In Place Of Death – Craig Robertson
A young man enters the culverted remains of an ancient Glasgow stream, looking for thrills. Deep below the city, it is decaying and claustrophobic and gets more so with every step. As the ceiling lowers to no more than a couple of feet above the ground, the man finds his path blocked by another person. Someone with his throat cut.
As DS Rachel Narey leads the official investigation, photographer Tony Winter follows a lead of his own, through the shadowy world of urbexers, people who pursue a dangerous and illegal hobby, a world that Winter knows more about than he lets on. And it soon becomes clear that the murderer has killed before, and has no qualms about doing so again.
My thanks to Craig and Simon & Schuster for providing a review copy.
I have been having a slow return to updating my blog since the turn of the year. I HAVE been reading and the reviews of the books I have read will appear in due course. However I wanted to have a wee run of reviews of books that I loved to start the year – step forward In Place of Death: a wonderful crime thriller, based in Glasgow and a book which introduced me to the concept of urbexing.
Urbexing is the name given to the exploration of abandoned urban buildings or places. Places closed off to the public while waiting demolition, potential refurbishment or just falling to ruin. But to some these forgotten buildings represent a challenge – a place to explore while knowing your presence is forbidden. Individuals that enjoy urbexing do not seek to damage or loot the buildings they visit – just enter, have a look around and get back out again. Some take pictures, others share their experiences through specialist chat forums. But in In Place of Death one adventurer found a little more than he expected on his explorations- a very dead body.
Craig Robertson’s brilliant duo, DI Rachel Narey and photographer Tony Winter, are back in In Place of Death and are called in as part of the investigation. They find themselves pitted against a stone cold killer, butting heads with Glasgow’s criminal underworld and questioning the lost souls that have fallen through the cracks in the system and are riding out their days in hovels to keep them from the streets. It frequently made for tense or harrowing reading and Robertson handles these scenes brilliantly. He puts his characters through an emotional wringer and you cannot help but keep reading to see how they cope with the traumas that are being piled upon them.
Through brilliant narrative we are guided on a tour of some of Glasgow’s famous landmarks and the darker corners. If you are in any way familiar with the city there is an extra level of enjoyment to be had when familiar buildings and structures are introduced. It made me look at some parts of the city in a whole new light and now when I travel into work each day I am looking around Glasgow to see other potential sites where the Urbexers may have tried to explore. It should be noted that you do not have to know Glasgow to enjoy this side of In Place of Death, as the locations (and their historical significance) are deftly woven into the narrative.
Narey and Winter will each have to face their personal demons during the course of the story. The scenes set away from the actual investigation further developed the back-story of the characters and this will be a real treat for returning readers. Winter and Narey are characters I want to read about, I love where Craig Robertson is taking this duo and I hope it is not too long before we meet them again.
I read too many books each year which entertain without ever really capturing my imagination. Not so with In Place of Death which had me hooked from the outset and had just the right blend of intrigue, humour, darkness and sheer nail-biting tension. A 5 star thriller from an author I strongly urge you to read.
In Place of Death is published by Simon & Schuster and is available in Paperback and Digital format: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Place-Death-Craig-Robertson-ebook-x/dp/B00MK376TI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8