Monday, June 12, 2017

Iola Goulton reviews ENEMY ACTION by Mike Hollow

Iola Goulton reviews Enemy Action by Mike Hollow:

Amazon Description 

Fifty people squashed into a stinking public air-raid shelter all night – babies screaming, old ladies crying, no beds, not even a light to see by. When the all-clear siren sounds, people disperse to home and work. But one man remains. He’s Paul Ramsey, a young teacher, and he’s dead – stabbed through the heart. 

DI Jago quickly establishes that the victim was a pacifist, desperate to avoid military service. Why, then, was he carrying a loaded revolver in his pocket? Did he have enemies? Was he intent on harming someone – or even himself? 

Jago discovers that Paul isn’t the only pacifist whose convictions have been challenged. For some, anger and violence lie just below the surface. And despite Ramsey’s moral stance, it seems there were dark shadows in his life. In fact, more than one person might have had a motive for murder…

My Review

It's 1940, the middle of the London Blitz, and there is a body in the aftermath of the nightly bombing raids. But this body isn't a victim of the bombs. No. This body was stabbed to death. Whodunit?

The investigation starts with Inspector Jago and his partner meeting all manner of people whose only relationship was that they knew or knew of the victim, none of whom appear to have any motive for killing him. As the story progresses, unexpected relationships emerge between the characters, which leave us with several having both motive and opportunity for the murder.

Yes, there were plenty of red herrings, and the end managed to both surprise me and make perfect sense. That's always the sign of an excellent mystery.

I was impressed by the character voices, about the way I could 'hear' the different accents. I was also impressed with the overall setting and background—the subplot around contract mismanagement, the comments about gender equity, the history in general. It gave the novel a sense of time and place I rarely see in Christian fiction.

And this was Christian fiction, although it's Christian fiction of a more understated variety (as is typical with British fiction). It's clear Inspector Jago is on a spiritual journey, whether he knows it or not. I'll watch that with interest in future books, along with his relationship with the pretty American journalist.

This is the third book in the Blitz Detective series, but can easily be read as a standalone novel. I haven’t read the first two in the series, but will be ordering them soon. Recommended for historical fiction lovers, especially those who like police procedural mysteries.

Thanks to Lion Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Mike Hollow at The Blitz Detective website.

About Reviewer Iola Goulton:

I am a freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog. I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon US Reviewer Rank that floats around 5,000 (and I'm in the Top 50 at Amazon Australia).