As I have with his other series, I find David Field’s DCI Mike Saxby novellas to pack the same punch without all the unnecessary writing fluff. Picking up where the series debut ended, Field drops the reader into the middle of a DCI Mike Saxby situation. News has hit the wire that journalist Jeremy Giles is dead. Arriving at the scene, his body has been hanging from a roof beam with an odd ‘U’ carved into the skin. Surely not your run of the mill suicide or murder, but with Giles’ past connection to Saxby, he’ll want to look a little deeper. It was Giles who brought Saxby the news of 17 Cavendish Square, a high-end brothel that was the centre of a recent case (see Book 1), that was supposed to have been haunted for over four centuries. Giles was also working on a book to tell of all the mysterious goings-on along Cavendish Square, something that might be useful when trying to draw a list of suspects. Might Giles have stepped on a toe or two while researching his book? DCI Saxby and his team begin looking into some of the genealogy related to Cavendish and some unsolved cases from the recent past, trying to tie things together. Could there be a connection to the murder of a purported witch centuries ago? Saxby will have to juggle this and some personal things that have come to the surface with a member of the team. It’s Saxby’s call to tread lightly or forge ahead full speed, in this case that has elements of the paranormal. Field does it again, pulling together a strong story and events from the past to shape his narrative and keep the reader enthralled. Recommended for those who enjoy police procedurals, as well as the reader who wants something quick to digest.
I have enjoyed David Field for a while now. He knows how to create an alluring tale, a full mystery, and telling it without all the bells and whistles of extemporaneous characters and setting development. This story works well in its modern setting—dabbling into the past when needed—with a well-paced narrative and strong characters. DCI Mike Saxby emerges as a better protagonist this time around, holding the story in his proverbial palm as the investigation takes on many twists and turns. Through the eyes of a senior administrator, the reader is able to see the building the case and its various pitfalls, as interviews lead in a variety of directions. The reader is able to see a little more of the Saxby family, though the struggle is replaced with Field offering up some more ‘personal’ sides to Mike Saxby that were not as evident when I read the debut. There are some interesting character development moments with the secondary characters, which adds a little drama to the story and gives the reader others with whom they can relate. Pulling on some of the crumbs left in the debut novella, Field builds new and interesting sub plots throughout and I found the storytelling to be just as intense as anything else Field has penned. I enjoyed the story and found the mix of personal and professional tensions leaving me wanting more in this series. The reader must find an attachment to the story early on or risk losing the overall reading experience. I’m pleased to see how well things progressed throughout and hope Field has more pieces in this and his other newly-released series to keep readers coming back.
Kudos, Mr. Field, for another great piece. Your work never ceases to amaze me and I find your versatility refreshing in this day and age, when authors seem to peddle the same type of work.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons