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Sunday 1 March 2020

‘He Knows your Secrets’ by Charlie Gallagher

Published by Joffe Books,
28 November 2019.
ISBN 978-1-78931271-3 (PB)

He Knows your Secrets is written by a serving UK police officer. This is the fourth book in his series featuring DS Maddie Ives.

The story begins with a young woman getting into a taxi asking to be taken to the coast. Once there, she knocks out the driver and steers the car over the cliff top, killing them both in the process. When her body is found, she is clutching a child’s satchel to her chest. Her intention is that the police will be able to use the papers and photos it contains to find the evidence to convict Freddie Rickman.

Freddie Rickman is known to the police and though he has been taken in for questioning numerous times, there has never been enough evidence to convict him. The women he abuses are too terrified to testify. Through the eyes of these women, the reader learns just how they are first lured into this sickening web of depravity and the threats he holds against them to keep them performing in front of the camera for Freddie’s customers watching on the web.

At first, Maddie and her team struggle to piece together what exactly is going on, but the net closes in and through the heroic efforts of one of his victims Kelly Dale, Freddie Rickman is cornered and his empire collapses.

The characters who take centre stage in the novel are not the police team but Freddie’s victims – the young drunk girls picked up by his taxi drivers and brought to the video rooms. Chief among these is Kelly. Determined to save Lucy, recently ensnared into Freddie’s clutches, Kelly eventually plucks up the courage to fight back, but will Maddie and her boss Harry solve the dead girl’s mysteries clues in time to save Kelly’s life? 

This is by no means an easy read; the graphic violence is vividly portrayed. Nonetheless, it is compelling, and you find yourself unable to put down the book as you race through the final breathless chapters. 
Reviewer: Judith Cranswick

Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for ten years. During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a detective investigating serious offences. Charlie is the author of four Lanthorne police procedurals. His new series features DS Maddie Ives.

Judith Cranswick was born and brought up in Norwich. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little time for writing when she returned to work teaching Geography in a large comprehensive. It was only after leaving her headship that she was able to take up writing again in earnest. Judith teaches Tai Chi, and line dancing, yoga, Pilates and Zumba. Her other hobbies include reading and travelling. She is lucky enough to be a cruise lecturer. You can read some of her adventures – the Ups and Downs of Being a Cruise Lecturer on her September 2014 blog on her home page. Judith’s latest book is Blood Flows South to read a review click on the title

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