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Suffer the Children by Adam Creed

Buy Suffer the Children by Adam Creed at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Karen Inskip-Hayward
Reviewed by Karen Inskip-Hayward
Summary: An intense crime thriller set in modern-day Britain.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0571243631

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I enjoy a good crime thriller, but sometimes I find them a bit hard to relate to, with fast American cars blasting down highways I've never heard of, to solve crimes of glamorous American lives I can't relate to. So being a British woman, I found Suffer the Children had an advantage – being set in modern-day Britain, referencing the culture and places I recognised and featuring characters I felt were real and down-to-earth.

This is Creed's first published novel and introduces D.I. Will Wagstaffe (known as 'Staffe') who it seems will be a recurring character – and I hope so. He's a very charismatic man who displays behaviour which can be described as heroic, yet he's still believable, an everyday bloke doing a job he loves to the best of his ability, regardless of whether he puts his own life in danger. This is a policeman the reader instinctively knows they can trust.

In London, a paedophile has been viciously murdered and the police have to find out who has committed the crime. Could it be someone connected to the family of the paedophile's victims? It soon becomes evident that this is not an isolated case, as a second paedophile is brutally attacked. Could this become a hunt for a serial killer? Or aren't things as straight forward as they seem?

As Staffe throws himself into the investigation, he finds there are several barriers put up to hinder him. It looks as if some of his colleagues are reluctant to let him continue with the case, and he soon finds out which of his work-mates he can trust to help and those he is better off avoiding. But why? When the press become involved too, Staffe begins to question who is representing 'good' and 'bad' here?

Some people seem to believe that killing paedophiles is fair, continuing where the legal system left off. But is murder ever right, even if the victim has committed appalling crimes?

This novel had a different level to it, as it also gave you a lot to think about, as well as trying to follow the crimes and work out who might have done them. It is quite complicated at times, but I enjoyed it and hadn't worked out 'whodunnit' at all, so it held my interest right to the last page.

As a first novel, it isn't perfect and some scenes seemed rather disappointing, including the last half page of the book, which seemed redundant. But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Suffer the Children, I adored D. I. Will Wagstaffe and will look forward to reading more about him in the future.

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

If this type of book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Keeping The Dead by Tess Gerritsen and Whisper in the Dark by Robert Gregory Browne.

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