime initiative.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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