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Saturday 1 June 2024

‘The Nail’ by Jane Adams

Published by Joffe Books,
23 April 2024.
ISBN: 978-1-83526539-0 (PB)

Sid Patterson is horrified on arriving at work to find his dear friend and colleague, Morgan Springfield dead at his desk. He dials 999 and collapses.

The police arrive and Seth Harding, the crime scene manager notices signs of Morgan having been tied up. There is a wound at the back of his neck, and he has been dead for about eight hours. Detective Inspector Mike Croft and Detective Sergeant Jude Burnett take over, Mike studies the first photographs taken of the scene. The body seems to have been posed and his fountain pen placed by his left hand – he was right-handed. This suddenly reminds Mike of a similar case eighteen years ago; can they possibly be connected?  Another puzzle is why had Morgan’s desk been moved to face the door?

Later, on close examination it’s discovered that something narrow like a large nail, seems to have been inserted in Morgan’s neck and then removed with force, after severing the spinal cord.

We then learn of retired Detective Inspector John Tynan being contacted by Johanna Pearson, released from prison three weeks ago after serving time for murdering her husband who had been suspected of abusing children. John remembers the case as his friend Mike Croft was the arresting officer.

She now wants him to help her find out what her son Paul is up to. She is concerned that when Paul spent a short time in prison, he shared a cell with a notorious criminal Ross Cahn. He is now spending too much time with Cahn since their recent release, she is sure no good will come of it. John agrees to help if he can.

Then to her horror a connection is found between Ross Cahn and Morgan Springfield, surely this has nothing to do with Paul? Then her son disappears.

When there is another murder Mike and the team realise there is someone even more dangerous involved, especially when a connection is definitely found to two murders several years ago.

Then Johanna is badly beaten up. The police have never been faced with such complicated murder cases to solve. Mike and his team must certainly pull out all the stops before there are any more.

A thoroughly recommended very complicated and intriguing crime thriller which certainly gets the grey cells working overtime.
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 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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