Thursday 10 June 2021

Death's Cold Hand - J.E. Mayhew - DCI Will Blake Book 6.0

Death's Cold Hand
DCI Will Blake Book 6.0
Obolus Books
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781999840792

Wow, this is the 7th story in the DCI Will Blake series and it is another excellent read. I have read the last few stories in the order they were released. And had them pre-ordered and started them on the day they released. At the beginning I was jumping around, but now I read the stores in the order they release. I have stated before that each of the stories is strong enough to be read on its own, but they are better as part of the series and better yet being read in order. I discovered this series based on a recommendation from 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. I am still waiting for that Softley novel. But have had a lot of DCI Blake stories to fill the time. After reading that first story 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 all seven currently available I know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. And even pre-ordered book 7 the day this one released. I also have plans to go back and read more of Mayhew’s Young Adult offerings as well. These books are not as gritty as the Kett novels, but they are excellent 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

But let us now return to this specific book. This story is different than many of the others in the series. It is a little more pure mystery, and a little less action and adventure, or thriller. It feels like a change of pace before the next huge hit to Blake and his team. This story starts with a murder on a War Memorial, And soon the case is taking twists and turns no one could have expected. And soon Blake is pulling together the strings of thoughts and trying to solve the case before things go horribly wrong at a racially motivated political rally. The description of this volume is:

“Could you obey an order that might cost you everything?

When the director of a local veterans’ charity is found murdered on the steps of a war memorial, it seems like a straight-forward case of random street violence. But similarities with a previous death arouse Blake’s suspicions and the apparently well-loved victim turns out to have had hidden flaws and many enemies. Blake is drawn into a web of intrigue and danger as he investigates the murder. Could it be terrorist activity? Is a psychotic serial killer stalking veterans? Or is there another explanation? As Blake wrestles with this most delicate and troubling of cases, he hears news that his partner, Laura Vexley has returned to the Wirral, but something is not right. A bombshell revelation means he must avoid contact with her or lose his job. Can Blake keep his professional integrity and solve the murders before the killer strikes again?

… Oh and watch out, Serafina the cat has tooth ache….”

But who is really calling the shots. Is the charity for veterans that it appears to be. Is Blake’s ex really in that deep again. And how can one cat cause such mayhem. 

Another great read from the pen of J.E. Mayhew. It is an excellent offering in a great series. Another book that leaves you desperate for the next volume, No Time For Sorrow. And as always nervous about where it will go. An excellent British crime lit novel, for a master of the genre.   

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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