Set in the prestigious police college Bramshill House, the ‘syndicate‘ in this case refers to a course – as courses at Bramshill were all numbered and called syndicates. Syndicate Six are all high ranking officers who are taking a ‘senior command’ course in order to attain an even higher rank of qualifications.
Detective Superintendent Ralph Blade is faced with a difficult case, both professionally and personally. A senior ranking policeman has been murdered at Bramshill House police college. This man was not well liked, and he had personal history with Blade which means that Blade’s own family are suspects. Even the murder victim’s widow is not a bit sorry he’s dead.
Blade’s team, working for Hampshire CID, are challenged too. They are low ranking officers who have to interview very high-ranking police. They have to mask their feelings of intimidation and treat these officers like suspects, as they would in any other murder investigation.Blade has a new ‘second in command’, a female Detective Inspector named Dorothy Fraser. Unused to working with each other, they must quickly access each other and learn each other’s quirks and ways of working. When another man, the head of security at Bramshill is also found murdered, Blade, and his team, have their work cut out for them…
Firstly, I have to say that this novel reads like a traditional, old-school, murder mystery novel reminiscent of Christie, Sayers, and the like.
Unique in its setting, the real-life, world renowned police college in Hampshire called Bramshill, the murder investigation is almost solely comprised of police officers and their families.
I enjoyed the moral dilemma that Blade was experiencing with his wife and son clearly suspects in the murder. Other professional allegiances were tested as well.
The plot was well-paced and the writing polished. The final reveal, like all traditional mystery stories took place with all of the suspects gathered together in one room.
This police procedural murder mystery covered themes of ambition and blackmail. I enjoyed the read and I’m curious as to why this is the first in a prospective series featuring DI Dorothy Fraser and not Detective Superintendent Ralph Blade who was clearly the protagonist…
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
Joffe Books via NetGalley.
ISBN: 9781789315554 ASIN: B08LDR2PJS 192 pages
Geoffrey Osborne, born in Gravesend on March 10, 1930, lived in Erith, Kent, until 1939, when he was evacuated to his grandparents’ farm in North Wales. Later, education at King’s School Rochester was followed by National Service in Germany with the Royal Scots Greys, as the gunner in a Centurian tank. His career as a journalist began as a reporter on the Gazette in South Shields, where he met his late wife, Dorothy. Later, after working as a sub-editor on the Journal in Newcastle and The Daily Telegraph in Fleet Street, he joined Bristol’s Evening Post, becoming the chief-sub-editor. The author of six spy thrillers and many short stories, he lives in North Somerset. The Syndicate Six Murder is the first of a series featuring Detective Inspector Dorothy Fraser.