Burned and Broken – Mark Hardie
The charred body of a policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out-shell of his car on the Southend seafront.
To DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell of the Essex Police Major Investigation Team, the two events seem unconnected. But as they dig deeper into their colleague’s murder, dark secrets begin to emerge.
Can Pearson and Russell solve both cases, before more lives are destroyed?
My thanks to Clara at LittleBrown for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour
It is always exciting to get the chance to discover a new crime series from the earliest days of publication. A quick look at Amazon and I spot that Mark Hardie’s new book Burned and Broken also features the names Pearson and Russell in the title space – a good indicator that the characters are destined to return.
Their return would not be unwelcome as I rather enjoyed Burned and Broken when I got into it. A grim opening sequence sees the last few seconds of a man’s life as the car he is sitting in goes up in flames. From there the police arrive and we find that the man in the car may have been one of their colleagues.
Narrative skips back a few days and we begin to follow Cat Russell as she faces an interrogation from a member of the Police Standards team. They are investigating the behaviour of Cat’s sometime partner Sean Carragher who appears to have abused a police issue credit card and may also be facing charges of using excessive force. Readers know that in a few days Carragher it looks most likely that Carragher will be burned to death in his car, as Cat sits in a small interview room she is giving nothing away about her friend’s behaviour.
Elsewhere we meet a teenage girl, Donna, recently out of the care system and struggling to make ends meet. Donna is torn up over the recent death of her friend and is determined to seek justice. But Donna’s friend (despite being dead) seems to be with her in spirit and Donna is chatting with her friend trying to assure her that she will put things right for her.
I had a shift in focus through Burned and Broken, initially I was more interested in Donna and her quest for justice than I was with the police investigation. However, as the story unfolded I became more caught up in Cat’s story and less keen on Donna’s role (as she seemed to be drifting in random directions).
Happily all the loose ends start to entwine as the end of the story approached and Donna’s whimsical idea for revenge started to take on much more significance.
A promising debut from Mark Hardie – one for the fans of police procedurals.
Burned and Broken is published by Sphere in digital format (with a paperback release in May) and you can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burned-Broken-Pearson-Russell-Hardie-ebook/dp/B010QDG63A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1485299298&sr=1-1&keywords=burned+and+broken
It’s a busy old day on the Burned and Broken blog tour but if you look around for these great bloggers then you will get a great overview of Mr Hardie’s debut thriller. Follow the Tour!