A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows
|A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A series which began as a good police procedural has now moved firmly into the genre of international thrillers. It's a better book than the last one and makes a good read although you might need to have some of the earlier books under your belt to fully understand what's going on.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 376||Date: July 2019|
|Publisher: Point Blank|
|External links: Author's website|
DCI Domenic Jejeune is no longer with Lindy Hey, the estrangement being of his making, not hers. He hasn't explained to her that he is doing this - and leaving for his native Canada - because he thinks that this will keep her safe from his nemesis, Ray Hayes. Lauren Salter has been promoted to sergeant and now has her first murder case. It looks as though there's an obvious suspect, but Salter isn't so certain. Sgt Danny Maik is (unofficially) keeping an eye on Lindy Hey, whilst Jejeune embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue his brother, Damian, who has gone missing in one of Canada's largest national parks.
Confused? Well, is you're not it's probably because you're a regular reader of Steve Burrows' Birder Murder series. For the newcomer it must be rather like tuning into the next episode of The Archers and expecting to understand what's happening straight away. There's a convoluted history to this plot and whilst Burrows does give some backstory, just so you're not completely adrift, I can't imagine that it would work well, or that the reader would get out of it all that's there, if they read it as a standalone. Normally I'd suggest that you go back to the beginning and start there, but the nature of the series has changed dramatically.
The early books in the series were good police procedurals, lifted above the general run by two factors. Burrows has the ability to make the North Norfolk coast come alive in a way that few other authors have managed and this series was my treat for when I couldn't be there. The second factor was the birds of that area. Burrows is knowledgeable and frequently transported me to Blakeney Freshes to watch the birds. He showed knowledge but didn't have the need to shoehorn in every bit of research - the mark of the master. Book five began to move away from the police procedural genre and into international thrillers. A Dance of Cranes has competed that move, with the North Norfolk/police procedural aspects being almost incidental.
It's a good story though, with Burrows ramping up the tension to an almost unbearable level on a couple of occasions and playing god with the lives of the regular characters. Jejeune doesn't appear arrogant, but his close relationships (other than with his brother) don't bear close scrutiny. The fact that he annoys me shows the extent to which I've become invested in the lives of these people! It was a good read. I'll definitely be keen to see what happens in the next book (this one does have a rather cliffhanger ending) and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If you'd like to read some of the earlier books in the series there's a list of the books in chronolgical order below:
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You can read more book reviews or buy A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows at Amazon.com.
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