The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

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The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The fifth book in the series is a rewarding read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very promising series to follow.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: April 2020
Publisher: Canelo

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DCI Craig Gillard was annoyed to be pulled away from the funeral service for a serving police officer, particularly when he discovered that he was to take charge of the enquiry into a missing woman. Beatrice Ulbricht was twenty-five years old and a student of music at the Royal College of Music. She had been due to play with the other members of the Lysander String Quartet at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields but hadn't turned up. Gillard didn't understand why his immediate involvement was necessary until Chief Constable Alison Rigby explained that Beatrice's father was Karl-Otto Ulbricht, Germany's Minister of Justice.

The fact that Beatrice was missing had been reported by Karen Ellsworth, another member of the quartet. They'd accepted a late booking at the weekend to play at a wedding and Beatrice had texted the other musicians to say that she was on the train and on her way back to London, but had never arrived. CCTV on the train showed her moving from one carriage to another, but then she became untraceable.

DI John Perry found that his private life was collapsing around him. His wife openly admitted that she was having an affair and his daughter only seemed to speak to him when she wanted to offend him. Work was almost a relief for him. PC Lynne Fairbanks was finding temptations at work too: she couldn't quite define whether Kyle Halliday was a victim or a witness, but he was certainly very tempting. Craig Gillard had a different problem: he began by feeling that he was running the case, but then realised that he was at the centre of it and possibly even the target.

I first encountered DCI Gillard when I read The Body in the Mist and was sufficiently taken with the character to snap up the chance of reading The Body Under the Bridge and I'm glad that I did as I wouldn't have missed this book for anything. Nick Louth handles a large cast of characters with aplomb. I was surprised by the number of policemen and women who come off the page fully clothed (or not - but we won't go into that here). Most authors of police procedurals seem to have embraced the cuts to police forces and their Major Incident Teams are skimpy, to say the least. It's a big cast of characters all round and I felt that I knew every one of them.

The plot is twisty: I thought I had it sorted out pretty early on and was reading with a very smug look on my face, only to find that I'd been looking at the situation very superficially and it was a great deal more complicated than I thought. After that, I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough, firstly to find out who'd committed the crimes and then if they'd be brought to justice. It's a cracker of a book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

If you'd like to read the books in order, you'll find a chronological list here. For more crime which has impressed us recently, have a look at Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins.

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Buy The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth at


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