Monday, 14 January 2013

The Erlking (Mick Chandra Mysteries) - Rebecca Yount

With a dead eight years old girl dragged from a North London canal, Mick Chandra looks at the scantily clad young victim and makes a promise to her mother - that he will catch 'them', 'for Josie's sake'.

Seconded to the Pedophile Unit under the direction of Detective Chief Inspector Kip Brodie, Mick and his sergeant, Elizabeth Chang, join a seasoned team that have dealt with the most awful crime - child abuse and child pornography. Their current task is to find four missing children, break apart the pedophile ring that is praying on young victims and especially the head of the group who calls himself The Erlking. With one victim dead, time is running out.

With calculated patience, pedophiles have a range of people on hand to help obtain their victims. With this piece of information, Mick starts to probe more deeply into the seemingly unconnected murder of an Member of Parliament's wife. The MP was accused of molesting a young girl yet no charges were made. But with dogged determination, the pedophile unit along with Mick's tenacity and skill at breaking cases, the team delve further into the seedy world of pedophilia.

When threats are made to his beautiful musician girlfriend Jessica, to his home and his dog, Mick knows he's being warned to stay away from the case. But as loyal as those around the accused are, so are Mick's friends and colleagues. Will they be able to save the last three victims? Can the seasoned group of police officers bring to justice those who delight in the young and make them pay for their sordid crimes?

With a chilling opening, Yount's mystery packs a punch and keeps delivering. In the second installment of the Mick Chandra mysteries, the charming and handsome detective is seen in a more homely light. His relationship with Jessica Beaumont, started in Yount's first novel (A Death in C Minor), has blossomed into a nurturing, strong and supportive partnership. With such a trying case embarked upon, Mick needs this love but when it comes under fire (quite literally) he leaps into full time protective mode. With more questions being raised than answered, Mick seeks the guidance of and listens to Kip. The senior detective reminds Mick that slow and steady is sometimes the best way to get results when it comes to a case like this. With surprising twists and turns, the dramatic and tense ending creates a enthralling story.

Yount's characterization is detailed yet still allows the reader to imagine the scenes. The author has handled a difficult and often disturbing subject matter with sensitivity without losing any of the dramatic impact to the story. The authors language is eloquent and her use of colloquial expressions add a touch of realism to this British based thriller.

Another brilliant, well thought out and intelligent mystery. The handsome Anglo-Indian detective is just as charming and even more likable as his is stunning partner, Jessica. Old friends are met again and despite it being the second book in the series, this is still a stand alone mystery. My one grumble, and a very small one at that, is that it's obvious an American is writing about an English character as there were unnecessary explanations of phrases and other things - but being British I would notice them, so whilst they mildly distracted me, I doubt others would be bothered by them.

Overall, this story is a real page tuner and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. With the inclusion of the first chapter from the next installment of the series, I am very much looking forward to meeting up with the charismatic Mick Chandra once again. A highly recommended read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author to review. The opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to give a positive critique. 


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  2. WOW, that sounds intense. This storyline seems to be a theme this week-I've come across some similar ones in other people's WoW's. I love that cover too-trippy! Great choice!

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