Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Plain Dead by Andy Maslen
Narrator: Steve West
Series: Detective Ford #3
Published by Brilliance Audio, Thomas & Mercer on November 25, 2021
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
A young female soldier is found on Salisbury Plain, her throat cut and a bloody knife in her dead hand. Everyone assumes that she killed herself. But something doesn’t feel right to DI Ford; the whole scene seems staged. Convinced of foul play, and despite fierce opposition from the army brass and his own superiors, Ford launches a murder investigation.
Years on from his wife’s death, Ford is still struggling with guilt and whether or not to tell his son the truth about what really happened. When his CSI partner confronts him about the tragedy, he knows he has to confess sooner or later. But the living can wait; the dead are calling. With the victim’s regiment due to deploy to Somalia, taking any suspects and evidence with them, Ford has just days to apprehend the killer.
His career on the line and his relationship with his son in the balance, Ford has to work fast if he is going to bring justice to the dead—and closure to the living.
I started this Detective Ford series, because Steve West was narrating, but a British police mystery is a favorite genre as well. The main character is a single dad, who lost his wife in a tragic accident six years earlier.
I love a story with layers. We are in DI Ford’s head and getting the story from his point of view. There is a combination of the police work which absorbs nearly all his time, the time with his son who is growing up now, and the bits of personal life he has avoided. He continues to feel his grief and guilt.
The case is on a military base which means working with their police. The military wants to cover it up as a suicide but when it is clearly a homicide, they want to arrest the first plausible suspect and be finished. His own command structure agrees since investigations cost money and they want them solved quickly. Luckily, his own superior wants the actual killer charged, but Ford has a really hard time with all the restrictions and pressures which are in opposition to what he believes about the killer.
Personally, his son is growing up, doing more on his own, even thinking about girls! Ford is worried about both loosing him to normal teenage issues but also his judgement on how his mother died. He struggles to give him space and support. His forensic scientist co-worker is an ally but also fancies him. He likes her but isn’t really considering a relationship with anyone. I’ll be interested to see how his personal life progresses. There was some growth in Plain Dead.
The case is a pressure cooker. Nobody is happy with him. Ford does gather the evidence and finds the killer. It’s a very dangerous process but I always enjoy the police strategy and procedures.
Steve West is my favorite narrator. I have become very comfortable enjoying his performance of the main character and the supporting case. His male and female voices feel appropriate. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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