The Killing Season

Written by Mark Pearson

Review written by Robin Jarossi

The Killing Season
RRP: £3.99 / £7.99
Released: August 14, 2014
Kindle / Pbk

The latest in the series of DI Jack Delaney thrillers finds the Metropolitan Police’s man taking a sabbatical in Norfolk. The rugged detective is, of course, an outsider twice over, being an Irishman in Britain and a cop from the big city transposed to the sticks. Culture clashes are part of the story’s pleasure.

The sticks in this case is Sheringham. The pleasant seaside town in north Norfolk here masks a series of grisly crimes with their roots going back to the Second World War. A storm batters the coast, and when part of the cliff collapses the long-hidden body of a man is discovered. This is followed by the murder of another man, who was sleeping with the fiancé of his friend. Is there a connection?

It’s a nicely twisting premise, but what is enjoyable about Mark Pearson’s writing is that the plot is almost secondary to the characters. Pearson leads a double life as novelist and TV scriptwriter, and his work on shows such as Doctors and EastEnders has sharpened his talent for creating rounded, believable protagonists.

Jack Delaney has survived personal tragedies but now seems on the verge of a happy new life with his doctor fiancé Kate and daughters Siobhan and Jade. He is absolutely surrounded by feisty women, including Amy, the solicitor who commissions freelance detective/security jobs from Jack, and her hilarious assistant Laura, with Doc Martens, ever-changing hair colours and a smart mouth. The verbal fireworks between these characters is great fun. In addition, the evocation of the stormy coast is nicely done.

Sharply written, with terrifically engaging characters, plenty of intrigue and dry humour, The Killing Season is by turns charming and gripping. It’s my first book by Mark Pearson, and I’m a confirmed fan now.

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