Hangman

Written by Stephen Talty

Review written by Adam Colclough

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.


Hangman
Headline
RRP: £13.99
Released: May 8th, 2014
Pbk

North Buffalo in the autumn and serial killer Marcus Flynn is on the loose after a prison break, as the body count grows homicide cop Abbie Kearney must track down the ‘Hangman’ before he kills again. To do so she will have to step beyond the law and take help from the city’s shadowy network of fixers.

This novel is a solidly traditional police procedural, and I mean that as a compliment since it displays all the best features of the sub-genre.

Talty shows a strong sensibility for place, presenting North Buffalo as a hard bitten working class community with all the associated strengths, traditions and flaws. This is a place where loyalties are strong and prejudices, sometimes, even stronger.

Abbie Kearney makes for an engaging central character with just the right mix of the determined and the damaged and a back-story that will stand examination in future outings. The supporting cast is strong too, setting up loyalties and rivalries that mirror those in the world outside the station house.

Talty keeps his readers guessing throughout a plot that provides a neat little twist at the end whilst at the same time ‘playing fair’ in line with one of the oldest traditions of crime writing.

This isn’t perhaps the most original of police procedurals and that is one of the things that makes it so enjoyable. It delivers a solid slug of pleasure because the reader knows throughout that it is the work of a writer who knows and respects the conventions of the genre.

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