NB This post first appeared as part of a Damppebbles Blog Tour.
When the son of a hard-hearted Seattle mayor is accused of rape, it throws his mother’s candidacy for state governor into jeopardy. Meanwhile, crime-lab worker Clark is in trouble—with mounting debts and a threat to his wife’s career, the possibility of smoothing things over leaves him with a difficult decision. Faced with watching his life go down the drain or tampering with evidence, he could be taking on a problem that won’t go away. Then there’s the detective, whose career also needs a boost. When the rape case comes in, she throws all her energy into nailing the suspect, and when things don’t go the way she expects, she starts to dig her heels in.
This is the first book I’ve read by Martin Bodenham. The premise is an interesting one, as it gives the main character a dilemma that places him in a terrible position—either way, he stands to lose out and the consequences in both scenarios could change his life forever. The story gets straight into the detail as Clark struggles to come to terms with what he’s being asked to do. But then we’ve also got Detective Farrell, who has her own issues to deal with, as well as knowing she needs to get moving on the rape case before her own career gets side-lined.
The story rattles along, moving from one sticky situation to another, laying the foundations for a tense mystery that could go off in any direction. Bodenham’s plotting is clever and thoughtful, leaving the reader no choice but to keep going. My only niggle is his tendency to over-egg the narrative custard, frequently telling us what we already know. (This is one of Dan Brown’s tricks and doesn’t do Mr Bodenham any favours). As my old drama teacher used to say—less is more.
A clever and distinctive story that kept me turning the pages, which is exactly what any writer wants.
About Martin Bodenham
Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer, and Shakedown. Crime And Justice is his latest novel.
After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.