‘I RACED THROUGH THIS – ROBERT SCRAGG’S STORYTELLING IS FIRST RATE. WE’LL BE SEEING A LOT MORE OF PORTER AND STYLES’ WILLIAM RYAN
DID SHE SLIP, OR WAS SHE PUSHED?
When a severed hand is found in an abandoned London flat, Detective Inspector Jake Porter and his partner Detective Sergeant Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her?
Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Natasha’s nearest and dearest are the people who can least be trusted.
Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?
‘I LOVED IT. I READ IT IN TWO DAYS ... A REAL, CLASSIC WHODUNNIT’ NIKI MACKAY
‘A strong contender for crime fiction debut of the year … a sparkling new talent’ Howard Linksey
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In his debut, Robert Scragg pulls off an impressive feat, nailing the moody, noir-shaded police procedural while also keeping the pace brisk and the characters compelling. When London detectives Jake Porter and Nick Styles embark on a cold case reopened by grisly new evidence, they set off a complicated chain reaction peppered with bracing violence and well-founded paranoia. Set in the present with flashbacks to 1983, this tightly wound yarn is especially memorable for the easy rapport that warmed us to Porter and Styles; their combined resilience offsets even the bleakest plotlines—and hooked us for the rest of the series.
The discovery of a hand inside a defrosted freezer in an abandoned London flat drives British author Scragg's satisfying debut and series launch. A DNA match links the severed hand to Natasha Barclay, who lived in the flat decades earlier. When Det. Insp. Jake Porter and his partner, Det. Sgt. Nick Styles, investigate, they learn that Natasha's father, Nathan, killed himself in 1983 around the time that he sold his haulage firm to Alexander Locke, the head of an import-export company, and Natasha disappeared. The police drug force currently has Locke, who's now married to Nathan's ex-wife and Natasha's stepmother, and his security chief, James Bolton, under surveillance. Porter and Styles combine their efforts with the drug unit after one of their officers is killed and another grievously wounded in a raid. Meanwhile, a possible mole in the police department complicates their joint task. Scragg's detectives have the right combination of passion and savvy, and his plot is easy to follow while still saving some surprises for the end. Fans of British police procedurals will eagerly await the sequel.