Genre: British Detective
Narrative Style: Third Person, Chronological
Synopsis: Joe Faraday is an overworked cop with family issues. Even though he lacks resources, he knows that he must help Emma Maloney find out what happened to her father. He is already dealing with a drugs bust gone wrong and a murdered grandfather. Furthermore, he lacks evidence and his boss wants him to focus on cases that will give the station a better media image. Joe cannot let the case go even when it seems that it is an obsession that is all in his head.
I picked this book to read because in the blurb it mentioned that it was about a daughter searching for her father and it sounded interesting. However, apart from a brief prologue, this storyline doesn’t appear until about a quarter of the way through. To me, this is too long before introducing what will be your main storyline. This problem of balance is one that effects the whole of this novel. At first, we have the murder of a grandfather and a drugs bust that goes wrong. But these are all but abandoned once the search begins for Maloney’s father. At times, Joe’s son is the focus of the story and then he too is abandoned. Moving between plot and subplot could certainly have been handled better.
I wasn’t convinced by the character of Joe. Maybe I am too much in thrall to detectives like Ian Rankin’s Rebus but Joe just didn’t convince. He seemed too well-behaved to go off on his own in the way that he does. By contrast, his opposite number, the corrupt cop was just a bundle of stereotypical bad cop attributes to really convince or make the reader have any feelings for.
The worst part of this novel though is the ending. Not so much the solving of the disappearance which was interesting enough but the epilogue which saw all of Joe’s family and personal problems neatly wrapped up. It was too simplistic by far. I won’t be reading anymore in this series.