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Tuesday, 22 March 2022

‘Murder on the Boat’ by Jane Adams

Published by Joffe Books,
28 November 2021.
ISBN: 978-1-80405056-9 (PB)
Originally published as
The Power of One

Rina Martin, retired actress and television sleuth, who now solves crimes for real, watches a floundering yacht out to sea. A coastguard and lifeboat crew are attempting to board it. Her friend Detective Inspector Sebastian McGregor (Mac) joins her at the marina and tells her a man has been shot on board. Rina recognises the boat as belonging to Paul de Freitas. She is friendly with the family who are developers of software – mainly computer games.

When Mac is called to go on board, Rina goes to see Paul’s brother Edward and his wife Lydia who is a really good friend of hers. When Mac returns ashore, he gets Andy the probationary officer to drive him over to join Rina and Paul’s family.

Mac tells them all, another man was also found on board, shot in the head the same as Paul. His brother and Lydia cannot think who it could be.

Things soon take an unexpected turn when a William Hale claiming to be from MI5, together with two of his men make a search of Paul’s flat. However, they miss a seemingly useless scrap of old newspaper, which Mac discovers in a book left to Lydia in Paul’s will. Mac and his team are rather suspicious of Hale, who claims the man on the yacht worked for him, but things don’t seem to ring true.

Mac’s bosses bring in an Abe Jackson from the MOD to help investigate. He too does not trust Hale. Meanwhile the de Freitas’s reveal that just before Paul’s death they had received threats that he would die unless he ‘delivered’, but they didn’t know what. They panic now and Rina organises a ‘safe’ retreat for them. But is it?

Mac recruits a computer games expert to solve clues left by Paul, which they discovered through the piece of torn newspaper in his flat. They hope this will lead them to find a certain piece of equipment missing from Paul’s laboratory. Little do they realise at first how desperate many other people are to get their hands on it too. The country’s security could be at stake if it falls into the wrong hands.

This is certainly the most complicated and dangerous case that Mac has investigated since he moved to Frampton a few weeks ago. Will he come out of it unscathed?

Jane Adams delivers once again. Her books get better all the time. This is a really intriguing, cleverly devised story of to me, the complications of computer games. I know very little about them, but it still did not spoil my enjoyment and I highly recommend it.

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 ret 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 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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