His French honeymoon continually interrupted by a series of misdeeds, DCI Jack Austin returns to Portsmouth to find the missing link.
When an ambitious new detective infringes on his territory – and his ego – Austin resorts to illogically effective tactics to protect those that matter most.
With a corpulent gangster gone missing and a banker murdered in Paris, can Austin reveal the perpetrator and bring him to justice?
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Publication Date: 10th August 2019
Page Count: 307 pages
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Today, I am posting as part of the Damppebbles blog tour. In exchange for an honest and unbiased review, I was given a free copy of Ghost and Ragman Roll. Thank you again to both Emma and Pete for this opportunity.
Ghost and Ragman Roll
‘Facists, Al-Qaeda or Civil Service – or all three?‘
And just like that, Detective Chief Inspector Jack “Jane” Austin is back for book four in the Kind Hearts and Martinets series. Published August 10th 2019, Adams has crafted an ambitious and intricate successor to A Barrow Boy’s Candenza, which introduces us to Spooks, murder, rivalry, and conspiracy.
From the get go we are thrown into the action with a prologue counting down from four weeks prior to present day. Here, we are introduced to the discovery of a missing hotel manager, and the murder of a female banker – already we drawn to find connections between the two and how these events with affect our protagonist.
However, Austin’s own introduction is much less chaotic; he is on his honeymoon in France, having recently married Detective Superintendent Amanda Bruce. But tranquility does not last long when three separate Spooks come calling to discuss politics and murder. (‘The reasons, we do not know, but Jacqueline Parmentier, a senior banker who was instrumental in the deal that changed the financial map for Britain and then Europe, the deal you were involved in Jack… well … she’s been killed.’) And following this, Austin (and his new spouse) are pulled back into reality.
The plot is clever and incremental, the writing eclectic and vivacious. It is complete with social, moral and political commentary, which takes it from being “just another” procedural to something much, much more.
Although part of a series, I feel Ghost and Ragman Roll is also a perfect standalone. Adams has successfully intertwined previous events without it feeling like an information-dump. I personally found it very interesting to hear about Jack’s own injury (how he was left blind in one eye, and his face disfigured from an altercation with a suspect). I also enjoyed how well Adams discussed and portrayed mental health issues and developmental disorders.
Conclusively, I doubt this will be the last book I read by Adams – in fact, I may just read (and review?) the entire series very soon.
About the author
Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.
Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.
Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.
Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.
Adam’s Twitter can be found here.
His Facebook can be found here.