Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Tour: Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie

Book review of Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie

And I’m back again with yet another crime fiction blog tour! This time, I have the pleasure of hosting Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie, recently released on eBook and set for a May paperback release from Little, Brown books. I was lucky enough to be gifted an early paperback copy of the book, so thanks very much to Clara Diaz and Little, Brown for my advance copy of the book.

I set myself the task of reading this over the course of the last week, whilst I was on a late at work and it was the perfect book to really indulge in on a slow and seemingly never-ending shift. I did find the book a little confusing to get into at first: we initially learn of the apparent murder of a Police officer, DI Carragher, in Essex. We then skip backwards four days and begin to unravel the goings on that have led to the crime taking place. The book is told from the alternating perspectives of two other police officers, Pearson and Russell, and a young woman, Donna, who is committed to finding the answers to another, seemingly connected crime; the murder of her best friend Alicia. She is sure that Alicia’s death has more to it than meets the eye and will under no uncertain terms stop until she has the answers that she is looking for. It comes to light that DI Carragher’s own actions might not be as innocent as one would expect from a Policeman. As an audience we start to unravel a web of corruption, deceit and plain old trickery. The two tales intertwine with one another and come together in ways which don’t sit well with the police.

I found Pearson and Russell to be very likeable characters and I’m looking forward to reading future books following them; they’re a good pair and I enjoyed reading each of their chapters throughout. They were incredibly believable characters which definitely makes all the difference. Pearson’s backstory intrigued me particularly: a recently separated man undergoing tests to discover whether he has cancer. Contrast this with Russell’s determination to protect Carragher, her former partner, at all costs and we have a very intriguing concept upon us.

You find yourself, as is the case with most crime, trying to guess throughout. I am actually pleased that I figured out a lot of what was going on this time: by no means is the book predictable, I’m just a crime fiend that will stop at nothing to discover the truth! I found it interesting to discover that Mark Hardie started writing fiction upon losing his eyesight; the amount of descriptive text in the story is arguably reflective of this. I love strongly worded, descriptive texts and this one left absolutely nothing to the imagination – in a very good way. Appreciating that this is a debut novel, I think it’s fair to say that while some aspects fell short of the perfect crime novel, the book is a very good contribution to an enormous genre and definitely stands its own in amongst the best. A very promising debut.



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