Bait by Nick Brownlee

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Bait by Nick Brownlee

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The first in the Jake Moore and Daniel Jouma series makes a pacey thriller with a police procedural element - an excellent holiday read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: December 2008
Publisher: Piatkus
ISBN: 978-0749928841

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Jake Moore was in the Flying Squad but a bullet put paid to his career and ten years later he's running a game-fishing business on the Kenyan coast. Times are hard and there's every chance that the business will fold unless he and his partner, Harry, can find the money to pay their bills. Some strange things are happening in the game fishing business too – one of their number has died in a mysterious explosion on his boat and the body of a man who shouldn't have been aboard has been washed up on the shore.

When detective Daniel Jouma asks for Jake's help in solving the murders, Moore realises two things – once a cop, always a cop and that Jouma is probably the only detective on the force who isn't corrupt. Before long he's embroiled with a New York lawyer and her bond-dealer boyfriend, the owner of a crocodile park and a very oily hotel owner.

I was at very slight disadvantage with this book as I had read the sequel first and I had an inking about the outcome of this book – so, if you're going to read them, do it in the right order!

There's a sense of the real Kenya in the books – it's the one that's rather scruffy and down-at-heel and not the one that you'll see in the tourist brochures. There's poverty and desperation with people prepared to do almost anything for a few dollars, but it sits side-by-side with the luxury tourist hotels, which are not really feeding all that much back into the local economy. Honesty is in shorter supply than dishonesty. The pace is good and never seemed to let up, but then it's a very good story. I was shocked by the root of the evil, despite the fact that the clues were there for me to see.

The characters came off the page well from Daniel Jouma, the diminutive detective who's proud of his Jermyn Street suit (despite the fact that it's had six owners before him) through to Jake's partner, Harry Philliskirk, who seems to be better suited to a golf club bar in the home counties, but who's not above a little bit of dishonesty – in a good cause, of course.

If you want a good holiday read then this might be just what you're looking for. The police procedural aspect isn't a major part of the story, but it lends an extra aspect to what would otherwise be classed as a thriller. And if it's action that you're looking for then there's plenty of that!

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

If this book appeals then you will definitely enjoy the sequel.

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Buy Bait by Nick Brownlee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bait by Nick Brownlee at


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