The murder of a promising footballer, son of Brighton’s highest-ranking police officer, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.
Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.
Apologies for posting this so late in the day, life is NOT going according to plan at the moment! However, I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for Bad For Good by Graham Bartlett. My thanks to Helen Richardson of Helen Richardson PR for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for furnishing me with a digital copy of the book for the purpose of review. I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially as always.
It was more the background of the author than the blurb of the book that made me leap on the chance to read this novel. If anyone should be able to put together a good police procedural thriller, it’s an ex-police Chief Superintendent and officer of thirty years standing. Glad to say that I was not disappointed with what he has produced, which is an action-packed thriller that drills to the heart of challenges facing the modern police force.
The plot is quite complicated to follow, dealing as it does with lots of different levels of policing and ranks, and people seem to slip in and out of roles quite often, so it can be hard to keep up with who is who and who is most senior if you don’t concentrate. I’m sure this is very accurate, but it is hard to keep track of for people who aren’t familiar with the inner workings of the police although, once I felt like I had it all straight in my head, it made for compelling reading.
The murder on which the book is hooked is only the means by which the main story is told, that of police corruption and vigilantism in a city with crime on the rise and an underfunded police force. If some of this sounds scarily familiar, it is because this is definitely a novel of our times and, given that the author is a veteran of the police, it is chilling to wonder how much of this is fictional and how much of this could actually happen.
I enjoyed getting to know the main characters in the book, most of whom had interesting relationships with each other and motivations for what they were doing. There were a couple who could have done with rounding out slightly more – the main antagonist in particular was a touch too ‘cartoon baddie’ to be entirely convincing to me because I wasn’t really given enough motivation for their extreme behaviour – but I am looking forward to seeing where the chief protagonist, Jo, goes next; she was a character I could relate to and I see problems at both home and work on her horizon.
All in all, this is a strong debut which will appeal to anyone who is looking for a book with authentic and detailed insights into how the police operate. It will keep you engaged throughout and give your brain plenty of work to do, instead of spoon-feeding you the plot. Highly recommended.
Bad For Good is out now in ebook, hardback and audiobook formats and will be published in paperback in March 2023. You can buy a copy here.
Make sure you check out some alternative reviews by following the rest of the tour:
About the Author
GRAHAM BARTLETT was a police officer for thirty years and is now a bestselling writer.
As well as writing, Bartlett is a police procedural and crime advisor helping scores of authors and TV writers (including Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz, Ruth Ware, Claire McGowan and Dorothy Koomson) achieve authenticity in their drama.
Connect with Graham:
Facebook: Graham Bartlett