By Matt Brolly
Rated: 4 stars ****
Bestselling author – Matt Brolly, writes two series – The DCI Lambert Series and The Detective Louise Blackwell series. The Descent is part of The Detective Louise Blackwell series.
The Descent is set in the lovely seaside location of Weston-Super-Mare and gives the impression of a somewhat idyllic town, before throwing readers into something more sinister that turns it all upside down.
I thank Matt Brolly and Thomas & Mercer for allowing me to review as I’d been hoping to get a chance to review from one of the series for awhile.
Discover the blurb, review and about the author below, including website and Twitter links.
Were they pushed to the edge—or over it?
In the quiet coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, a body is discovered at the foot of a cliff just months after a near-identical tragedy—and Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell can’t believe it could be a coincidence.
Next to the body, she discovers a note that echoes one found beside the first: Death is not the end. Louise is certain that behind these desperate acts someone is pulling the strings, but how many more will plunge to their demise before she can find out who—and why?
Struggling to stay focused under the strain of her troubled brother’s disappearance with his young daughter, Louise hits a much-needed breakthrough when a third tragedy points to the involvement of a charismatic cult leader. The suspect is within her sights, but he knows she’s on to him…
Short on proof and with the body count rising, can Louise intercept his deadly mission—or has she taken on an unbeatable foe?
The book asks, did she jump, did she not? What are the strange notes?
The book is well-crafted as there is time to get to know the area, the characters and the story feels really well developed.
The prologue gives a great feel to Weston-Super-Mare, the setting of this book. So, even, if you haven’t physically travelled there before, you certainly can with ease with this book.
Amy Carlisle is one of the main characters , who is also within a group with Jay and Megan. Megan has been sleeping rough in Bristol (perfectly reasonable to travel from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare).
Jay, Megan and Amy belong to a group to talk about their experiences of homelessness over tea that is not your normal breakfast tea and has unusual, interesting effects. It’s a great beginning to set the scene and introduce the chararcters before, in chapter one, readers meet, DI Louise Blackwell and her niece – Emily and within this family there’s domestic strife as all isn’t as harmonious as it could be.
The unfolding story is emotional and is well-written as it throws up social issues and also the crime itself, all intertwined to paint a picture of what’s really going on in terms of the mystery and today’s society.
There’s a body of a young woman discovered, presumed suicide by jumping, since a note is left. The crime scene on the backdrop of the sea and sand of Weston-Supermare creates a good setting and pace, which makes it a book that you can sit back and relax with. The characters are ones that it was a pleasure to get to know and there’s a nice building up of the town and the areas where the book is set. There are also little bits about issues, such as the run-down high street that is thought-provoking of some human activity as it shows it used to be busy but hardly anyone uses it anymore, so it became shabby and many shops closed.
As the story moves on, so does the body count and the notes as the intrigue builds to whether notes that have also appeared before are connected or not. Matt Brolly is good at creating the mood and really humanising his characters with emotion and natural worry in case mistakes were made and wraps them all up well amongst the case itself.
The writing is well-rounded and done well, with characters to really get into and there’s enough to keep people guessing. It does feel between police procedural and thriller in some ways in its detailing, but all the same, it is a book that readers can really get into and makes the writing well rounded. It also means you can really get to know the surroundings, the issues and the people that make up this story in Weston-Super-Mare.
About the Author
Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.
He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky, Dead Embers and Dead Time. A prequel, Dead Water, will be released by Oblong Books in July 2019. In addition he is the author of the acclaimed near future crime novel, Zero.
May 2019 saw the release of a new thriller, The Controller, and in 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer(Amazon Publishing)
Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, is released by Oblong Books in December 2018.
Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.