The Crooked Beat (Joe Geraghty Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 235 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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It seems everyone wants Geraghty to drop the case, in particular Don Ridley, his former partner and mentor. But Geraghty can’t let his family down and when the past crashes into the present Joe is in until the bitter end.
I’ve previously read and reviewed two of the author’s works. Both were quality performances, strong and well written, however The Crooked Beat feels like a step on. Perhaps it is because the story moves immediately, rather than a slow build. Perhaps it is the use of first person narrative.
This latter element brings us closer to the protagonist, Joe Geraghty. He’s a man incapable of finding a happy ending. He has few friends and is out on his own now after the private investigation firm he previously worked for closed and his mentor Don retired.
Throughout The Crooked Beat there’s a lot of the difficult past for Geraghty to deal with. Through flashbacks we learn about Don Ridley, who in many ways has been like a father to Joe, and how his behavior ultimately affected Joe. In addition a man involved with the death of Geraghty’s wife may have the answer to the riddle he’s pursuing. He really is a tortured soul.
However, Geraghty must also pull his family out of trouble and deal with Sutherland. Quantrill deals with these many story arcs with aplomb and cleverly produces an exit when none seem obvious.
One of the aspects I really like is the Hull backdrop (I admit I’m slightly biased having lived there for over a decade). Quantrill draws the area very well which adds atmosphere.
Another subtle element is the author reflecting a number of the character’s past (via flashbacks) against the backdrop of the city’s current regeneration. The old is being torn down and replaced with the new, which parallels Geraghty’s changes in circumstances. His old life is being ripped up too, though as yet a future hasn’t been built. It’s neat and clever.
All in all this is an excellent book, intelligently written and a significantly more than your average PI tale.
**Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**
This series has been steadily getting better and better and hey it was terrific in the first place. I particularly loved the use of past and present timelines in this outing - Buried secrets always make for a great reading experience and Joe is going to discover plenty. Cleverly intertwined, the two tales slowly come together to form the whole - with many surprises along the way.
The sense of place is fantastic..I have never visited Hull but after reading this and the previous novels I really feel like I have - and thats a talent to be sure. The backdrop adds great depth to the story and gets you involved.
As I've said before, the "private detective" in fiction is rarely used as successfully as your standard "DI with a past" but Mr Quantrill, like John Connolly and Robert Crais before him has managed to write a character you can get behind. And he's British - whats not to love?
I would recommend these novels to anyone with a love of crime fiction. Perhaps slightly overlooked in the genre, that should be rectified. Start with "Broken Dreams" and take it from there.....
My thanks to the author for the copy of this book for review.
It starts with the backdrop. Quantrill depicts Hull, England in a remarkably clear and vivid way -- but the city's unique features are also central to the story. He also enriches his characters further this time out. In particular, there is the relationship between brothers Joe and Niall, as well as those between Joe and Don and Sarah Ridley.
The underworld nasties of Hull are also excellent, as well as the half-good half-bad demimonde types.
It's hard to put a finger on it, but Quantrill has somehow made his story simple (because it's so easy to read and has so much momentum) and complex at the same time. His mysteries have very satisfying webs.