Sergeant Jack King is back on active duty after months off following a violent encounter. On the Met’s promotional fast-track scheme, King is headed straight for the top, but policing the streets is where his heart truly lies.
Tasked with cleaning up the notorious Grove Wood estate, King is determined to rise to the challenge. But it’s not just drug dealers and petty thugs his team have to worry about. Someone on the estate is preying on children, and they need to find the culprit, fast.
Soon King finds himself over his head: the local residents won’t play ball, his superiors want results yesterday, and he’s refusing to admit that he’s suffering from PTSD. As the pressures combine, the line between right and wrong starts to blur and King finds himself in a downward spiral. Only he can save himself – but is it already too late?
Kat's Rating: 4/5
Kat's Review: I felt very torn both reading and reviewing this book. First of all this is Luke Delaney's first novel not featuring DI Sean Corrigan. I am a huge fan of this series but it's always nice to see what authors do outside of the norm. This book is a very stark story and one that is all too chillingly possible. With Luke Delaney being ex-copper I would imagine his experience and knowledge plays a large part in the sort or things that a copper has to go through. This story follows Sergeant Jack King as he returns to work following a brutal and extremely violent encounter.
The opening of the book is where the reader meets Jack and we see him experience his violent encounter immediately. There is no fluffing this up, and to be truthful its exposed in all its horrifying glory. When he sets himself the task of returning to work he has no idea that he will be placed in the notorious Wood Grove Estate. He and a team of 3 others are tasked with cleaning up the Estate and this may well help Jack move up the ladder quickly as he is part of an accelerated promotion programme.
Jack is not necessarily a likeable character but one that I think people can empathise with. He is seriously damaged and as he and his colleagues take on their new task he slips further down the hole of PTSD. This book, although brutal still have Delaney's excellent writing skills, and its certainly an easy to read book. However, it makes for extremely uncomfortable reading at times. To watch a person slip and make more and more mistakes is not a nice thing to do, although it no doubt happens. The story itself I would say isn't a fast paced thriller, more like a real eye opener as you delve into an individuals mind and see how they begin to decline in things such as the decisions you make.
I ended up finishing the book with a bitter taste in my mouth which made me question how to review and rate it. I'm not normally stuck on reading and reviewing, but this book left me feeling uncertain. I certainly didn't hate the book, I just hated the circumstances, the result and ultimately the position that one man ends up in due to an illness that was forced upon him because he was doing his job! Ultimately I felt like I cannot give it less than 4 stars, because Luke Delaney has done his job and done it spectacularly. However, for me personally it was just too bleak and soul destroying, but that said it was just my emotional response to the story line. This book is, as Delaney has shown previously, was an excellent story with his usual writing skills on display. It won't be everybody's cup of tea, and I for one cant wait to see the return of Sean Corrigan. Having said that it is still a quality piece of writing which some people will no doubt love and some people will loathe!