Allison and Busby, 2006
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill
Detective Inspector Charlie Priest of the Heckley CID is pretty happy with
life right now. Heís been promoted to Acting Detective Chief Inspector,
his relationship with Sonia, a champion middle-distance runner, is going
very well and he is fitter than he has ever been, thanks to accompanying
her on training runs. He is also happy with the team of detectives working
for him. They are a good bunch who work well together. There is just one
fly in the ointment. Detective Sergeant Eddy Carmichael. He has been
foisted upon Charlie by a Superintendent from another division, as a
favour. Carmichael is an arrogant, sexist bully who has a thinly disguised
disrespect for Charlie. His attitude and behaviour are undermining the
morale of Charlieís otherwise happy team.
While Charlie is working out ways of dealing with Eddy, an elderly man is
discovered dead. First impressions are that he has committed suicide in a
rather bizarre way. Why electrocute yourself by twisting vacuum cleaner
cable around your thumbs and turning on the current? However, a minor
detail noticed at the scene causes Charlie to question that finding.
A short time after that a local small time drug dealer is found bashed on
the head in his home. But itís not that that makes Charlie wonder if the
two are connected. Itís the fact that heís found hanging by his feet from
a rope thrown over the rafters with his head in the toilet. That makes a
second bizarre death. In a small place like Heckley itís asking too much
to believe itís a coincidence.
As if thatís not enough, one evening Sonia doesnít return from her evening
run, sending Charlie into a panic wondering whether he and Sonia have
somehow become the targets of this ruthless killer.
Charlie is an affable bloke with good leadership skills. He is genuinely
liked and respected by the detectives who work under him. Each member of
the team has their own personality and quirks. And itís the little touches
that bring Pawsonís characters alive; in-jokes around the office;
conversations about the trivial Ė football pools, pub quiz night and the
like. They could be a group of people in any office, not police officers
doing a difficult, sometimes dangerous, job.
Reading a Charlie Priest novel is like visiting an old and much-liked
friend. While there are no great surprises, you know you will enjoy
Charlie and his crew. SHOOTING ELVIS is the eleventh in the Charlie Priest
series. Oh, and if youíre wondering where the title SHOOTING ELVIS comes
from, the answer lies near the end of the book.
Jan 2007 review originally published on Murder & Mayhem
All cover art used at Reviewer's Choice Reviews is copyrighted by the
respective publisher. All reviews and articles found at Reviewer's Choice
Reviews are the sole property of the contributor and are copyrighted by