Last Train to Lime Street (Mersey Murder Mysteries Book 6) by Brian L Porter is yet another entertaining and thrilling read centred on DI Andy Ross and his Liverpool-based murder investigation team.
It starts off, or kicks off as many Scousers would say in a football crazy city, rather unusually for a book in the crime thriller genre. But it works! The first chapter is all about the wedding of DC McLennan, one of the murder squad detectives. It’s wonderfully written with some excellent prose and serves as a useful introduction to many of the characters in the book. This is particularly useful if the reader hasn’t read earlier books in the series. I believe this book, and many of the others in the series, can be read as a standalone novel.
The reader is soon taken to what is usually the beginning of a whodunnit – the discovery of a corpse. It’s a body of a man who initially appears to have jumped from a bridge into the path of an onrushing train travelling to Liverpool from Manchester – the ‘last train to Lime Street.’
It is soon clear that this is no ‘jumper’ – a suicide, owing to the victim’s throat having been slashed. Three questions are posed: who was he? Where was the victim killed? Whodunnit?
The first question is soon answered when a former American porn star, Trixie, reports her husband Joey Slimani missing. Slimani is a veteran of the adult movie business graduating from LA, to the UK, with some German connections. He too used to star in porn movies but now produces and directs them. Trixie is Joey’s third wife. Both previous wives were also porn stars. It also appears the Mob had threatened Joey while working and living in LA. Was this the reason he and Trixie had moved to a Heffner-like ‘palace’ across the water from Liverpool on the Wirral peninsula?
Understandably, the initial murder investigation concentrates on the victim’s connections to the sleazy porn industry. This is particularly the case when it is discovered the victim had met two men for a round of golf at a course close to the Slimani mansion. It was believed the two mystery men were connected to the victim’s business.
The author takes the reader through the investigation throwing up red herrings along the way like all good whodunnits until Maria Ross, DI Ross’s wife and a doctor, intervenes. During a domestic interlude, she poses the question: what if it’s nothing to do with the porn industry at all? This is all very Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson stuff, and I love it.
I am unable to add more for fear of spoilers. Read it! You won’t be disappointed!