Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie

Happy Friday! Little Brown kindly sent me a copy of Burned and Broken, the debut novel by Mark Hardie, an this review is part of their blog tour. If you’d like to follow the blog tour, you will find more information in this review.
From the blurb:

A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

The charred body of a policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out shell of his car on the Southend seafront.

To DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell of the Essex Police Major Investigation Team, the two events seem unconnected. But as they dig deeper into their colleague’s murder, dark secrets begin to emerge.  

Can Pearson and Russell solve the cases, before more lives are destroyed?

This novel is separated into parts; the first part is the lead up to the discovery of Detective Inspector Sean Carragher. Carragher was the subject of an internal investigation, but hadn’t been coming into the office.

His ex-partner Cat Russell has been keeping quiet out of loyalty to him, but she is starting to wonder if this loyalty was misplaced, and what he was really up to. 

Frank Pearson has his own problems to worry about; he recently separated from his wife and is worried he may have prostate cancer.  The atmosphere at the station is quite tense, and everyone feels under suspicion.  

Donna Freeman lost her best friend Alicia, but no one really cares. Alicia’s death has been declared an accident, but Donna isn’t convinced, and she will do whatever it takes to get justice for her friend. 

As Pearson and Russell start to look into Carragher cases, they find out that recent deaths may be related after all. Exactly what was DI Carragher involved in? 

This was an interesting police procedural novel and a strong debut. I was really interested to find out that the author Mark Hardie started writing when he lost his sight, as a lot of the descriptive writing in the book is quite visual. 

I personally prefer character driven thrillers, such as The Widow, and Disclaimer, to police procedurals, but the character voices in this book, particularly Pearson’s, were engaging and often funny. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheerio!

Stephani Xxx 

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