An abandoned old school is the scene of a violent crime. PC Sean Denton must investigate and, as shocked as he is, this could be his chance as he wants to become a detective
Sean Denton #3
PC Sean Denton has one dream, to become a detective. His dyslexia may hold him back, but Sean is determined to go through with it, has even applied for the training program. His colleague and friend, Gavin Wentworth, is not aware of this and neither is Sean’s girlfriend, Crime Scene Manager, Lizzie Morrison. His dad, Jack, will never know if it is up to Sean because Jack has been in prison and hates the Police with every fibre in his body. Now Jack is dying, it is his daughter (and Sean’s half-sister) Chloe who takes care of him – Chloe who only recently found out Jack is her father. Oh and then we have a slaughtered body in an abandoned old school – and somehow, this is connected to illegal immigrants, dog races and so much more…
As it is clear that the victim in the old school is murdered, the CID is involved – which means the very man Sean hopes will be his boss one day, DI Sam Nasir Khan, will be inspecting the crime scene. There is also a new DS, Ivan Knowles, who seems to be getting on a little too well with Lizzie, the Crime Scene Manager and Sean’s girlfriend. As the detectives take over, Sean wishes he was part of the CID and the investigation. Meanwhile, a young woman, Sarah, is living in a caravan on the site of the restaurant and dog racing track. She works there, as do the brothers Tommy and Joe, whose uncle owns the place. Tommy likes her a lot and even if she does not reciprocate his feelings, she knows she can rely on him to shield her from his more vicious brother Joe. According to Sarah, Tommy and Joe see no harm in threatening and molesting the homeless people squatting in the old school premises next door.
Their uncle may well be unaware of the brothers’ proclivities but Sarah knows what they are like and does not trust them. Melissa, their younger sister, is also inclined to be troublesome. Is it a coincidence Sean’s half-sister Chloe befriends with Melissa? As to Sean, whether or not he becomes a detective, he is determined to see this investigation through, to be part of it somehow. He envies DS Knowles, not only because he is part of the CID but also because he and Lizzie are getting on so well. Unaware of the fact that the brothers Tommy and Joe might well be connected to what happened in the old school, Sean visits the dog track. As the case evolves further and all sorts of things happen, we have no clue as to what is going on but we fear for Sean, whose professional and personal life are getting more and more entangled…
As you might expect, I approached this book with mixed feelings. The sudden departure of a talented author – of a kind and friendly person, loved by many, is part of life but also confronting. Though at the start I was both excited and sad, almost before I realised it, I had become totally absorbed by the plot, the characters and the suspension hanging in the air. I must not say too much but even though I realised some characters, of course, had a hidden agenda, I was coming toward the end of the story before I could work out what it was. I love the outset of the detective novel, mixing police procedurals and investigations with the personal life of detectives and others involved.
Sean Denton is a likeable protagonist and we have the privilege to witness him both in his work as in his personal life which has a few edges. There is his half sister Chloe and his love life with Lizzie Morrison, the Crime Scene Manager has its predicaments. But above all, Sean is someone who the local people trust and that helps with the investigations. There are so many more characters worth mentioning and so many topics this detective novel touches, that it is hard to mention just one. There is growing up in not so perfect circumstances, trauma, illegal immigrants and homeless people who are helpless against those who take the law into their own hands, and, ultimately, there is rape, murder and revenge. This is the first book by Helen Cadbury I have read and I am sad to know that the third Sean Denton detective thriller will not have a sequel – a brilliant author has left a great legacy.
About the Author
Helen Cadbury (1965-2017) was a British crime fiction author, poet and playwright, whose debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, won the Northern Crime Award, was an Amazon Rising Star, and was chosen as one of the Yorkshire Post’s top novels, since the millennium, to reflect the region. It introduces Sean Denton, a young Police Community Support Officer, uncovering the murky truth behind the death of a trafficked young woman and the disappearance of a local man. Her second novel, Bones in the Nest, follows Sean Denton back to the Chasebridge Estate, where racial tensions are rising and the notorious Chasebridge Killer has just been released from prison.
Both books have been optioned for TV by Red Planet Pictures, producers of Death in Paradise. Before writing fiction Helen was an actor and teacher, including spending five years teaching in prisons. When she is writing, her cat, Sid, keeps her company.
Helen Cadbury was born in the Midlands, grew up in Saddleworth, near Oldham, and spent the last 15 years of her life in York. When she was a child she wanted to be an actor, a writer, or an ice cream man’s assistant – with two out of three achieved, she said in May 2017: ‘I’m still looking for an opening in the ice cream trade.’ Valley Press will publish the first collection of her poetry Forever, Now in November 2017.
|Publisher||Allison & Busby; Reprint edition (15 Feb. 2018) -reprint ed.|
|eBook||778 KB (Sept 21st 2017)|