Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery

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Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: This is a modern-day crime story. An extremely disturbing email is opened - and starts an alarming and dangerous chain of events for DCI Lapslie and his small police team.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 352 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 978-184916115

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When I read on the back cover that McCrery's writing credits include television's Silent Witness I was impressed and expecting a terrific read. But did it deliver? This book opens with DCI Mark Lapslie attending a terrorism conference, yes, you heard correctly, a terrorism conference which is being held in Pakistan. Meanwhile, back in wet and cold Britain, one of his colleagues, DS Emma Bradbury is having to step into her boss's shoes, so to speak. A body has been discovered and the police need to get their investigation started. There's no doubt, by the state of the body, that it is murder. And soon the whole team is a hive of activity - from the CSIs to the pathologist.

Lapslie returns into this frenzied activity. But it soon becomes obvious that his mind is elsewhere, on that email to be precise. Who sent it to him? Why? He starts to obsess about it which does not go unnoticed by his colleagues. Lapslie is portrayed by McCrery as a good copper with a good 'gut' instinct for the job. But he hates all the red tape and tries to cut corners where he can. He seems to get away with it - for now.

A parallel theme to the murder (or should that be murders?) throughout the book is Lapslie's rare medical condition. It's caused a lot of problems for him in the past. Rather than risk spoiling any part of the plot, let's just say that the world of sound, in all its manifestations, plays a very large role. Right down to the book's title, in fact. Usually I find such titles a trifle self-indulgent with the book unable to live up to its punchy one-word expectations. But in this case, it's spot on. Perfect. Pitch perfect, in fact.

And keeping to all things modern, computers and their uses (whether good or bad) feature pretty heavily in this book too. So IP addresses, servers and the like all get some chunky paragraphs to themselves. As the story develops, the reader discovers that there's some sort of link between the murder(s) and Lapslie. He's baffled but keeps plugging away at the case like some poor, demented animal. He senses that the answer is within his grasp, a hair's breadth away and we get to see some of his inner demons at work.

He has an excellent side-kick in Emma. They make a good (if not particularly memorable) professional duo. There are some witty lines here and there, to lighten the mood, give another dimension to the book. Lines such as As far as justice is concerned, I'm as much a villain as Mother Teresa was a high-class call girl.

I would be inclined to describe this book as a rather average read. It didn't really grab me. There is a nice twist right at the end but overall, not a book I would choose to re-read or probably even remember in six months' time, I'm afraid.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might enjoy Double Jeopardy by Martin Stratford

Buy Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scream: A DCI Mark Lapslie Investigation by Nigel McCrery at Amazon.com.


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