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Thursday 2 July 2020

‘Their Dying Breath’ by Steve Parker

Published by Joffe Books,
12 February 2020.
ISBN 978-1-78931308-6 (PB)

This is Book 5 in Steve Parker’s popular and highly acclaimed Detective Ray Paterson series. Steve is a British writer and a retired police officer who served in the Metropolitan Police force for twenty years working in numerous high-profile squads.

The novel is set in Bermondsey and much of the action takes place on the banks of the River Thames where the head of the first victim is found with the rest of his body buried in the mud. He has a star carved on his forehead. This is the first in a series of gruesome and agonising deaths where the victims are made to die slowly as the Thames rises and they are gradually drowned. What makes their deaths more horrific is that the killers have managed to hack the airwaves. Everyone watches in horror as the clocks tick down as the victims scream for help and batter to free themselves as water slowly rises in their buried coffins.

Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson and Detective Sergeant Johnny Clocks rush to find the buried coffins in time but two men die before they can be rescued. It soon becomes evident that the victims are all Muslims. Paterson seeks the help of a local Imam.

This is a fast-paced story with a fascinating and complex plot and there is nothing two-dimensional about the characters. Ray Paterson and Johnny Clocks are very unconventional policemen. Neither bother with the niceties of political correctness, particularly the often-foul-mouthed Clocks.   
More Martina Cole than PD James, this is a gritty read, the graphic violence is vividly portrayed with strong language. It is compelling reading, and you find yourself unable to put down the book especially as you rush to the dramatic conclusion in the crowded mosque.

For lovers of Steve Parker’s Detective Ray Paterson series there is one final hook that will have you clamouring for the next book in the series to find out the answers.
Reviewer: Judith Cranswick

Steve Parker was born and raised in South East London (Peckham to be precise ). At twenty-one he joined the Metropolitan Police where he served for twenty years before being pensioned out with a serious back injury. During his time with the police he served in crime, drug, robbery, fraud and murder squads. After leaving the police force, he went to work as an enforcement officer for a local authority before taking redundancy. Having been writing on and off for years he decided to go back to it. He now writes a series featuring Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson and Detectuve Insector Johnny Clocks. There are five books in the series to date.  He is married, with two sons and lives in East Sussex.

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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