Scarred

Nick Oldham. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5014-0
British author Oldham’s slow-moving 28th Henry Christie thriller (after 2020’s Bad Timing) opens in 1985, when Christie, then a Blackpool constable, is eager to prove himself to his superiors. One day, as Christie hopes to add to his tally of shoplifter arrests, he spots a boy nick expensive perfume. But when Christie pursues him, he’s blindsided by another boy and beaten unconscious. After recovering, he identifies the teen he chased as Tommy Benemy and apprehends him. Tommy refuses to implicate any accomplice and disappears after he’s released on bail. Tommy’s mother, Trish, fears her son hasn’t vanished voluntarily. Flash forward to 2020, when Christie has retired after a long police career to become a PI. The cold case revives after Trish’s corpse is found, a plastic bag over her head, near a note addressed to Christie, stating that grief at her loss motivated her suicide and asking him to keep looking for her son. After the postmortem concludes Trish was murdered, Christie investigates that crime and its possible link to Tommy’s fate. Since the characterizations are thin, the reveal of the culprit’s identity has little emotional impact. This one’s for devoted series followers only. Agent: Olav Wyper, SMS Talent (U.K.). (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/14/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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