Crime File: a deadly duo

Say Nothing By Brad Parks

How far would you go to protect someone you love? Lie for them? Interfere with the course of justice? Kill someone? That’s the premise at the heart of Say Nothing, a clever, pacy new thriller from American author Brad Parks best known for his award-winning books about private eye Carter Ross.

In Say Nothing there’s no drawn out lead-in, the action begins from the first page. As Judge Scott Sampson prepares to pick up his twins from school for their regular swimming session he gets a text from his wife saying she’s taken them to the doctor. At first, he’s just disappointed. He gets too little time with the six-year-olds. But when his wife arrives home alone, he quickly discovers the reality is far more crushing. His whole world is being threatened.

It’s not long before he gets a phone call. Someone wants the Judge to ensure that an important case he’s handling works out in their favour. But the rules keep changing and somehow, the kidnappers seem to be able to keep track of his every move. What Sampson gradually realises is that he can trust no one, not even those closest to him.

Parks doesn’t pull any punches as he sends Sampson on his nightmare journey to save his children. His agony, mental and physical, is visceral not just the fear for his children but also the realisation that  position, power and friendships don’t really count for anything when faced with ruthless opponents. Parks takes the readers on a frenetic ride building up to an ending that is as real as a punch to the stomach.

Say Nothing is published  by Faber & Faber.

Police At The Station And They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty 

It’s easy to get bogged down in the rough and tumble of Adrian McKinty’s thrillers featuring Detective Inspector Sean Duffy and under-appreciate the brutally authentic brush strokes that McKinty uses to depict one of Britain’s most bloody periods.

It’s Belfast, 1988, and any pretext of political or religious altruism has been long obliterated. The lines between Catholic and Protestant are rigid and enforced by men and women who think nothing of meting out brutal, often deadly attacks, as warning or retribution. Hidden behind his typical blarney and bravado, Duffy’s life is falling apart. His well-to-do protestant girlfriend has taken their baby daughter and headed home to her father’s house. Temporarily. Or so he hopes.

At work, a Catholic serving with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, he’s never fitted in. When the the body of a young drug dealer is found the only unusual thing is that he’d been killed with a crossbow. Except it’s not one drug dealer. But two. And Duffy doesn’t believe in coincidences. Even when his bosses order him off the case and Internal Affairs turn their torch on him, he just can’t let things go. When he stumbles on a link to secrets men in very high places thought long forgotten, he finds himself literally digging his own grave.

McKinty consistently serves up a fabulous mix of tension, insubordination and occasional laugh-aloud humour. Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, published by Serpent’s Tail, is the sixth in the Duffy series. And it’s another winner.


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