This is another very good police procedural by Jim Kelly featuring Detective Inspector Peter Shaw and Detective Sergeant George Valentine This is the second book in the series I ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed it Shaw and Valentine are partners and work in the West Norfolk Constabulary while sharing a long standing personal relationship which has not necessarily been cordial all the time There are issues they need to sort out concerning Shaw s father and each story takes them a little further along in their journey of mutual understanding of the situations involved This novel finds Norfolk gearing up for World Pilgrim Day on the August Bank Holiday Thousands of religious pilgrims will be marching toward Walsingham and now there is a counter pilgrimage element making its well organized presence felt Chief Constable Joyce is extremely conscious of his desired route to bigger and greater postings than Norfolk so he wants assurances from Shaw that all will go well during the march Unfortunately a resident of Marsh House, a private residential care home, has been found in her wheelchair out by the ocean, obviously murdered.This story does not include as much of the personal life of Peter Shaw but definitely for George Valentine George is going to have to make some serious decisions and he isn t facing those prospects easily I liked getting better acquainted with Valentine in this novel and I thought the problems he had to face were presented in a very realistic way The book kept revealing and complications as it went along so there was never a period of let down By the time it s all over with all age ranges and socio economic groups have been touched on with the ending tying the threads together in a very satisfactory manner I enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading of the writings of Jim Kelly.I received an e ARC of this novel through NetGalley. Full of social issues to consider and sharp characterizations I really like the pairing of DI Shaw and DS Valentine, who was also the partner of Shaw s late father The final scene tied in beautifully with the theme as well as the plot of the book, and left me with a smile on my face despite the fact that these are not cozy mysteries Great series. This Is The Stunning New Shaw Valentine Mystery When The Newspapers Turn Up To Cover Ruby Bright S Th Birthday, They Find Her Seaside Care Home Is A Murder Scene Someone Spirited Ruby Away By Wheelchair Down To The Water S Edge On The Idyllic North Norfolk Coast, And Strangled Her But Why Kill A Harmless Centurion As Detective Inspector Shaw And Detective Sergeant Valentine Investigate, It S Clear Ruby Wasn T The First Victim, And Nor Is She The Last All Trails Seem To Lead Back To The Old Parkwood Springs Estate, Close To The Docklands There S Only One Way In And One Way Out Of The Estate Through The Derelict Lister Tunnel But What Is The Secret Within This is a well written and thought provoking crime novel featuring Shaw and Valentine and set on the North Norfolk coast The location provides an atmospheric background to the disturbing crimes which the detectives have to investigate.A woman in a care home is murdered on her hundredth birthday Shaw wants to prioritise the case but the Chief Constables wants him to spend time overseeing the arrangements for a pilgrimage to Walsingham which may be disrupted by protestors Valentine has his own problems with his health and has difficult decisions to make.Shaw and Valentine are interesting characters and I loved the descriptions of the Norfolk scenery I enjoyed the skilful way the suspense is built up over the course of the book and the way all the various strands of the plot intertwine If you enjoy police procedural crime stories then this may be one for you I found it a disturbing read but very well worthwhile The book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone story I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review. I m enjoying this series well written, well plotted, and interesting characters I ll definitely read others as I come across them. To be honest, I should say that I am completely neutral about this book i.e I neither like nor dislike it That is not to say that I m meh about this book, I think it s solidly written but somehow it just didn t elicit a response from it, whether that s on an intellectual, personal or emotional level It s my first time reading a police procedural unless you count Patricia Cornwell s Kay Scarpetta series but I think that was before the sub genre of police procedural ever arose or maybe I m just ignorant So perhaps my reaction is shaded by this But overall, I think the plot is solid the author had two main plots and they were woven together successfully in the end There are also moments where I don t know what s going to happen next, a feature I always look to for the mystery genre although I did guess one of the culprits early on Perhaps it s the characters who did not quite catch on for me or the pace I mean, it s not like a cozy mystery which I felt to be too slow but it s not fast paced either It s kinda like a light reading with shortish chapters where you can put down and pick up anytime And well, I was looking for something easy to ease me back into reading after my long holiday when I picked it up but perhaps I was looking for something a little fast paced, something similar to my own conventional conception of a murder mystery. These are great books, all set in Norfolk s lovely Northern coastline DI Shaw and DS Valentine are investigating the brutal murder of Ruby Bright, found facing the sea in her wheelchair, they day before her 100th birthday There is also the World Pilgrimage day at nearby Walsingham for Shaw and his team to police and trainers are mysteriously found strung over overhead cables I do find it easy enough to use the usual phrases that Death on Demand is a gripping read a page turner has strong characterisation is well plotted an atmospheric setting and this is certainly the case.What makes this different is the high quality of writing and the research carried out by Jim Kelly There is information about the Supermoon, The Pilgrimage and Flying Kicks all of which is artfully woven in and interesting.I have to admit that I love the Norfolk setting as it is familiar to me However the North Norfolk landscape of woodlands, marshes and beaches are powerfully described Much of the action takes place outside and the flat, wide landscape feels integral to the storyline It reminds me of Stephen Booth s Peak District descriptions which stimulates you to go and see for yourself.All murder is dark and this story line is no exception without giving any plot spoilers this is thought provoking.The focus is on the investigative work carried out by Shaw and Valentine and you are with them every step of the way There are plenty of clues and whilst I guessed part of the mystery there are twists that prevented me from working it all out.There is past history between Shaw and Valentine which has impacted on their relationship I really liked that this continues to be explored with gentle shifts in their view of one another alongside insights into their personal lives There s no problem reading this as a standalone but having read them all gives you a deeper sense of the relationship between the two officers There is a shock early on and I so wanted Shaw to care that bit.It s a top notch read. Death on Demand 4 starsJim KellyIt just feels right..The Shaw and Valentine series of crime thriller books will be well known to many readers but new to me The Inspector and Sergeant sidekick format is very common in this kind of story and the interest always lies as much in the relationship between the two cops as in the plot itself On this occasion the plot and the relationship sit well side by side and as a new reader of this series it was like slipping on a favourite glove It just felt right The story is a stand alone and whilst knowledge of the previous books might add something, it is unnecessary There is obviously history between the two men but not knowing the full details did not detract from the enjoyment It is based in Norfolk where a centenarian well almost is found dead in very suspicious circumstances Her murder then leads the detectives to investigate other deaths which are also then found to be suspicious Running alongside this is the Walsingham invasion of pilgrims with the threat from anti pilgrim protesters and strange happenings with shoes all over town.The plot does not therefore solely focus on the first murder but, much like real life, follows other story lines and apparently unrelated incidents plus chronicling the pressure from an unreasonable and uncaring, politically motivated boss which I suspect will chime with many readers There s also a new man on the force who is the boss s favourite and golfing partner so alpha male hackles rise Conflict therefore abounds and there are well written moments when the stress bubbles to the surface, affecting decisions and relationships whilst also adding interest and a change of pace.Even the secondary characters felt real and the dialogue throughout was genuine and not at all wooden or stilted I particularly enjoyed the ending which pretty much sums up life in general.So, 4 stars overall with one star being taken off for some far fetched story lines which are unlikely to have happened in real life but were not important enough to spoil the overall enjoyment.mr zorg This police procedural is well written to link three separate matters dealt with by the police in Norfolk A centenarian is found dead at a senior care home she was killed, sadly She has no immediate relatives so who would want to kill someone aged a hundred And all those annoying instances of littering by throwing paired running shoes over utility wires are explored we get a good look at what this means worldwide, who does it and why Besides this, a pilgrimage to a local shrine is about to occur and this brings outsiders to scenic Norfolk, with inevitable tensions and policing issues I am surprised that the police are the ones who hire a cherry picker, operate it themselves and cut loose the shoes around town In Dublin we phone the utility firm which comes out and does the job it s their lines that are at risk The police are shown spending money on equipment hire, working without a mention of any health and safety instruction though it may have occurred and seemingly wasting time that they could be spending on catching burglars And how does the form filling go Does each one count as a crime I like the supermoon party, the marsh harrier sighting and other issues The issues highlighted with regard to the care home are good to raise, though I did find them obvious other matters raised from the past of policing are referenced as required The DI in this case is happily married to a capable lady, but he has only one working eye due to a work accident His sergeant is getting on to retirement age and has a diagnosis of serious illness to face I applaud the author Jim Kelly for putting people with disabilities on the page The pair are also well suited to investigating the death of an old lady in a wheelchair though not much up to modern computer issues, as a security gap was obvious to me but not to them The benefits of a mixed age policing unit are clearly shown Overall, good story, the first I ve read from this author but it won t be the last.
Jim Kelly is a journalist and education correspondent for the Financial Times He lives in Ely with the biographer Midge Gilles and their young daughter The Water Clock, his first novel, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award for best first crime novel of 2002 Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
- 224 pages
- Death on Demand (DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine # 6)
- Jim Kelly
- 02 October 2019 Jim Kelly