Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
On the beach of a dowdy seaside town a police officer is burnt alive in
his car, elsewhere in the town a disturbed young woman struggles to come to
terms with the death of her friend. Both cases are linked by a web of dark
secrets and shattering betrayals, it is the job of Detective Sergeant Frank
Pearson and DC Cat Russell, two cops with problems of enough of their own to
untangle lies and truth exposing in the process lives that have been
This dark, original and
thoroughly satisfying crime novel consciously reacts against some of the most
familiar conventions of the genre. In the world Hardie creates the 'maverick'
cop who does things his own way isn't automatically a hero, it is the media's
myth making after his death that confers such a status after the event,
conveniently ignoring the damage he did too himself and others in life.
His two lead characters
are, by contrast decidedly downbeat, misfits ill at ease in their own lives and
shunted into a career dead end, trying to do the right thing even when doing
the wrong one would make things easier. The setting in a fly-blown seaside
resort with its cheap nightspots and scruffy arcades is convincingly grim; this
is a place readers are reminded where hope retires to die.
The crime about which
Hardie writes is both sad and sordid in equal measure and he creates a killer
with mental health issues who is closer to the troubled reality of such
unfortunates than the usual collection of clichés.
This is a crime novel in
the European rather than British tradition, here crime isn't a three pipe
problem to be solved with all the loose ends tied up in the last chapter.
Instead it is a means of showing up the failing in society and the flaws in
Despite this being his
debut Mark Hardie has proved himself to be a skilful practitioner of the
intelligent crime novel, and his novel could launch a major new voice in the