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Wednesday 29 December 2021

‘The Uniform’ by Jodie Lawrance

Published by Joffe Books,
18 June 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-78931733-6 (PB)

Edinburgh 1977. It’s new cop Helen Carter’s first detective case: a man tortured to death in an abandoned cinema. There’s a strange symbol drawn on the wall, like an inverted V in a circle, and the business card of an ex-cop turned PI is left under the chair. Then another body is found ...

This thoroughly readable PP is told in the third person, and follows Helen Carter, her boss Inspector Craven and the PI George Stanley in alternating chapters, which keeps the story moving quickly from one strand of the investigation to the other.

Helen’s a sympathetic main character, struggling to reconcile her boyfriend to the demands of the job – after all, what any bird wants is just to get married and not have to work, right? – while also dealing with the misogeny she encounters at work. She’s ignored, patronised, sent to make the tea and given the nastiest job of all, breaking bad news to families. The world of 70s policing is vividly evoked, particularly through Craven, who’s an honest guy and a good cop, but very much a product of his era.

Edinburgh of the seventies is also lovingly described - trust me on this one, I was there, and it brought all sorts of memories back. The body count rises and the plot’s cleverly finished off with an unexpected perp.

An enjoyable, fast-moving PP with a sparky heroine and a vivid 70s Edinburgh setting.

Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Jodie Lawrance graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2018 with an MA in Creative Writing. When not writing, she is also an actress and has appeared in a variety of television, stage and film.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

 Click on the title to Click on the title to read a review of her recent book
 The Shetland Sea Murders

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