Detective, Mystery & Thriller,  Thriller

Catch as Catch Can – Malcolm Hollingdrake

Catch as Catch Can’ is the first book in Malcolm Hollingdrake’s new Merseyside Crime Series, and I for one, am already hooked! Love it!

Merseyside Crime Series #1

Book Blurb

A mutilated body apparently washed up on a windswept beach…

A violent criminal gang preys on moped riders across the area…

A teenage girl desperate to escape sexual exploitation…

It’s a tough introduction to Merseyside for Detective Inspector April Decent, who’s just arrived from her native Yorkshire. Together with new colleague Skeeter Warlock, Decent quickly discovers there’s a sinister link between them all, one that will bring them face-to-face with some uncomfortable home truths.

Catch as Catch Can is the first in the Merseyside Crime Series from Malcolm Hollingdrake – bestselling author of the Harrogate Crime Series.

My Thoughts

A new series – and such a great start! I love it!

I have always enjoyed Malcolm Hollingdrake’s writing style in his Harrogate Crime Thrillers. His new series, the Merseyside Crime Series, featuring a brilliant and strong protagonist, DI April Decent, takes that style into a new direction.

April Decent makes for an excellent DI and shows the reader and her co-workers she’s not to be messed around with. But, I have to admit, it’s Skeeter who stole my heart. DS Skeeter Warlock (what’s in a name!, “Bane of my bloody life,” as Skeeter herself says) is a vibrant, tough, kick-ass cookie and I love her. I believe deep in his heart, Malcolm Hollingdrake has fallen a bit for his character as well, why else would he make her motto, ‘Catch as Catch Can’, the title of the first book in the Merseyside Crime Series

The book starts quite shockingly with a torture scene. Believe it or not, and in my case, reluctantly, I might add, we find ourselves in the head of a man who will not see the light of another day. What this poor bastard has done wrong, we do not know yet. We do know he’s about to pay the ultimate price. We also know that he may have left clues behind, thus endangering others.

DI April Decent is new to Liverpool but determined to make a good start by accepting no nonsense from her co-workers, as DC Pete Bradshaw soon found out. The dynamic between them is quite different to the one between April and Skeeter, and this makes for interesting scenes. Very promising for next books, and I for one am looking forward to them!

Each Malcolm Hollingdrake book features an artist. This time it’s Anthony Gormley and his ‘Another Place’ sculptures.
One is here in Thanet, Kent.

As always, Malcolm Hollingdrake is a master in weaving a web of suspense. He takes his time, even in those horrific first scenes, slowly engaging the reader. To this author, setting and characters are as important as the plot and whodunnit parts. This sets his writing out from other crime novels and this is why the author has acquired his following. His scenes are authentic, his characters real and easy to identify with. Over a series, they become friends. Friends you are eager to welcome into your homes.

Catch as Catch Can is a captivating and engrossing start of what will become another successful thriller series, the Merseyside Crime Series. To be recommended.

Books by Malcolm Hollingdrake

Bridging the Gulf

The Harrogate Crime Series:
#1  Only the Dead – my review
#2  Hell’s Gate – my review
#3  Flesh Evidence – my review
#4  Game Point my review

#5  Dying Art  – my review
#6  Crossed Out – my review
#7  The Third Breath –my review

#8  Treble Clef
#10 Fragments

The Merseyside Crime Novels:
#1 Catch as Catch Can
#2 Syn (out May 18th)

About Malcolm Hollingdrake

You could say that the writing was clearly written on the wall for anyone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point, Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route. The author worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

Malcolm Hollingdrake has written a number of successful short stories and has six books now available, as well as Only the Dead and Hell’s Gate in Audiobook format. Presently, he is concentrating on a series of crime novels set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm Hollingdrake has never lost his love for his home county, a passion reflected in the settings for all his novels.

Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the protagonist of the Harrogate Crime Series.

Malcolm Hollingdrake on Social Media:
Author Website:
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Book Info

Catch as Catch Can is available at Amazon

Pages              312
Publisher Hobeck Books (20 April 2020)
IBAN (paperback) 978913793272
ASIN (e-book) B08WC7S8XC

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