Original Skin by David Mark

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Original Skin by David Mark

Buy Original Skin by David Mark at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The second book in the DS Aector McAvoy series involves the swinging scene, drugs and tattoos. A good read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: January 2014
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0857389787

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DS Aector McAvoy was rather hoping that he might be getting a reputation for his investigative skills but when we first meet him in Original Skin it's his ability with animals which is to the fore. If you want a runaway horse stopping then he's your man. He's distracted about something else too: whilst other detectives are working on a case which involves travellers and violent drug-related crime he's unable to get the case of Simon Appleyard out of his mind. Simon was deeply into the swinging scene and liked to live life to the full, so why did this slender young man with the peacock feathers tattooed on his back commit suicide one morning?

It's a problem which is worrying his best friend Suzie Devlin too. They were just friends - Simon was gay - but the loss has affected Suzie deeply. She has a striking tattoo too - blossoms and lilies adorn her shoulder - and she's still involved in the swinging scene - the dogging, the sex parties - but it's a shock when she realises that someone is trying to kill her.

I regularly complain about the fictional detective stereotypes. Unless you're alcoholic (even if functioning), a womaniser and at loggerheads with anyone who's in authority then it's unlikely that you're going to make the bestseller lists. So it's refreshing to meet a young man who doesn't drink to excess (although he does swear when provoked - he's not a complete saint...), loves his wife and gets on well with his (female) boss. He's big, red-headed and straight as a die, but there's a bit of traveller background for both him and his wife, Roisin. For Roisin though it's more recent and the connections haven't been entirely severed. There's a neat use of the traveller connection but it's not overdone and it's done with reasonable sensitivity.

The first book in the series was always going to be a difficult act to follow but David Mark has allowed his characters to mature and that's pleasing to see. This book was perhaps a little too long for my taste but it's a minor quibble and I was impressed by the neat twist at the end. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Morning Frost by James Henry.

Buy Original Skin by David Mark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Original Skin by David Mark at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Original Skin by David Mark at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Original Skin by David Mark at Amazon.com.


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