The Profit Motive

Written by David Beckler

Review written by Andrew Hill

A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill’s first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years, will be published in Spring 2022. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at crime writing festivals, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.

The Profit Motive
Long Stop Books
RRP: £7.99
Released: October 31 2019

Oliver Hetherington is in Wenzhou, China, looking into the suppliers of his U.K. based business. On a night out with his hosts, he’s struck by a fast-moving car and badly injured.

Senior Inspector Jie Gang is called to the scene, along with his sidekick, Sergeant Tang. Mr Hetherington’s mobile phone is missing and a search of his room reveals a laptop case, but no laptop.

Meanwhile, Oliver’s daughter Kate is involved in a car accident in the U.K. and former Special Forces operative, Adam Sterling’s fire engine is called to the scene to cut her out and rescue her. It appears that the van that hit her has been abandoned and the scene looks a little fishy, to say the least.

Adam’s old Special Forces ‘oppo’, Bryon Mason, is also in a bit of bother, A family member owes a not insubstantial sum to some shady characters of the type that you’d count your fingers after you’d shaken hands with them!

When Kate is discharged from the hospital, she’s attacked in her home and then finds out that the medical insurance company covering her father deems him too ill to travel home. She also discovers that emails from her father have been wiped from the company server.

There seems to be no option than for Kate to travel to China and find out what’s going on and she gets Adam and Byron to agree to go with her.

Meanwhile, back in Wenzhou, Jie Gang is being pressured to look at the incident as just a simple, but regrettable, accident. But it doesn’t sit well with him and further events lead him and Tang to believe that all is not even remotely close to what his senior officer would like him to see it as.

With the arrival of Kate, Adam & Byron, the story picks up pace and they work with Gang to uncover the real reason behind Mr Hetherington’s ‘accident’ and who wanted Kate out of the picture.

As Gang pushes back against the pressure from his superiors, he’s taken off the case, but won’t let it lie. He continues to work with the Brits to reveal the corruption and reason behind the attempt to kill Oliver Hetherington, who has now been spirited away from the hospital where he was being treated.

The author delivers a real sense of the foibles and hierarchy that operates within the Chinese Police Force, lending authenticity to the story and establishing Gang and Tang as searchers after the truth, regardless of where it leads. Adam & Byron bring a degree of muscular impetus to the proceedings when needed and they combine to deliver an involving ‘fish out of water’ thriller that ticks many boxes. This is the second of the Mason & Sterling Thrillers, so readers may want to do themselves a favour and check out the first in the series ‘Brotherhood’.

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