Tuesday 16 February 2021

Cruelty Has A Human Heart - J.E. Mayhew - DCI Will Blake Book 4.0

Cruelty Has A Human Heart
DCI Will Blake Book 4.0
Obolus Books
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781999840778

This is the fifth DCI William Blake story I have read and the sixth book by J.E. Mayhew. I was jumping around a bit at the beginning but am now reading them as they release. Each of the stories are strong enough to be read on its own, but they are better as part of the series and being read in order. This series was recommended to me by Alex Smith, author of the DCI Kett books. I had read all the Kett books and was awaiting the next Softley Softley book when Smith mentioned book two in this series, Fearful Symmetry, and gave it a plug. After reading that volume I discovered that the author publishes under two names, much like Smith. One for Adult crime novels, J.E. Mayhew and another for Young Adult and younger readers, Jon Mayhew. And I have now read books under both names. I was glad I gave that first one a try and after reading 5 of the 6 stories know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. And have plans to go back and read more of his Young Adult offerings as well. These books are not as gritty as the Kett novels, but they are great British crime procedural stories. When I reviewed a Kett story I stated I could see Jamie Bamber as DCI Kett, and while reading this I could not help but picture Karl Urban as DCI Will Blake. And can picture it much like the TV series Wired in the Blood

Now to now return our focus to this specific book. This story is very different than many of the others in this series. First Blake already knows what happened to his mother. Second, it begins with the apparent kidnapping of a young girl. And third Blake is torn between the case at hand and things with his missing girlfriend. The stories in this series now span over two years in time, and this story takes places over a few days. The case at hand at first seems very simple and clear cut. But it is just not sitting right with Blake. And when the truth starts coming to light it is anything but simple and clear cut. The description of this volume is:

“When a three-year-old girl goes missing in the sprawling Birkenhead Park, Blake has a puzzle on his hands. The child seemed to vanish into thin air and nobody saw anything, not even her nanny. A known paedophile is spotted in the area and the clock begins ticking as Blake tries to find the lost girl. The team uncover secret after secret as they investigate but Blake has got problems closer to home as his girlfriend’s past comes back to haunt her in a brutal and devastating way. When a key witness dies, Blake realises that a killer is on the loose. Can he find the child before another innocent life is taken?”

In some ways this story is a step back. A step back in action. A step back in intensity, And a step back in pace. But it is a huge step forward in unanswered questions. And Blake is left alone again looking for someone who has gone missing from his life. 

Another great read from the pen of J.E. Mayhew. A good read in a very interesting series. A book that leaves you desperate for the next volume, All the Lies. But nervous about where they will go. An excellent British crime lit novel. 

Books as J.E. Mayhew:
DCI William Blake Series:

Books as Jon Mayhew:
The Spybrarian

Monster Odyssey Series:
1.0 The Eye of Neptune
2.0 The Wrath of the Lizard Lord
3.0 The Curse of the Ice Serpent
4.0 The Venom of the Scorpion

Mortlock Series:
2.0 The Demon Collector
3.0 The Bonehill Curse

Collins Big Cat Series:
The Merchant of Venice: Band 16/Sapphire
Hamlet: Band 18/Pearl
Romeo and Juliet: Band 18/Pearl
Macbeth: Band 18/Pearl

Contributed to:
Beyond the Book: A Collection of Short Stories
Storycraft: How To Teach Creative Writing
Criminal Shorts: UK Crime Book Club Anthology
Make Doves Not War - Forward

Books as Edwin Torr:
Dead Means Dead Series
1.0 Demons - 2017
1.3 Cotton Candy - 2017
1.9 Remurdered - 2017
2.0 Angel Hunter - 2017
2.5 Cold Caller - 2017
3.0 Jigsaw Girl - 2018

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