Wednesday, February 19, 2020

ARC Review: Firewatching by Russ Thomas

Author: Russ Thomas
Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons (February 25, 2020)

Description: A taut and ambitious police procedural debut introducing Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler, a cold case reviewer who lands a high-profile murder investigation, only to find the main suspect is his recent one-night stand . . .

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he'd gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright's burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire's Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright's son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who's receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can't remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . .

My Thoughts: Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler works cold cases. When a body is found behind a brick wall in an unoccupied manor, Tyler thinks this will be a case for him. The manor belonged to Gerry Cartwright who had been presumed to disappear on his own one step ahead of law enforcement six years earlier. But the detective who worked on the case before wants to be the one in charge this time too.

Tyler is sort of on his last chance as a police officer. He's a gay man who attacked a superior who was harassing him and is only on the force because his godmother who is a higher ranked officer stood up for him. He tends to overcompensate in his cold cases and often times makes the original detectives look bad which doesn't endear him to them.

He does manage to force his way into the case only to find that the main suspect is the man he had a one night stand with the night before. Oscar Cartwright looks like a perfect suspect and the detective in charge is ready to arrest him but Adam isn't so sure.

Throw in a woman with dementia who is being blackmailed for something she doesn't remember and a series of suspicious fires and the plot gets nicely complicated. It also adds complications that the murder occurs in a small town where everyone knows each other and everyone had some sort of relationship with Gerald Cartwright including a number of the police officers.

I enjoyed this mystery and was surprised when the villain was revealed. Tyler is an interesting and comlex character that I want to read more about.

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes, when people find out what he does for a living, they ask him whether he struggles to sleep at night, in light of all the horrible things he must see. But sleep has never been a problem for Tyler.

No, it's the early evening that troubles him. the time when people with lives untouched by tragedy are preparing meals for loved ones, and wondering if they have PE tomorrow and whether or not the kit's been washed. The time that Mum gets home from work and the kids come in for tea. That's the time that reaches out to remind him of all the horror in the world. It's the time the news breaks.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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