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Howard, Alex - 'Cold Revenge'
Hardback: 336 pages (Mar. 2015) Publisher: Head of Zeus ISBN: 1784971499

A young woman is found dead after what appears to be a meeting with one of her lovers that went drastically wrong. She was an aspiring journalist who was writing a blog about her adventures. She attended classes in philosophy with Professor Gideon Fuller and the police focus their attention on him as he is well known for his interest in the same sort of sex games.

The powerful and well connected Dr Elizabeth Saunders appointed Fuller to his post and now uses her influence to request that the police investigate Fuller discreetly so as not to ruin his career. Assistant Commissioner Corrigan asks DCI Hanlon, who is recovering from the wounds received in her previous case, to join the philosophy class in order to get close to Fuller to investigate whether he is guilty or innocent. When another of his students is murdered, his guilt seems obvious.

Hanlon is a beautiful, very fit and highly competitive woman who admires Dr Saunders, and owes Corrigan for the support and protection he has shown her the many times she has insisted on breaking the rules and working cases in her own way. She is admired by a few fellow officers and feared by many more.

The case takes her into the world of sadomasochistical sex between consenting partners and brings her into contact with some very dangerous criminals.

This is the second book featuring Hanlon. While there is a degree of violence in the book, some with a graphic sexual content which may well take many readers outside their comfort zone, on balance I feel that this, while it may be uncomfortable to read, is necessary for the storyline. It is a good read with an interesting, though very flawed, main character.

Susan White, England
June 2015

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 20/06/2015 21:40