Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes

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Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes

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Buy Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The second book in the Spearing and Devlin series has another great plot although it is bedevilled by wooden dialogue and lack of proofreading.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 333 Date: April 2018
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1980728627

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Caution: Mild spoilers for Beginning to End

DS Kevin Devlin has settled into his new job at Scotland Yard very quickly, although he didn't have much choice but to hit the ground running. When we last saw him quite a few of the rogue element at MI5 and others who were causing Spearing and Devlin difficulties were conveniently dead and as Spearing has gone missing, Devlin can't help but wonder if Spearting was involved in some way in bringing this convenient solution about. Whilst he might have wanted to search for Spearing, there's upheaval at the Yard: the new commissioner is offering deals to corrupt officers. They can leave with a year's pay in lieu of notice or they can be prosecuted. Unsurprisingly there are suddenly a lot of empty desks - and a promotion opportunity for Devlin.

When I reviewed Beginning to End I said that there were a couple of elephants in the room and I'm afraid that they haven't moved. Dialogue is wooden with a dreadful low point when Devlin chats up a woman. I cringed. The book also needs professional copy editing and proofreading to clear away the spelling mistakes, punctuation problems, random capitalisation of common nouns, formatting errors and anachronisms. There's an over reliance on descriptions of clothing to the extent that I began keeping five-barred gates of who had polished their shoes. As with Beginning to End it's particularly frustrating: whilst Paul Hughes might struggle in certain areas he can plot with the best of them.

Don't attempt to read the book as a stand alone: you really need to have read the first book in the series if you're going to understand what's going on: most of the same cases are still ongoing in one form or another. Running Amok is a continuation, with the cast of characters barely having time to draw breath between books. Inspiration has been taken from what really was happening in 1967 and Hughes neatly blends all the plot lines together. Corruption, both in the Met and MI5 obviously takes centre stage but there's a sensitive look at the changing laws on homosexual relationships. I liked that one of the regular characters is in a same-sex relationship and that strong women feature by virtue of their own achievements.

The ending is a stunner: I really didn't see it coming. It's the sort of cliffhanger which leaves you enquiring as to when the next book will be available. I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more about spies in the nineteen sixties we can recommend The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre.

Buy Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Running Amok (DCI Spearing and DI Devlin Series Book 2) by Paul Hughes at Amazon.com.

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