Eve West is a beautiful, petite, Detective Inspector working for London’s Metropolitan Police. She is a very private person whose past holds many secrets. She suffers from insomnia. Though she doesn’t have a serious relationship with anyone, she is having an affair with one of her married co-workers. The affection is more on his side than hers, though she is very fond of him.
When an investigation goes pear-shaped, with tragic results, Eve’s career is hanging in the balance. She is put on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing.
Then, just when things look their bleakest, Eve is contacted by John Duran, one of the murderers she put away. He has powerful friends, even though he is incarcerated. He tells Eve that he has proof that she was set up, and will provide this proof for her disciplinary hearing as long as she will do him a favour…
Loathe to accommodate his wishes, Eve nonetheless feels that his request has merit. He wants her to investigate a cold murder case for which one of his fellow inmates is serving time. He maintains that the case was poorly handled by the police and that the man is innocent. After looking over the files, Eve agrees that the evidence against the man was very tenuous and she wonders how he could ever have been convicted.
It is at this point that Eve teams up with Dan Cooper, an investigative journalist who runs the not-for-profit “4Justice”, an organization which re-examines old cases for police error and wrongful convictions.Having read this author before, albeit quite some time ago, I knew in advance that I admired her writing. My memory served me well, because I found this to be a stellar crime fiction read! A book which has the reader questioning just who are the good guys, and who are the bad guys. That there are many shades of grey in a world where nothing is every purely white or black.
The characters were well described and empathically drawn. The settings were easy to visualize and the plot contained several red-herrings. Besides the search for justice, this story delves into the horse racing world with all of its attendant avarice and corruption.
This crime thriller is not really a police procedural, as Eve’s career is very much on the back-burner during the course of the story. As of today’s date, there is no sequel available, though it is listed on several sites as being the first in the Eve West series. If a second title in the series becomes available I will definitely be adding it to my TBR.
I found the ending to be unusual in that I as the reader was given enough hints via the plot that I knew an elemental fact about Eve’s history that the author chose to NOT spell out, and NOT make her protagonist aware of. Very clever.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed “A Bad, Bad, Thing” and would highly recommend it to other crime fiction fans.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Severn House via NetGalley.
Elena Forbes grew up in London in a family of writers and actors and spent her childhood endlessly concocting stories and plays in her head to keep herself occupied. Heavily influenced by early reading of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, there was always a body, or at the very least some sort of mystery that required solving. She, of course, played the detective. Even as an adult, she would have fragments of stories spinning around in her head, but it was years before she decided to attempt a novel – the catalyst a period of enforced and intensely boring bed rest for medical reasons. After several false starts and rejected submissions, the first chapter and synopsis of Die With Me were shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2005 and the novel was published by Quercus two years later. She still lives in central London – a city she loves. Place is very important to her in terms of her writing and she decided to set her novels in and around London as it offers a wealth of character, variety and history, which never ceases to inspire.
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