‘Looking for Trouble’ by Cath Staincliffe

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

Single parent and private eye Sal Kilkenny, takes on what appears to be a straightforward case when Mrs Hobbs asks her to hunt down her missing son. Initially, the search doesn’t turn up much, but as she becomes more involved, Sal realises the story she’s been told isn’t the whole truth. When a young homeless man who tries to help is found dead of an overdose, Sal becomes suspicious. With no help from the police, she ploughs on with the investigation, but a series of apparently innocuous events develop into a real threat to her life and Sal must face the possibility that continuing with the case might end in another murder – her own.

This is the first book in the Sal Kilkenny Mystery series and the first I’ve read by this author. What I loved about the book is the ordinariness of the characters and their lives. Sal is a single parent living in a communal setting and struggling to pay the bills. Sharing childcare duties and managing investigations puts pressure on her, while she strives to balance making a living with a sensible lifestyle. The language is very northern (which is always a plus) and there’s an underlying layer of humour that kept me amused. The story itself grows ever more complex, with a host of possible villains and possible scenarios, but nothing is as it seems, and the denouement wasn’t what I’d expected.

A cracking good story with plenty twists and turns and realistic and believable characters. I’ll be reading more from Cath Staincliffe very soon.

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