Thursday 19 April 2018

Books: Detective draws fire from all sides as he pursues tattoo artist

Thrillers: Marked, David Jackson, Pan, £7.99, pbk

Myles McWeeney

This is the third outing for Callum Doyle, a homicide detective with the NYPD. Unconventional and possessed with little respect for bureaucracy or authority, he insists on doing things his own way no matter what the consequences.

When parts of the dismembered body of a missing 16-year-old girl, Megan Hamlyn, are found in dumpsters, Doyle instinctively knows who the killer is.

The girl's body has a beautifully executed fresh tattoo on it, and he knows only one skin artist in New York can produce such fine work.

Ace tattooist Stanley Proust has been in his sights since the previous year when another tortured, murdered teenager was found. The only problem is there is no evidence from either murder scene pointing to Proust. The more he pushes Proust, the more Proust outmanoeuvres him and sets him up as a rogue cop.

To add to his frustrations he loses the trust of his new partner, the internal affairs department is on his back for his outrageous behaviour towards Proust and a vicious crime lord is blackmailing him to do something illegal.

Crime fiction fans will see plenty of nods in the direction of the late Ed McBain's 87th Precinct thrillers in Cal Doyle's wisecracking and quips, but this reader didn't warm to him, finding his choleric temper, lack of control and mindless violence tiresome and unbelievable.


Two deaths, no bodies and a race against time to find who's next

Thrillers: Next to Die Neil White Sphere, £9.99, pbk

Ronnie Bagley is awaiting trial for the murder of his partner and their two-year-old daughter. Their bodies have not been found, but Bagley has bizarrely confessed to the police that he may have killed them.

His solicitor is Joe Parker, one of Manchester's most ingenious criminal lawyers, while Joe's brother, Sam Parker, is one of the city's most tenacious homicide detectives.

In this case the brothers find themselves at loggerheads, as both suffer from the burden of the unsolved murder of their teenage sister 15 years before.

Joe has little regard for his client, but Bagley is a lot smarter than he thinks and suddenly the Parker brothers are in a race to find the next person scheduled to die at the hands of a clever criminal.

Pacey and packed with atmosphere thanks to author Neil White's day job as a practising criminal lawye

Available with free P&P on or by calling 091 709350

Irish Independent

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment