From Publishers Weekly
A number of implausibilities, including the failure of the bad guys to finish people off when they have the chance, undercut Oldham's 15th police procedural featuring Det. Supt. Henry Christie (after 2010's Seizure). When two teenage boys on a mugging spree go after an old man in a Blackpool street, their intended victim eludes them, only to be run over multiple times by a car and then shot dead by one of the car's occupants. The boys flee, fearing the gun man will get them, too. The authorities eventually identify the dead man as an Italian gangster. Christie, who was looking forward to a holiday in Venice with his wife, instead stays home to investigate. That Christie takes advantage of his wife's absence to pursue an attractive female coroner may not endear him to some readers. Others may find the revelation of those behind the gangster's killing and their motive too over-the-top. (Feb.)
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Oldham may not yet have the name recognition of a John Harvey or an Ian Rankin, but his books have the same dark, disturbing grittiness, menacing threat of violence, and flawed heroes. This time Detective Superintendent Henry Christie struggles with a case in which a seemingly respectable Blackpool businessman is hit by a car and then shot. Christie soon links the man’s death to an Italian Mob, but then the investigation stalls. Eventually, Christie learns that teenager Mark Carter and his buddy, Rory, witnessed the killing. But the boys have disappeared. At first believing they’ve gone to ground, Christie is shocked when Rory’s bullet-riddled body is found. The only remaining witness is young Carter, whom Christie knows from a previous case. Keen to find the boy, Christie fears the killers will find him first. Fast-paced action, gripping suspense, and a keep-’em-guessing plot will edge Oldham closer to the widespread recognition he deserves. --Emily Melton