Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (PI Charlie Cameron #3) by @owenmullen6 #Crime Series set in Glasgow #FridayReads

Author: Owen Mullen

Published: March 2017 by Bloodhound Books

Category; Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.

Now he’s missing.

Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.

A gripping prologue sets the scene for a convoluted case for PI Charlie Cameron. A botched operation leaves Margaret Cooper brain dead. The surgeon, Wallace Maitland, and the hospital refuse to admit responsibility and close ranks. Gavin Law’s accusations of malpractice set in motion a series of events which no-one could have foreseen. Also drawn into the mix is Colin McMillan, whose wife has taken her own life.

Gangster Sean Rafferty makes another appearance. His father, Jimmy, may be dead but Sean has taken over the family firm and things are running as before. Sean has his claws into members of the city council in the form of a multi million pound development complex. Although the leisure facility would be ‘good for Glasgow’, it would mean working with Rafferty. Not such a good idea because, although he’s desperate to be seen as a legitimate businessman, he’ll do whatever it takes to get his way. Even if that means murder. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.

‘Cards on the table, Sean. It’s not the project, per se; it’s who’s behind it. People remember what doing business with Jimmy was like.’

‘Jimmy’s dead.’

Rutherford sighed; this was always going to be a difficult conversation. ‘Even so.’

‘Even so… what?’

‘Jimmy. Kevin. You. It’s still the family. Understandably, they aren’t keen.’

‘Who isn’t?’

‘Lachie Thompson isn’t a fan. Tony Daly. Between them, they control half the votes. These men are public figures. They don’t want to wake up and find their picture next to yours on the front of the Herald. Need to keep your name out of the papers for a while.’

Charlie takes on another missing person case, hired by Caroline Law to find her brother. He believes Gavin Law has disappeared because of the scandal and will surface eventually but his overbearing sister doesn’t believe it. Meanwhile DI Andrew Geddes is investigating a suspected suicide and, although Andrew is far from convinced, his new boss wants a cut and dried case. So Andrew also enlists Charlie’s help to do some digging. And with the two cases and his ever complicated love life, Charlie falls foul of Sean Rafferty once more.

Andrew takes on a bigger role in this story and it was interesting to witness not only his character development but also Charlie’s. The story threads merge as the narrative progresses and the sense of place is as evident as always. The Glasgow streets, wonderful characters and writing, corrupt dealings and the gritty, twisty, fast moving plot that takes the reader in every direction but the right one, all serve to make this another fantastic read. It seems like Charlie is about to move forward with his life and I can’t wait to see where Owen Mullen takes him.

School was a waste of time for me. Or rather, I wasted time; my own and every teacher’s who tried to get me to work. It took twenty years to appreciate what they were telling me. Life has rules. They aren’t written down but they exist nevertheless. I got that. Eventually. But by then I was thirty five.
Along the way I missed an important clue. At ten I won a national primary schools short story competition – and didn’t write anything else for forty years.
As a teenager my big obsession was music. Early on I realised if I was successful I would probably be rich and famous and pull lots of girls. 
So how did that turn out? 
Well, you haven’t heard of me, have you? And this morning I caught myself worrying about the electricity bill. So the short answer is: one out of three ain’t bad. 
Running around the country in a Transit van with your mates is fun. It’s your very own gang. You against the world. Until you fall out and the dream lies bleeding on the dressing-room floor. 
When that happened I went to London 
[everybody from Scotland goes to London, it’s like first footing at New Year, or ten pints of lager and a vindaloo on a Friday night; a sacred tradition] 
and became a session singer. I also started gigging with different bands on the circuit. 
Back in Scotland – most of us come back with wild tales of great success, none of them true – I wondered what I should do with myself and didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Her name was Christine. We got married, I went to Strathclyde Uni and got a bunch of letters after my name, and toughing it out at Shotts Miner’s Welfare, or dodging flying beer cans at the Café Club in Baillieston, was in the past. The long hair was short now, I wore a suit and pretended to like people I didn’t like because we were ‘colleagues’.
After many adventures I started my own marketing and design business and did alright. Christine and I were very happy, we travelled all over the place; India, Brazil, Botswana, Nepal, Borneo, Japan. One day I suggested we move. To the Greek islands. So we did. We bought land and built a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Then the pan global financial crash happened, years of fiscal carelessness finally caught up with Greece; the exchange rate dived and the cost of living in Paradise went through the roof. 
I had to do something. Then I remembered the short story competition. I had been good at writing, hadn’t I? 
I wrote another short story called The King Is Dead…the first thing I’d written since primary school. When I typed the last word [Christine taught me to type] I held the pages in my hand then started to read. An hour and a half, rooted to the chair unable to believe what was in front of my eyes. For four decades I had shunned a god given gift. And as I read I started to understand why. It was awful. Not just bad. Bloody terrible.
But I kept going.
And now, eight years and seven books later, three literary agents plus two I turned down [they were reading a different book] I am a writer. My books are on Amazon. People buy them and come back for more. 
One seasoned London agent has predicted I am destined to be ‘a major new force in British crime fiction.’
So is the moral: follow my example, find something you’re good at and stick with it. Hardly. I didn’t, did I? Do it your own way; it’s your life.

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