My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I won the audio version of this from a Goodreads giveaway which in no way influenced my review. I had mixed feelings about this book. The police procedural part of it was very good up until the end but the personal side of it did not work for me at all so let me start there (with minor spoilers). From the moment I saw the set up of our main pov character, DI Macready's wife, Megan, desperate to have a child and him being sterile and then there's his brother the baby making machine, I thought 'oh boy, let me guess, she turns up pregnant and he thinks its his brother's baby and leads him to be careless at work.' So I expected that from disc one and let's just say it was like a paint by numbers.... It was a special combination of uninteresting, predictable and annoying. I give it one star at best.
Luckily the mystery was the bulk of the story and except for the ending it was very good. DI Macready is fresh out of uniform, being mentored in part by an older detective, Harris, who doesn't really do more than he needs to and by Beck, the nervous energy-filled lesbian detective who is still low enough in the pecking order to keep getting crap jobs.
One of their own has been murdered in a nasty flat of a known thug and drug dealer in Cardiff Wales (I liked that it was set in Wales). Macready isn't really on the case per se. He and Beck are doing more of the research aspects of this while Major Case handles it. In fact he and Beck have other cases to be working but soon it's obvious these cases dovetail. And Macready does have a good head for investigation but he keeps overstepping his bounds and annoying major case.
What the reader knows but the detectives don't, that there is something going on in Africa, children being taken under the guise of medical missions but it does take until the end before we can see how it all fits.
Of course mid-way because of his personal issues Macready starts doing stupid things that could potentially get them all killed so that did drop my rating for this. I don't see it as being hard to come up with the same ending without turning him and Beck into fools in order to make it happen.
Overall I did like Beck and Macready though I was less than happy with one aspect of Macready's life (outside of him and his wife). He and his brother grew up in an abusive home where Dad would beat the brother who in turn beat Macready. Now his brother beats on his wife in front of their kids and every time he gets called into his brother's domestic violence calls, he sends away the investigating cops and lets his brother off the hook. I have zero respect for that.
I would read another one in this series. Matt Addis, the narrator for the book, has narrated over 100 books according to the back blurb and I can believe that. He was excellent.
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