Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Buckingham Palace Blues' - James Craig

Buckingham Palace Blues, by James Craig, is the third book in the Inspector Carlyle series, and my first. Corruption in Buckingham Palace, who would have thought? My only question was, how high up does it go? Many thanks to Constable & Robinson for providing me with a review copy of Buckingham Palace Blues.

James Craig opens up with some really serious stuff, threat and violence against children of the worst kind. After meeting a confused child in a park, and then quickly losing her, John Carlyle discovers a child-trafficking ring. Apart from actually finding out who is behind it, acquiring evidence, he also has to solve a puzzle much closer to heart. Which of his colleagues can he actually trust?

It's a decent plot, which twists and turns enough to keep me interested. Sometimes the obstacles introduced seem a tad too convenient, and lazy, but James Craig just about gets away with it. At least James Craig does not pull his punches, which gives the story credibility. No gloating gangsters who reveal their entire plot to Batman, only to leave him unguarded and strapped to a dooms days device.

John Carlyle is a new acquaintance of mine, and I feel I did not get to know him well enough. Obviously, it might have been different had I also read the first two books. He does not seem to have any interesting character flaws, no real darkness he needs to keep in check. He even has a loving wife which is very supportive of his odd working hours. When it comes to tenacity he excels and he works the case like a bloodhound. We also get the follow the investigation from the point of view of a few other characters, all of which are well written.

Buckingham Palace Blues was a entertaining read, with both pace and moments of suspense. James Craig gives us delightfully unlikeable villains, which you can't wait long enough for them to finally be caught, and maybe even fall down some stairs...

Buckingham Palace Blues weighs in at 304 pages, and is published by Constable & Robinson.

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