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Tuesday 2 July 2024

‘The Chalk Man’ by Adam Lyndon

Published by Joffe Books,
30 April 2024.
ISBN: 978-1-83526524-6 (PB)

Detective Inspector Rutherford Barnes and his trainee Detective Constable Will Howlett are called to investigate a man’s body found in the public toilets in Eastbourne. It seems to be a drug overdose, his face is blue, white, his mouth stretched open.

Their attention is then abruptly drawn to a woman who has collapsed onto the pavement. Suddenly a young man falls, convulsing on the ground, then two more people collapse. Will rushes to help as panic spreads.

Barnes dashes to his car, grabs a megaphone and tries to control the crowds, but they take no notice and many fall and are trampled, some to death. Whilst at the scene, Barnes receives a frantic telephone call from Tamsin, his wife to say Maggie his youngest stepdaughter has disappeared. Barnes persuades a firefighter at the scene of the seeming chemical attack to see if Maggie is one of the casualties, but there is no sign of her. Later they learn that it seems she was abducted from school on her way to rugby practice.

From some years back Barnes has a sworn enemy, Stratton Pearce, who blames the detective for the death of his girlfriend and son. He is the first-person Barnes thinks of as being responsible for Maggie being snatched, but he is in prison isn’t he?

It is then thought the chemical attack and the abduction of the seven year old Maggie could be connected.

An ambulance that had been stolen is reported to have been seen near the said attack and also close to Maggie’s school. Barnes is now convinced that the two crimes are connected and is at his wits end. However, little does he know things are about to get a lot worse, his nightmare is only just beginning. It seems he has more than one sworn enemy.

A very detailed and concise kidnapping story which I had a real job to put down. It grabs the reader by the throat and does not let go. Highly recommended
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell 

Adam Lyndon was born and raised in Sussex. He has been a police officer for twenty years both in the UK and in New Zealand, working across a range of disciplines including uniformed ops, firearms command and as a detective in CID and specialist investigations. He went around the world a couple of times, living in New Zealand for a year before realising home was where all the stories were. Adam writes gritty, Eastbourne-based police-procedurals with hard-edged authenticity, forming a daisy chain along the south coast alongside the likes of Graham Hurley and Peter James. He has been married for twenty years and has four children. His ambition, as his children keep reminding him, is to own a dog.

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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