*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and to Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Surviving a terrorist explosion, a tutu incident, and a night of celebratory drinking, hungover hero DCI Jack Austin proposes an ill-advised alliance with a newly-turned criminal informant.
After a string of high-profile murders is committed, Austin goes deep undercover – and uncovers a villainous scheme that threatens the Star Chamber.
His world turned upside down, Austin needs to rely on courage, skill and improbable luck. But can he bring the perpetrators of the far-reaching scheme to justice?
Things are gradually getting less zany and more serious in the madcap world of Jack “Jane” Austin and his non-PC coppers and spooks.
If you haven’t already read the previous two books in this series (Cause and Effect and Irony in the Soul), I recommend that you do, because Pete Adams has a very idiosyncratic style that is baffling at first glance but quickly becomes addictive; a continuous stream of externalised inner monologues, obscure inside jokes, references and nicknames, slapstick physical comedy, sexual innuendo and a surprisingly large proportion of sudden, sensible police action and genuinely touching emotional moments.
Jack is in deeper with the nefarious plots, with his relationships, and with his mental health issues; causing him to lurch from disaster to victory and back again, pulling friends, foes and family alike behind him helplessly in his wake. To describe him on paper, Jack doesn’t sound particularly compelling, but trust me, he has the gravitational pull of a large planet and is about as oblivious to his effect!
The politics are ramping up a little more in each book in this series, as Jack delves deeper and deeper into the murky depths of the Portsmouth crime spree to find out who and what is behind all of the recent activity; from drug and weapon smuggling, to people trafficking and riot incitement. This has the inevitable effect that we get less of Jo Jums, KFC and the rest of the Community Policing crew, and more of Del-Boy, Father Mike and the other spooks. Still, Jack remains Jack – hail-fellowing everyone from MPs to dock workers and barging his way into Downing Street, farting and flashing his bits.
I am completely hooked on the characters Pete Adams has created in this series, and have absolutely no idea where he is heading with it, but am thrilled to be along for the ride. Personally I hope it’s heading for a certain French fairy and mountains of fish food, but I’d settle for fish and chips, twice.
‘You’re not going on your own, you’re mad.’
‘I might be, I don’t know.’ He paused to consider, but got sidetracked wondering what face he had on. Mandy confirmed for him, it was his eejit one, he humphed, thought it had been his sidetracked one.
Mandy had her sensible head on, ‘We have to do something. Nobby’s calling Jo?’
‘Yes, and Jimbo’s calling Mike, then coming with us.’
‘Armed back up?’ She was hopping, putting socks on. She squeezed into her jeans, buttoned up, and they took off down the stairs. She noticed he’d left his harness and wasn’t wincing, mincing, yes, but that was normal for her tart of a fella. However, whatever pain he felt, didn’t stop him looking at her backside, tight in jeans. She sighed, he was okay, for now.
– Pete Adams, A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza
A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza is available on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour (details on the poster below) for more great reviews and content!
You can also pop back to me on 10th October when I will be reviewing the next book in the Kind Hearts and Martinets series, Ghost and Ragman Roll, and check back to find my thoughts on Book 1, Cause and Effect and Book 2, Irony in the Soul.