Author: Jane Isaac
Category: Crime, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
Accident or murder?
The first victim – a prominent local councillor, killed in a hit and run ‒ could be either, but the next bodies leave no doubt. A twisted killer is at large. And he’s not finished yet.
Local councillor and business man Stuart Ingram has stopped for his usual take away after the weekly bowls club meeting.
It was the only night he went out since allegations of sexual harassment were brought against him by a former assistant. The resulting police investigation brought to light indecent images of children on his computer. Ingram insisted he wasn’t guilty from the start and is awaiting trial. Crossing the road to his car Ingram is the victim of a hit and run.
DC Beth Chamberlain is paired with Sergeant Nick Geary investigating the scene of the hit and run. She is given the unenviable task of delivering the news of her husband’s death to Gina Ingram, while putting into practice her role as Family Liaison Officer in order to gather as much information as she can, which may be applicable to the investigation.
‘I’d like you to go out and see Gina Ingram. Deliver the news and see what you can find out. I know it’s difficult, especially with the background on this one, but we really need details of friends, family, acquaintances — all the usual — so we can start eliminating people. Obviously, we’ll look at their associations from the existing case, but there’s always a chance that something or someone has cropped up since. Get started on the family liaison officer role and see what you can find out about the victim’s recent movements; we need to know exactly where he was tonight….’
Presumed Guilty is the second book in a series featuring Beth Chamberlain and another well written and enjoyable story. The police procedural aspect is well crafted with twists and enough false leads to keep the reader on their toes. As well as her role as a Family Liaison Officer, Beth is also active in the investigation and as the body count rises it’s obvious the team are dealing with much more than a random hit and run. Witnessing the consequences on the victims’ families, and the work of a FLO, adds an extra layer to the story as motives and grievances come to light, and is just as crucial to an investigation as regular police work. Short expressive chapters keep up the pace and the momentum of the well devised plot.
It takes a certain kind of person to do the job of a FLO and Beth has just the right temperament—sympathetic and calm but also persistent and determined. She’s very likeable and Jane Isaac has done a great job making her a realistic protagonist. Beth and Nick have a history and their personal lives are woven into the story. Working together, it’s almost impossible to keep the personal and professional from overlapping, despite Beth’s best efforts. Looking forward to catching up with Beth and co.
I chose to read and review Presumed Guilty based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.
About the Author
Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective and they live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane’s debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’ The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014’. Jane’ s seventh novel, Presumed Guilty, is the second in the highly acclaimed DC Beth Chamberlain (Family Liaison Officer) series. The third DC Beth Chamberlain novel is scheduled for release in 2019, along with a new DCI Helen Lavery novel.