Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Paper Soldiers’ by Mark Pettinger, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
The streets of Greater Manchester are awash with drugs and weapons, and the gangs that control this multi-million pound business will stop at nothing to protect and grow their business. The Dolsen family are one such gang.
When the head of a rival Yardie gang is found brutally murdered, revenge attacks were always likely to follow, and gang members were unlikely to be the only ones hurt.
DCI Priest teams up with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA); but they soon admit to conflicting objectives which may unravel their alliance, and prove to it be more of a hindrance than a help.
Was DCI Priest was about to undertake his most challenging investigation to date?
This is the third book in the DCI Priest series, and although I am keen to check out the previous two books now and catch up on the backstory that I had missed, I don’t feel it is necessary to understand and enjoy this book. It works very well as a standalone book, which is a tribute to the author’s development of the characters within this book, which leaves you feeling as though you know them well.
This was a well-paced story, filled with action from start to finish, and one that I found myself reading in the space of an afternoon because I needed to find out what was going to happen next. Again, I feel that this was largely due to the characters, DCI Priest and his team in particular carried the story, both as individuals and as a team, and I very much enjoyed their relationships and how that shaped the investigation.
The plot was interesting and clearly thought out, and you could certainly pick up on the effort and research that had been put into crafting the world and narrative of rival gangs, and the shifting power structure between and within the gangs. This was a glimpse into a different world, and focusing on the activity of the rival gang, and the intricacy of their work set this book apart, because it is a peephole into a world that we usually see just being investigated in crime novels, whereas this time we saw it being lived and the challenges it posed.
In keeping with the world being portrayed, this book does contain a lot of violent, which at points did feel a little too overdone in terms of detail and I feel that it could have been toned down without losing the impact this had. This is certainly not a book for the faint-hearted.
About the Author:
Mark Pettinger is a crime fiction writer of the DCI Priest novels. His debut The Decalogue entered the Amazon Bestseller Top 100 list in December 2015, and the Top 10 on the sub-genre of ‘police procedurals’.
Mark was born in a maternity ward attached to RAF Manston in Kent. His father was in the Royal Air Force, and for the first few years of his life, he lived on a number of RAF bases on the east coast of the UK with his parents and sister. Skip forward a few years; now married and with children he lives in a small village in East Yorkshire.
Fitting his writing around his ‘day job’; Mark’s writing pattern is somewhat sporadic, and he writes when he can, which currently is in hotel rooms / foyer, or in an airport lounge trying to keep one eye on the departure board to ensure he doesn’t miss his flight!
Mark’s interest in the murky world of crime started a number of years ago when he was attracted to reading true crime. He became fascinated with the exploits of the Yorkshire Ripper, Dennis Nilsen, John Wayne Gacy, Andrei Chikatilo etc. An avid reader of many genre’s, but his attention turned to favouring crime fiction; and his reading list includes Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, Lynda La Plante, Jo Nesbo, and latterly CJ Tudor (for something just that little bit special).
Mark has openly credited Ian Rankin as the primary inspiration for not only stirring his interest in reading crime fiction, but also ‘picking up the pen’.
Mark has published two hugely successful crime fiction novels: The Decalogue in 2012, and Tick Tock, Time’s Up in 2015. Long overdue, critics have noted, Mark published the third instalment in the DCI Priest series Paper Soldiers in March 2020.
Next on his list is a standalone crime thriller, due for publication in summer 2021.
Paper Soldiers (DCI Priest #3) – Mark Pettinger (Published in digital format by BookBaby on 16th March 2020) – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.
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