Publication date: 3rd July 2015 | Edition: Review copy (courtesy of the author)
The Douglas Road Murders is a methodical, old-school crime drama and has all the charm of Heartbeat, but with added grit.
Set in the 1960’s it follows the exploits of the police crew who work at an established police station in Birmingham.
For starters, there’s a spree of violent burglaries for them to investigate and a dangerous goings on at the local garage – the grace of the police authorities who deal with the local lowlife is effective, even if it’s somewhat questionable and certainly not following correct police procedure!
Mistakes are made in investigations and the motives of a newly appointed detective come under scrutiny. Good old-fashioned leg work may redeem him and find the identity of a double homicide that occurred in a rented property in Douglas Road.
In this era, there was no network of computer databases to assist, and not every house possessed a landline, so progress was made trusting gut instinct or knowledge of the criminal fraternity who resided around and about – sometimes, a lucky break and a bit of nous is all that’s required (plus a little in-custody manipulation!).
While the crime solving progresses at a steady pace, there’s a lovely glance into the home lives of the detectives and the effect their actions have on their families. Toward the end of the book when a fair few characters have been introduced into the story, personally I found I couldn’t always keep up with them in one go. But a quick recap set me straight, so it wasn’t too much of a hindrance.
All-in-all this is an easy paced, interesting and engaging book, which has captured the essence of the era perfectly. If you’re looking for a change from today’s police procedurals, which mostly rely on the assistance of modern-day tools of the trade, then I’d definitely recommend you give this a read.
(Many thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
The year is 1964 and Frank Humphries, a young detective who has recently transferred from uniform to CID, is investigating a series of burglaries in the Yardley area of Birmingham. Things take a dark turn when an old woman is viciously attacked and then, early on Christmas morning, two bodies are discovered in a local lodging house.
As DI George Evans of the Birmingham City Police tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the two victims, Humphries finds himself at the centre of a scandal that threatens his career, his family and even his liberty.