The TripFiction Book Club January/February 2020 reads ‘A Death in the Medina’ by James von Leyden
Crime thriller set around the Salford Quays and Manchester
26th November 2019
The Night Caller by J M Hewitt, crime thriller set around the Salford Quays and Manchester.
The author is very skilled at creating a dark, ominous setting. Much of the book is set along the canal network, around Media City and the Lowry Centre, which can be buzzing with people and atmosphere. On some days or nights, however, as she says at the back of the book, the fog can hang low over the water when there isn’t a soul in sight and it can certainly give off a very different vibe.
This is the first in the Detective Carrie Flynn series and Carrie, with her fellow officer Paul, is investigating the possibility that a serial killer is on the loose, dubbed The Pusher. He pushes people into the canals and in fact over 6 years there have been 12 murders. Yet she is not convinced this is the work of one, single person.
Emma and Jade live adjacent to each other, both single mums. Jade has young daughter Nia and Emma has a grown son, Jordan. One evening on the TV Emma spots a report about another ‘push’ and to her horror identifies her son’s scarf in the footage. That can surely only mean one thing….
As the narrative develops there are secrets galore and Jordan certainly seems to be quite a different person from the one his mum knows. Martin, his absent dad, appears on the doorstep. Could he have something to do with Jordan’s disappearance? Jade is harbouring an unlikely secret and quite how the two women’s friendship has survived over the years, is a miracle.
This had me smiling….some of the characters in the novel refer to the cops as Rozzers, which was the epithet for cops back in, what, the 1980s (it took me right back), so it was refreshing to see the term once again in vogue in this novel, set firmly in the 21st century.
An easy to read novel and good for setting.
Tina for the TripFiction Team
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