Nothing to Hide
By James Oswald
Rated: 5 stars *****
I was so excited and delighted when I received an invitation by Random Things to review the latest Constance Fairchild book – Nothing to Hide by James Oswald as part of a blog tour. The book did not disappoint and kept me engaged. Today I present my review on the first day of Scottish Book Week. For those of you not in Scotland, it is a hugely important event for books to be promoted, reading to be encouraged. There are events happening online and in libraries and other places that have lovely books. Support authors and these events if you can, everyone appreciates it when you do.
About the Author
James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes
disturbing fiction by night.
Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s
wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has
other ideas . . .
Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated
and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide
investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.
No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly
see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters
responsible for this brutality to justice.
Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has
everything to lose . . .
Having the latest crime thriller by James Oswald in my hands to review was always, for me, going to be exciting. His writing lives up to all the hype that surrounds him. His writing is most definitely up there with Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.
The detective in this book is not McLean, but Constance Fairchild, who is currently suspended from duty. It is as good as any McLean book. This is a new series from James Oswald.
Perthshire, Edinburgh, London; the book covers some ground when there are nationwide, killings, brutal murders that bear all the hallmarks of them being ritualistic. So many lives are in danger and DI Constance Fairchild is not immune to this danger either.
Lady DC Constance Fairchild (not that she really uses Lady), is an interesting, strong character, who isn’t afraid of breaking a rule or two. The workforce doesn’t always like her and rib her for being posh and the press seem to almost hound her after her previous case. She is, whilst being suspended, waiting to be able to testify at the trial of wealthy businessman Roger De Villiers and all seems like it’s going to be straightforward, but that doesn’t last as other events occur.
Out and about, members of “The Church of the Coming Light”, part of the Danes Estate, is stumbled upon. It highlights some of the social deprivation here and that there are people trying to help. In this case it is people who are taking the drug most commonly known as Spice. I really like that it is highlighted that people can and do help to try to make things better, through charitable works. but it shouldn’t be necessary, indicating, quite rightly that lives ought to be better and ones with hope, not such despair. There does however seem something sinister about the group on first glance, plus the name indicates it isn’t going to be a mainstream church. Then there’s the odd Reverend, Doctor Edward Masters with his connections is high places. I then got very intrigued as to who Polly Cho is, who Stokes reckons Constance should talk to before he takes very unwell. Readers then really get to know what sort of people they are.
This sort of cultish world interests me, intrigues me, disturbs me and is something that still exists today in some form or another. All the ingredients are there that make it a “want to read book”. The tension that is built up is excellent.
It is interesting getting to know all the characters whom DC Fairchild is, one way or another, in contact with and it is interesting getting an insight into the workforce and their world.
I could not put this book down. I found myself being pulled further and further into getting to know the characters and also into the uneasiness of the killings and the sinister “church”. The book has a great mix of intrigue and familiarity of the surroundings. Even if you have not been to the UK before, it still will all make sense. The book is the second of the Constance Fairchild series, but can also be read as a stand-alone book as there is enough back-story to grasp onto, to catch up, if you’ve not read the first one. If you haven’t ever thought of reading James Oswald’s books, I recommend you give them a try. You just may find that you become hooked and if you’ve read his McLean books, then also try out this new exciting series from him. You won’t be left disappointed.
With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to the blog tour. Thanks to Wild Fire Books and Headline for sending a copy of the book. Thanks to James Oswald (who is active on Twitter).