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Creed, Adam - 'Willing Flesh'
Paperback: 432 pages (May 2010) Publisher: Faber and Faber ISBN: 0571245269

WILLING FLESH is the second in the DI Will Wagstaffe (aka Staffe) series set in London. Staffe, an independently wealthy copper, is called back from a weekend in Oxford with his girlfriend Sylvie when an upmarket prostitute is murdered in a posh Thames-side hotel.

The reader knows more than the police about the dead woman and her friends but slowly the police uncover that she is a Russian prostitute called Elena and that she is connected both to a Turkish 'businessman' and a Russian oligarch. A friend of Elena's is then murdered and a third young woman goes missing. Are any of the deaths connected to a building development near a Suffolk seaside town that Elena visited frequently? Staffe is sidelined from the investigation and the case appears closed when a pornographer is arrested for the second murder, but did he do it? Staffe doesn't think so and keeps digging and upsetting the establishment until he pieces the story together.

I found WILLING FLESH to be a gripping and easy read though slightly overcomplicated. When I got to the end, I knew who'd done what to whom in terms of the murders, but I felt that there were many threads left up in the air. There were also lots of characters introduced quickly at the beginning, including several police officers and it was a bit difficult to keep track. The main character, Staffe is a maverick and an intuitive cop. His background is not covered in this book - his wealth, family circumstances and how he comes to be so very knowledgeable about art and antiques - but that may have been explained in SUFFER THE CHILDREN.

Written in present tense, this is a modern, gritty read set in a well depicted, sleazy London and despite feeling a bit confused at times, it's one I rather enjoyed.

Karen Meek, England
August 2010

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 5/06/2011 11:43