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Simms, Chris - 'A Price to Pay'
Hardback: 208 pages (Sep. 2013) Publisher: Creme de la Crime ISBN: 1780290500

This is the second in the series of novels featuring Detective Constable Iona Khan (half Scottish and half Pakistani) - born in Scotland but has spent most of her life in Manchester where she joined Greater Manchester Police becoming a member of their Counter Terrorism Unit in the first book in the series SCRATCH DEEPER.

In this novel, three different threads interact to push Detective Constable Iona Khan into a disturbing case where she could become a victim: a teenage runaway leaps to her death from a motorway bridge into the speeding traffic below; a white English girl becomes a suicide bomber in Israel; a man is found burned to death in his computer shop and someone with extremely violent tendencies and a liking for the use of a hammer as a discussion tool is going around Manchester trying to retrieve a mislaid laptop that passed through the shop. These three disparate events lead Iona into an investigation of a trade in the most depraved of human markets where she could become a commodity.

Once again, Iona Khan is an engaging lead character who is well sketched out and believable. Some of the other characters do lean towards the caricature but they are still integral to driving the plot along, and go along it does at a rate of knots. The plot itself is ripped from the headlines and you can't help but become engaged in Iona's battle to both solve the case and not become a victim herself.

Overall, A PRICE TO PAY is another good quality police procedural from Chris Simms with an interesting and engaging lead character who I will continue to be interested in reading more about.

Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland
July 2014

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 11/07/2014 20:57