- Author: Kerry J Donovan
- Published: October 2016 by Human Vertex Publications
- Category: Murder, Mystery, Crime
For more than five years police operations in the southeast of England have been failing. Chief Superintendent Knightly, a senior member of the National Crime Agency, suspects that someone is selling police intelligence. When one of his junior officers dies before he can attend clandestine meeting with him, Knightly is certain—there’s a dirty cop inside his organisation.
Detective Sergeant Phil Cryer is recuperating from a serious knee injury sustained in a rooftop chase during a previous investigation. He’s feeling frustrated and helpless at being on sick leave, so when he has a visit from Chief Superintendent Knightly from the National Crime Agency who has reasons to suspect corruption, Cryer jumps at the chance to go undercover.
When Detective Sergeant Richie Juno is killed in a hit and run while tailing a suspect, just after he arranged to meet with CS Knightly on an urgent matter, questions are raised. Was DS Juno targeted and murdered and, if so, why? Unable to place his trust with anyone in the NCA until the double-dealing is exposed, Knightly contacts his old friend DCI David Jones, Cryer’s boss. Jones believes Phil Cryer has the perfect talents for undercover work – incredible IT skills and an eidetic memory.
“When did you two cook up this plan?” I asked David after we’d sampled his vicious brew. I could feel the stuff dissolving the enamel from my teeth and added more milk from the jug on the tray.
“What plan?” David asked, playing the innocent.
“The one to make me volunteer to play undercover cop.”
“There was no plan. Brian told me his situation during a conference call with the Chief Constable yesterday afternoon when he asked permission to talk to you. I advised him to tell you everything and leave the rest to you. No plans, only hopes and a few expectations.”
This is number four in the DCI Jones series and an excellent addition. The story begins in the third person with Ritchie Juno, then moves to the first person from Phil’s perspective as he takes centre stage. The covert operation gets off to a bad start with an antagonistic attitude directed at Phil from one of the members of the NCA team. Added to that he has to downplay his skills while keeping his cover intact. With no immediate back up, Phil faces a difficult and dangerous task.
I’ve enjoyed all the books in the DCI Jones series and this is no exception. The story unfolds with a timeline heading each chapter, giving an awareness of the increasing tension and suspense. Kerry Donovan creates a very credible and convincing picture of the procedures within a specialist police unit.
I liked Phil Cryer from the start and enjoyed getting to know him, and David Jones, more. It’s a refreshing change to have a well-adjusted, easy-going and easy to relate to family man as the protagonist. And one who is able to voice his feelings, whether they are for his wife and children, or apprehension and concerns about the situation he’s in. He and DCI Jones compliment each other, both are engaging in their own ways and are developed skilfully, creating an attachment with this reader. I also very much enjoyed the addition of the ‘villain’ from the first book.
The storyline is written and structured extremely well, character driven with lots of action offset by Phil’s surreptitious desk investigations into the team members using his formidable skills via the internet. The explosive culmination was a complete surprise. A really strong addition to the series.
I chose to read and review The DCI Jones Casebook: Cryer’s View for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy from the author.
About the author
Internationally bestselling fiction author, Kerry was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in the heart of rural Brittany with his wonderful and patient wife, Jan. They have three children and four grandchildren (so far), all of whom live in England. An absentee granddad, Kerry is hugely thankful for the advent of video calling.
The cottage is a pet free zone (apart from the field mice, moles, and red squirrels).
Kerry earned a first class honours degree in Human Biology, and has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Sciences. A former scientific advisor to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, he helped UK emergency first-responders prepare for chemical attacks in the wake of 9/11. This background adds a scientific edge to his writing. He is also a former furniture designer/maker.