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Monday 3 May 2021

‘The Drowning Men’ by Jane Adams

Published by Joffe Books,
12 February 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-78931608-7. (PB)
Originally Published 7 June 2001 as Angel Eyes.

When the book opens, we learn of a teenager, Damien Pinsent jumping off the high board of a leisure centre swimming pool, but he can't swim. As he nears the water he seems to realise and starts flailing his arms around. He sinks like a stone.


We then advance three years and members of a residents' association led by a Martin Galloway, break up a gang preparing drugs at a warehouse on the Armitage Estate.


Ex Detective Ray Flowers is a friend of Martin's and while tracking down the person who badly burnt him some years ago, had uncovered high up corruption and a local drugs ring. Martin calls on him now giving him details of a new drug supply which sends some people mad and has killed more than one. He needs Ray's help. Then Martin disappears.


Later the police tell Ray, Martin was in a car crash and has been put in a private clinic, heavily sedated. It becomes apparent he has been drugged. Ray is adamant he would not have taken them voluntarily.


Just before his accident Martin had put a torn piece of a picture from a magazine through Ray's door depicting an angel with big blue eyes. It seems he was trying to tell him that Angel Eyes had surfaced again. This was a drug dealer from some years ago that Ray had tried to track down before. Strangely the drugs cannot be drained from Martin's system and he barely speaks at all. The only thing he says over and over again is that he's drowning – just like Damien.


It's then discovered that Damien is still on a life support system, three years after his near-death experience. Then a close friend of his is murdered. Did they know too much about the new drug? Ray had recently learnt quite a bit from them and the drug supply that they used to be involved in.


Evidence then points to a disgruntled ex-employee of a big drugs producing company, starting to produce his own version of one of their drugs that had been found to be unstable. The trials on it were due for termination. He needs to be tracked down, but where is he and what name is he using now?  Then Ray disappears.


Whew! Jane Adams does it again.  A tragic story of experimenting with unknown drugs and the heartless uncaring dealers. But at the same time a highly recommended heart in the mouth thumping good read.


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. Several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Seven titles featuring blind Naoimi Blake, and six titles featuring Rina Martin. Her most recent 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.

Tricia ChappellI 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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