A Nye of Pheasants by Steve Burrows
|A Nye of Pheasants by Steve Burrows
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: It's the eighth book in a series which began as a good police procedural, moved into the reals of international thrillers and has now settled somewhere in between. A good, engaging read.
|Date: February 2024
|Publisher: Point Blank
DCI Domenic Jejeune's close friend and former colleague, Danny Maik, has taken a short holiday in Singapore to meet up with an old ally, Guy Trueman. Maik was involved in a street brawl - he would later maintain that he was facing a man armed with a knife - and he killed a Ghurka. Initially, he faced a charge of manslaughter but evidence came to light that suggested that he might have planned to murder the man. Now he could be facing the death penalty. Domenic Jejeune can do nothing to help as any interference from another police force could provoke a diplomatic incident and wouldn't help Danny at all.
Meanwhile, back in north Norfolk, Danny Maik's replacement has arrived - and he brings some history with him. Once upon a time, he had been a promising detective, but a bad call, which ended in tragedy, has meant that he's been away from the job for two years. He's now trying to get back into harness. It should be Jejeune's job to help and guide him, but Domenic's mind is very obviously elsewhere. Even his boss, Colleen Shepherd, sees that Jejeune's performance is not up to standard. She'll go a long way to accommodate him - but how far is too far?
The problems began with the death of Abigail Cleve, a breeder of pheasants and a member of a prominent local family. There's bad blood between Abi and her sister whose interest in pheasants revolves around shooting them. She's primarily a cattle farmer but the income from the shooting is what's keeping the business afloat. The bad relations between the sisters didn't just revolve around the value of the protein from the pheasants as compared to beef - along with the comparative environmental costs of production. There was an old (physical) injury which has never healed in any sense of the word. Jejeune would be content to write this off as suicide but his new charge, DC Noel Summer, is determined that it's murder.
I first came to Steve Burrows' birder murder series because I love North Norfolk and I have a passing interest in birdwatching. As the series has progressed the Norfolk location has become less prominent and the storylines have become more international. Whether this appeals is a matter of individual taste but all the books are all very readable with no spoilers. The characters come off the page well and none of the books are easy to put down. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For a series where the Norfolk countryside is front and centre, try Elly Griffiths' Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries.
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