Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James

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Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The seventh book in the DI Tim Yates series works well as a standalone and is a good, current story.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: October 2018
Publisher: Salt
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1784631345

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The investigation into the thefts of farm machinery has been going on for months and it's getting DI Tim Yates down: he can't see where to go next. It's almost a relief when Jack Fovargue, agricultural entrepreneur and local celebrity is assaulted in the street, but no one can understand why Fovargue is so reluctant to help the police with their enquiries, or to press charges, particularly when a police officer was also assaulted. Yates is then diverted into the investigation which followed the discovery of the headless body of a woman in a canal near Lincoln: it's an interesting case but the downside is that the senior investigating officer is DI Michael Robinson. They're contemporaries but Robinson is bumptious and inclined to taking credit for other people's efforts.

Recently I seem to have been making a habit of joining police procedural series when they have a few books under their belts. I was tempted into reading Gentleman Jack by a couple of rave reviews on Bookbag - and the fact that Bookbag is quoted on the front cover of the book. The first point to make is that Gentleman Jack reads perfectly well as a standalone: there's enough information to bring you up-to-date on what's gone on before but not so much that established readers are going to wonder why they bothered buying the book. There's quite a team of police officers, but they all came off the page as individuals very quickly and I felt invested in their success. I was slightly less impressed by the characterisation of Superintendent Thornton: it was difficult to see how he'd ever risen above the rank of constable and I'd have liked him to be more rounded rather than just a complainer.

Farm machinery is difficult to lock up securely and it often needs to be left where it can be used quickly. That makes it vulnerable to theft and in a farming area there can be quite a trade in 'used' machinery, particularly when it can be shipped abroad before anyone has chance to realise that it's missing. It's a problem for farmers and for the police who have to investigate the thefts. Christina James brings out the frustration of the situation well, particularly when the investigators are being pressured from outside but other investigations - in this case, murder - have to take precedence.

I had someone inked in for the machinery thefts, but was proved wrong. As for the murders, well, I really didn't have any idea at all, although it was quite obvious once I knew the answer. Gentleman Jack was a good read and I'd be happy to read more in the series. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like to hear more of DI Yates we can recommend Sausage Hall by Christina James.

Christina James' DI Yates novels in chronological order

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Buy Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James at


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