Gallowstree Lane by Kate London

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Gallowstree Lane by Kate London

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the third book in the Metropolitan Police series but each reads well as standalone. A recommended read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: February 2019
Publisher: Corvus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1786497956

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Spencer was just fifteen years old when he stepped out into a London Street and asked a complete stranger for help, begging him not to let him die. The stranger was an off-duty paramedic but even his skills were insufficient to save Spence. Just one of those things you might, think. Tragic, but teenage boys seem to be getting stabbed on the streets of London all the time. His friend Ryan was with Spence when he was stabbed. It was Ryan who called the ambulance on the paramedic's instruction, sobbing as he held the phone. But Ryan wasn't prepared to accept that it was just one of those things. He wanted revenge.

Ryan's revenge looks as though it might derail operation Perseus, a carefully constructed operation to catch a local gangster with imported guns, and DI Kieran Shaw is not prepared to let that happen. He's spent two years putting this operation in place and whilst murder might seem to trump gun running, the guns might result in hundreds of deaths if they reach the streets. Shaw's a man who takes decisions and knows his priorities: he's the same with his new son. Conor was born as a result of his affair with DC Lizzie Griffiths and whilst he wanted her to have a termination he's determined that Conor's going to be brought up properly. He's happy to pick Lizzie up on what he perceives as her failings as a mother, but he's not prepared to actually help with anything practical. He does have a solution in mind though.

Lizzie is struggling to give Conor the care that he deserves and do her job, but most single parents feel the same way. It's probably worse for a detective constable though; her hours are unpredictable and she has no control over where she's going to be. It can also be a dangerous job: Kate London captures the gangland culture perfectly. It's sympathetically done: these are - for the most part - kids who had little hope in the first place and it's easy to see how criminality seems like a sensible choice to make, particularly when there are roll models who seem to be doing well from a life of crime.

Kate London worked for the Metropolitan Police and if she brings the atmosphere on the streets to life, she's even better about the rivalries within the police service. Sometimes it's difficult to believe that they're all on the same side, but it does produce some wonderful characters and a story which is all too believable. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

Each book in this series reads well as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of the pleasure of reading them in order? Start with Post Mortem and then move on to Death Message.

Kate London's Metropolitan Police Series in Chronological Order

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Buy Gallowstree Lane by Kate London at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Gallowstree Lane by Kate London at


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