Another brilliant novel by Mr. Porter! It was right down my street combining a mainly Liverpool background, references to cricket, nautical themes, and a chunk of (fictitious) WW2 history.
I had previously read A Mersey Killing: When Liverpool Rocked, And The Music Died (Mersey Murder Mysteries Book 1) and thoroughly enjoyed that. Though this is Book 3, it is a standalone novel so can be read out of order. I reviewed Book 1 and wrote this, “As a former detective, I found Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his sidekick “Izzie” to be entirely credible. I felt I knew them from my past.”
That remains the case, but in this novel, Brian, through his excellent writing, allowed me to get to “know” not only DI Ross and DS Izzie Drake, but also Detective Constables Derek McLennan and Paul Ferris, in addition to the new DCI Agostini. He also introduces some other really interesting characters such as Herr Haller, the German naval historian who plays an important role in the complicated investigation.
The wonderful thing about Brian’s writing is the way he has a real feel for the team spirit within a police squad of detectives – in this case, the Merseyside Police Major Investigation Team. That is so important to this reader in this genre. His feel for it lays in sharp contrast to a fictional character such as LJ Ross’ DCI Ryan. For my money, Mr. Porter is a far superior writer than Ms. Ross.
I really don’t wish to say much about the plot partly because it is a tad complicated with many twists and turns, and I do not wish to give away anything at all. You really should read it. Suffice to say, it starts off with an idyllic English setting of a cricket match on a warm summer’s day. The sound of leather on willow soon turns to the discovery of foul play – as the star cricket player Aaron Decker lies dead in his bed, his girlfriend sleeping soundly beside him. DI Ross and his team investigate to ultimately unearth a huge plot that started with a German U-Boat and a Royal Navy corvette vanishing without trace in the English Channel near the end of WW2. How those events tie into the death of young Aaron Decker is a web of deceit, greed, and murder most foul superbly written by Brian L Porter.
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