Stuart Pawson






Headline Book Publishing 1996
Reviewed by Sunnie Gill

Detective Inspector Charlie Priest of the Yorkshire police is an affable man who likes his job and is content with his position in the police hierarchy. In the beginning of the third book in the DCI Charlie Priest Mystery series, THE JUDAS SHEEP, Charlie is on sick leave. When the wife of an American millionaire disappears and her chauffeur is found shot in the head, Charlie is asked to return to work early. He does so reluctantly because things are going well for him romantically for a change.

The case stalls for lack of leads. Charlie is asked to go undercover to befriend a member of a drug ring in order to identify the leaders. He believes that the murder of the chauffeur may be connected to this new case so he agrees. When Charlie uncovers further evidence to suggest that the brutal rape/murder of several women may also be tied in, the case takes on a new urgency for him.

Stuart Pawson has created a cast of decent people who genuinely like each other and their work. They spend their free time together with social outings, football tipping contests and sharing jokes around the office - something Charlie particularly enjoys. His work-mates don't, though. Charlie has a penchant for terrible puns and groaners. So many police procedurals feature dark characters that are somewhat dysfunctional and unable to have successful relationships. It's a refreshing change to meet the good people of the Heckley police force. There is a considerable amount of humour in Pawson's books, but it's very understated and at no time does that humour hijack the plot and take over. If you don't like your crime fiction too dark and depressing, then Stuart Pawson's books might just hit the spot.

You can visit Stuart Pawson's website at .

May 2006


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