Title: Burned and Broken
Author: Mark Hardie
I am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the fantastic Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie! This is a fantastic crime novel that I hugely enjoyed, so read on for my review…
An enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front.
A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.
As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague’s death, they’re under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force’s reputation.
When a dramatic turn of events casts a whole new light on both cases, the way forward is far from clear. Were the victims connected in some way? And just how much should Pearson and Russell reveal to their bosses as they begin to unearth some dark secrets that the force would rather keep buried?
Mark Hardie’s stylish and gripping debut introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction, weaving together two suspenseful stories that end in a breath-taking finale.
The cover on my copy of this novel states that it will be perfect for fans of Peter James. As a huge Peter James fan, I was instantly intrigued, wondering if this would be true…
It definitely is!
Burned and Broken is a well-written novel with its fair share of grit and mystery, which follows Southend’s police force as they investigate an array of recent crimes, seemingly separate but perhaps linked in some way – and one of these involves the murder of Detective Inspector Carragher. When it’s one of their own, the stakes are always higher.
Burned and Broken had various elements I love ina well-written crime novel: excellent characters, interesting crimes and suspects with plenty to hide. There are police who aren’t as squeaky clean as they should be, investigations that perhaps weren’t carried out as thoroughly as they should have been, and opinions by some of the force that aren’t so politically correct. It makes you realise that not everything in the police (and indeed the outside world, too) is quite as it seems, and I loved the twists and turns the novel presented.
The story jumps back and forth in time a little, and I love narratives that do this. We know at the beginning of the novel that D.I Sean Carragher has been killed, but as we go four days back in time we start to unravel what exactly he – and the other characters – were hiding, working back up to the present day. It’s told from the perspective of various different people, too, giving a great overview of events (instead of just from the police’s point of view as is the case with many other crime novels). I found the narrative from the point of view of Donna, a girl just out of the social care system, really interesting – in fact, the whole plot continued to completely absorb me throughout, well-paced and intriguing as it was.
The story is easy to follow without being too simple, and the novel really manages to evoke a sense of atmosphere and reality within its pages. I didn’t find myself becoming distracted whilst reading at all, and raced through it in hours. I will certainly be reading any future novels, particularly in this series which I wholeheartedly enjoyed.
Definitely recommended for fans of well-written crime, or in fact anyone who fancies reading an excellent debut!
Many thanks to Sphere for providing a copy of this novel, and please do check out the other stops on the blog tour, which finishes tomorrow.
Burned and Broken is out now in e-book format.
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