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Carter, Maureen - Bad Press
Paperback: 274 pages (Aug. 2008) Publisher: Creme de la Crime ISBN: 0955707838

BAD PRESS is the fifth in this series which stars DS Bev Morriss who works out of Highgate police station in Birmingham.

We catch up with Bev a few weeks after the events of HARD TIME, events which have left her world shaken and with the potential to turn it upside down. In addition her boss and possible love interest is recovering from injuries sustained in the last book and is on sick leave.

The book opens with a doctor looking like he's preparing to go to work as usual when in fact he will be committing suicide a few hours later. The story then switches to reporter Matt Snow and what will become the 'A' plot. Matt Snow, the crime reporter for the Evening News, is rung-up in the middle of the night with a tip-off about a body on the notorious Churchill estate. But when Matt gets there, the body is there yes, but it's quiet as a mouse - where are the emergency services? It's as Matt is peering over the body that the police arrive and arrest him and that's just the beginning for Matt. It seems that a murderer has chosen Matt to be the voice of the self-named 'Disposer', a killer of paedophiles . Matt's in over his head but threats from the Disposer mean he's keeping stum.

Bev doesn't believe Matt is the killer but her new boss is not so sure. Bev has a busy time of it as she works the Disposer case as well as following up on the doctor's suicide and coping with her traumatic personal life.

Maureen Carter has said that one word that people often associate with Bev is 'gobby'. Bev certainly has a mouth on her. She's a smart-alec, always wanting the last word, though she may have found her match in her new partner DC Mac Tyler, a comedian in his spare time. Though she's a good detective - she doesn't go by the book, which could be why she's not yet a DI. BAD PRESS is written in a no-nonsense, pared down style which combined with an action filled plot leaves the reader gasping for breath and turning the pages to uncover the identity of the Disposer. Though it's a grim story-line, there is also plenty of humour in the exchanges between Bev and her colleagues.

I thoroughly enjoyed BAD PRESS as I did the previous one, HARD TIME. I will be reading the earlier books in the series to discover the beginning of, what I suspect has been, a major character-progression arc for Bev.

The authentic and local (to me) setting was a bonus, as there are few books set in Birmingham, compared to the other major cities.

Karen Meek, England
December 2008

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

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 12/12/2008 11:08