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Wednesday 28 September 2022

‘The Circus’ by James Craig

Published by Constable,
7 February 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-47210037-5 (PB)

This fourth book featuring Inspector John Carlyle puts James Craig firmly up there with the best in police procedurals.

Journalist Duncan Brown is found in the back of a rubbish truck. A young girl is missing. Sir Michael and Veronica Snowden are still seeking answers to the death of their daughter - answers Carlyle would prefer to avoid.

So, John Carlyle is beset on all sides with problems, and none so great as finding himself again up against Trevor Miller, a dirty cop who has somehow wormed his way to being security adviser to the Prime Minister. A man who has killed before, and will kill again, to protect himself.

I enjoy Carlyle because he doesn’t see himself as the great savior of humanity or a hero.  He is just a London cop doing his best and trying to get home to his wife early enough to see his daughter, who is growing up far too fast for Carlyle’s liking.

There are some amusing exchanges between Prime Minister Edgar Carlton and the Mayor of London, Christian Holyrood, very reminiscent of ‘Yes, Minister!’

This is a tale of corruption involving the police, the media, and the political establishment. And caught up in it is Inspector John Carlyle, that lover of the Danish pastry. Can he win the day?  This is a marvelous story in this great series.  Not to be missed.

Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

James Craig was born in Scotland but has lived and worked in London for thirty years. He worked as a journalist for ten years and as a TV producer for five. He has written seventeen books in the Inspector John Carlyle series. He lives in Covent Garden with his wife and daughter.  

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