Headline Book Publishing 1996
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill
Detective Inspector Charlie Priest of the Yorkshire police is an affable
man who likes his job and is content with his position in the police
hierarchy. In the beginning of the third book in the DCI Charlie Priest
Mystery series, THE JUDAS SHEEP, Charlie is on sick leave. When the wife
of an American millionaire disappears and her chauffeur is found shot in
the head, Charlie is asked to return to work early. He does so reluctantly
because things are going well for him romantically for a change.
The case stalls for lack of leads. Charlie is asked to go undercover to
befriend a member of a drug ring in order to identify the leaders. He
believes that the murder of the chauffeur may be connected to this new
case so he agrees. When Charlie uncovers further evidence to suggest that
the brutal rape/murder of several women may also be tied in, the case
takes on a new urgency for him.
Stuart Pawson has created a cast of decent people who genuinely like each
other and their work. They spend their free time together with social
outings, football tipping contests and sharing jokes around the office -
something Charlie particularly enjoys. His work-mates don't, though.
Charlie has a penchant for terrible puns and groaners. So many police
procedurals feature dark characters that are somewhat dysfunctional and
unable to have successful relationships. It's a refreshing change to meet
the good people of the Heckley police force. There is a considerable
amount of humour in Pawson's books, but it's very understated and at no
time does that humour hijack the plot and take over. If you don't like
your crime fiction too dark and depressing, then Stuart Pawson's books
might just hit the spot.
You can visit Stuart Pawson's website at
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