Top critical review
Actually a Pretty Good Debut Novel With Enough Unresolved Mysteries to Lead Into the Next Book in the Series
February 13, 2018
OK I found this story to be a very enjoyable read that iI thought read more like the works of an experienced mystery writer rather than a writer's debut crime novel. The writing style is very readable, the descriptions of the settings and weather are great, particularly of the highways and byways of rural Ontario and the fairly large cast of characters are all well developed and it's reasonably easy to keep track of who's who. The small town, Conroy, is small town Ontario. Of course some of these characters are more likeable than others and I kind of felt that Superintendent Cartwright was not a great favourite of mine while he definitely had some good points, too. Then I found that I grew to like DI Sykes very much as the story progressed and it would be nice to learn what the big problem is that he has with Rebecca's father, George Bradley. Lucas , Shorty, Alex and O'Reilly, with all his warts, are all likeable characters and McLinley, Butch, Jackey, and Perez are all despicable. Hound is a fabulous character and the loose ends of what makes him tick and things like the Sykes/Bradley conundrum and the Maggie Donnelly/Bradley thing never being tied up are probably the reason I've downrated the book slightly because it has everything else it needs to be at least a 4 star read - a couple of pretty good mysteries, some great police procedural work, a couple of murders, some mob and gang involvement, a fair bit of violence, lots of action including not just one big shootout but really three and many twists leading to a pretty satisfactory ending. Except of course for those loose ends and Rebecca's solving of her mother's murder which all lead into book 2 in a series and I hope it follows very quickly.