The Upper Hand - A.L. Fraine - 3D book cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

The Upper Hand – A.L. Fraine

The Upper Hand is an exciting well-written debut novel with an intriguing and gripping plot.

A DC O’Connell Crime Thriller #1

About the Book

Publisher’s blurb

A murder with all the trappings of an occult sacrifice. It’s DC Kate O’Connell’s first case.  Will it also be her last? 

Keen to prove herself to her superiors Kate fights to break through the lies that surround the victim’s life. But the ritualistic nature of the crime dredges up disturbing memories of a past tragedy.

While wrestling with the demons of her past, Kate learns that her partner has a few skeletons in his own closet. His reputation threatens to taint the investigation and ruin her career before it starts.

Kate must break the silence surrounding the victim to get to the truth before it’s too late, and the death toll rises.

My Thoughts

A man who has messed up his life is violently attacked. Three weeks later, a dog walker discovers something gruesome: a tortured body hanging from a tree. If you, like me, put one and one together to make three, you will think, as I did, this would be the same man. Wrong!

In comes DC Kate O’Connell, her first day promises to be a good one: not only is she coupled with a disgraced DS, Nathan Halliwell, a strong believer in conspiracy theories, but also will she start her first murder investigation. Is it a coincidence that the murdered body has all the signs of a ritualistic killing?

I love Kate’s character, she’s one fierce woman with the past hanging over her like a shadow. A past, she cannot help but think about when confronted with the murdered body. A past of which a little is revealed in this book but with a definite promise of more to follow in the next instalments!

However, I felt that, despite Nathan’s predicament and position, Kate taking over almost everything, initiating actions as well as taking the lead in interrogations, feels not quite right. Going a bit too fast for a rookie, even if she is the series’ protagonist.

Speaking of Nathan, kind of loved his character. The tormented copper, ridiculed by his colleagues but a good detective and a kind one – who doesn’t shy away from what needs to be done but also one who has lost his trust and confidence, his ability to connect with people.

The plot is intriguing and gripping (I loved how it developed), the characters introduced are great and I love how the author slowly builds up the tension in his well-written debut novel – and gives us something that makes you wish the next book was already out!

The DC O’Connell Crime Thrillers:
#0 Prequel: First Hand
#1 The Upper Hand
#2 Idle Hands – coming 19th Oct

About the Author

A.L. Fraine lives in Surrey in the UK, just outside of London, with his wife, kids, cat and dog. Having enjoyed reading thrillers and watching gripping drama for years, it was the influence of a couple of more recent shows that spurred him on to put pen to paper and write his first thriller, The Upper hand.

The Upper Hand was inspired by True Detective, and Se7en, and the creepy vibe that they had. The prequel to the Upper Hand, “First Hand”, is available for free for those who sign up to his mailing list:

The Sequel to The Upper Hand, titled “Idle Hands”, will be published on 19th October and is available for pre-order.

Book Info

The Upper Hand is available at Amazon

Published 22 July 2019
ISBN (paperback)9781081969387
ASIN (ebook)B07T47S823


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