The New York Times hails David Mark's work as "in the honorable tradition of Joseph Wambaugh and Ed McBain"; in Taking Pity, Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy returns for another darkly enthralling installment of this internationally acclaimed series.
It’s been three months since Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy returned home, or what was left of it after a horrific tragedy. All that remained was charred masonry, broken timbers, and dried blood—a crude reminder of the home invasion and explosion that tore his house and family apart. McAvoy’s wife and daughter are safe, he’s been assured; he just wishes he knew where they were.
As McAvoy wrestles with his guilt, self-hatred, and helplessness, trouble persists in stormy Hull. Organized crime emerges as the city’s latest threat, with two warring factions leaving plenty of bodies for Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh and her unit to clean up. Now more than ever, Pharaoh needs her sergeant to return to work and be a policeman again. She gives McAvoy a case that’s supposed to ease him back into the game: a re-investigation of a rural quadruple murder that was put to bed fifty years ago. But what was supposed to be a cut-and-dry job quickly unravels as McAvoy digs up new evidence and witness testimonies, steering him closer to some of the most notorious criminals in northern England.
Fast-paced, noir-ish and fresh off the heels of Sorrow Bound’s violent finale, Taking Pity is the latest page-turning installment in the gripping Detective McAvoy series. Hailed by The New York Times as being “in the honorable tradition of Joseph Wambaugh and Ed McBain,” David Mark’s police procedurals are smart, dark, and above all, wholly captivating.
In Mark's excellent fourth novel featuring Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy of the Humberside Police, McAvoy's boss, Det. Supt. Trish Pharaoh, feels the pressure from London to eliminate the powerful Headhunters, the group responsible for the attack in 2014's Sorrow Bound that injured McAvoy's wife and daughter and forced them into hiding. Meanwhile, McAvoy is tasked with reviewing a decades-old case the Home Office is concerned could be appealed. Since 1966 it's been assumed that Peter Coles, considered mentally unfit for trial, murdered four members of the Winn family in cold blood on their farm; Coles confessed and has been locked away in psychiatric institutions. After sifting through the minimal evidence, McAvoy notices enough discrepancies to question the official version. McAvoy and Pharaoh make unsettling connections between the still-lethal 81-year-old Francis Nock, who's one of the area's last criminals to rebuff the Headhunters, and the Winn murders. Mark weaves a complicated web of deception, betrayal, and violence as the action builds to a stunning conclusion.
I enjoyed it despite the confusions.
This was my first book in this series and while it was good, it was sometimes confusing. A lot of times the author wouldn't say the names of the people in the conversation. However, I thinks it's because he's trying to keep the anonymity of just who are the bad guys. And there are SO many of them. Bad cops just keep coming out of the woodwork through this whole thing.
I found the beginning a little hard to keep up with and almost needed a spreadsheet to keep up with the characters. I suppose that's because this was my first in the series and regular readers would have already known a lot of them. The pig scene was a little gory. However for the most part I liked this book. It took off after a few chapters for me and didn't stop.
Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.