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Monday, 3 August 2020

‘Safe’ by Jane Adams

Published by Joffe Books,
29 June 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78931453-3 (PB)

Seventeen-year-old Lauren runs to Harry, a father figure and ex-employee of brutal criminal boss Kyle Sykes, her real father, after killing Charlie Perrin. Kyle had intended her to marry this son of another criminal outfit so as to join the two families together. However, Charlie had viciously tried to rape her, and she shot him with his own gun.

Kyle suspects Lauren has run to Harry as they were very close. He and his wife Jean, now deceased, had helped bring her up after her mother was killed. Knowing Kyle would come straight to him, Harry drives off with Lauren as soon as she reaches him.

In his frustration Kyle instructs his men to burn Harry's house down. As arson is suspected straight away, a D.I. Toby Clarke is called to the scene. A car seen driving away is registered to a Michael Hoban one of Kyle's men. When Clarke hears of Perrin's death he suspects there is a connection between the two crimes.

The families let it be known that Charlie shot himself while playing with his shotgun, but when Clarke attends the postmortem, the story does not ring true. However, it is hushed up as the main person carrying it out is in the pay of both the criminal families.

Harry takes Lauren to a remote cottage he knows bordering on the North Sea. He realises though that with all Kyle's contacts it won’t be long before he finds them. He gives Lauren a number to call in case of an emergency. So begins a life or death game of cat and mouse. Lyle and rival boss Gus Perrin are determined to find and kill Lauren and anyone who may have helped her.

Meanwhile, we learn of an undercover police officer Petra Merrow who has managed to infiltrate the Perrin household. This is who Lauren must contact, and she soon has the need to. At great risk to herself, Petra takes Lauren under her wing. Now both their lives are in peril.

Clarke and his team are put in charge of bringing Kyle Sykes and Gus Perrin to justice. Unknown to his bosses Toby manages to find Lauren and Petra and tries to keep them safe from the two families. To make it even more difficult, he then discovers there is a bent policeman involved. Can he outwit the criminal families who seem to have infiltrated every possible institution, and who can he now really trust?  Even what is considered a “safe house” proves not to be. His every move now seems thwarted. How can this end satisfactorily?

Wow! the author certainly knows how to grab the reader's attention right from the first line. The story moves along at a really fast pace with no holds barred and stripped right down to the real nitty gritty.

I know it’s an old cliché, but I really had trouble putting this book down and I highly recommend it to all.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Jane 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. There are several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Twelve titles featuring blind Naoimi Blake, and more recently seven books featuring Rina Martin. Her latest series is set in the 1920’s and features Chief Inspector Henry Johnson. Jane has also written three standalone novels. She is married with two children.

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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