Saturday 16 December 2017

Review: Happy Days by Graham Hurley

Orion, £12.99
Available withfree P&P or bycalling 091 709350

British best-selling author Graham Hurley's Portsmouth-set thrillers featuring taciturn DI Joe Farraday and his former police colleague-turned-crook Paul Winter have been a huge success. Happy Days, the 12th in the series, has 'A Farraday and Winter Novel' emblazoned on the cover, yet by page seven Joe Farraday is gone, discovered by his police partner DS Jimmy Suttle dead by his own hand.

It is a downbeat beginning to what turns out to be a wildly exciting thriller set in the run-up to the 2010 British general election. Drug baron Bazza McKenzie, Pompey's most notorious gangster desperately seeking respectability, decides to stand for Parliament and despite his criminal background his Pompey First campaign is taking the city by storm.

Politics, Bazza soon discovers, is an expensive game, and the recession and property crash have left him with hardly any readily available money. He calls on ex-cop Paul Winter to call in a multi-million pound drug debt. Winter, who has enjoyed a cushy life since he crossed to the dark side and became Bazza's right-hand man, senses his mercurial boss's wild ambitions are plunging them both into terrible danger and realises he must plan an exit strategy if he is to stay alive.

Enter ambitious young DS Jimmy Suttle who is determined to do what his late hero Joe Farrady never managed to -- nail Bazza McKenzie once and for all. Gripping, gritty and utterly authentic.

Review: The Contract by David Levien

Bantam, £12.99

Troubled former cop Frank Behr, married and expecting a baby, now works for an exclusive suit and tie Indianapolis investigation company. A colleague asks him to cover for him on a routine protection detail for Bernard 'Bernie Cool' Kolodnik, a multi-millionaire property developer about to be appointed a State Senator.

When an assassin opens fire, Behr's quick reactions prevent a tragedy.

Behr finds it strange that neither his bosses, the police or the man he saved seem to want to find the would-be assassin, so he decides to investigate himself and finds himself in the line of sight of a sociopathic Welshman sent in to bury all the evidence -- including him.

A well above average hardcore action thriller by a writer to watch.

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