Creed, Adam - 'Willing Flesh'
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