"What crimes lie beneath the surface of a quiet Midlands town?"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted September 5, 2018
Mystery Police Procedural
Gabriel Ash is happily engaged in opening his new bookshop, so new
the books are still coming out of the cartons when his friend Constable
Hazel Best foils the attempted abduction of his children. What a
riveting opening to this crime story set in Norbold in the UK Midlands,
and it certainly drew me in to read the rest of KINDRED SPIRITS.
The backstory is explained, and it's quite complex in one way, clearly
from a previous book, but simple in another: Ash's estranged wife
wants to take his kids away and she's a wanted criminal. He doesn't
have a fortune to pay a ransom, so he believes this was Cathy's doing.
Ash trusts the Filipina nanny, Frankie Kelly, who helped fight off the
attackers, so now he's looking at hiring a bodyguard to let his little boys
go to school. What a dilemma.
The plot thickens, as they say, and because I had not read the earlier
book in the 'Gabriel Ash and Hazel Best' series, I was not sure for a
while if the two were romantically involved. Hazel tells someone they're
not, adding that Gabriel still has a wife. So... I can't for the life of me
see why Gabriel has not put divorce proceedings underway. A nice
device the author Jo Bannister uses is that Gabriel sometimes talks his
train of thought aloud to his little dog Patience, imagining her calm
responses. And our lovely Patience is quite the hero.
An art crime of seventeen years ago turns out to be linked to the death
of an antique fence and the attempted kidnap of today, all reminiscent
of the stolen Beit art collection in Ireland. While the story does get
rather involved, the investigators stick to the point, so it's easy enough
to follow. With a dramatic ending and many scary moments, this
qualifies as a suspense story as well as a procedural crime novel.
Jo Bannister has worked as a journalist and lives in Northern Ireland. KINDRED SPIRITS is the latest of five
books in this series and while that isn't an ideal place to start a series,
reading this one will probably make you want to hunt out the earlier
books too. I admire her characterisation and mentions of various true
A case of mistaken identity spells trouble for Gabriel Ash
Best in this intriguing mystery.
A kidnap attempt outside the school gates in broad daylight
Gabriel Ash that his renegade wife is trying to steal their
sons from him.
Only the intervention of his friend Constable Hazel Best
kept them safe.
It’s a simple if alarming explanation, but is it the truth?
disturbing information about another crime, the
repercussions of which
are still threatening innocent lives seventeen years later.
Once again Hazel finds herself at loggerheads with her
they really conspire to protect a murderer? And this time
getting the support she needs from Ash. She’d thought they were
kindred spirits: now she’s not sure what his motives are.
One thing is certain: with her life in imminent danger,
Hazel’s going to
need friends like never before…
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