Hello, Sunshines on this wintery day, I have the huge pleasure to be apart of the blog tour for; Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. I can’t wait to share my review of this compelling book with you all, firstly I want to say thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for the invite to this tour. Now, lets have a look at this book…
About the Book
Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain
Genre: Crime Fiction/Police Procedural
Series: DCI Doug Stirling Series #2
A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.
But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?
When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?
Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!
Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!
As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3fvjmtg
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kYeT3u
Forgotten Lives in the second book in the DCI Doug Stirling series, I’ve not read the first – in fact, this my first book by Ray Britain – that didn’t my reading I didn’t feel as though I had missed out on anything vital, I would say that this can easily be read a stand-alone. Yet, saying that I do think to fully appreciate the series it would be better to read them in order, but as I say its not essential just my own view.
I really enjoyed how this is written, more specifically how the story is laid out, instead of the usual chapter 1 – 20 it is split into days, each chapter is a different day and that is then broken down in hours which is very cleverly done as it allows the reader to follow the case hour by hour, day by day and it makes for compelling reading.
I was at first in two frames of minds about DCI Stirling, but seeing how hard he works, the sacrifices how much he puts into the job really won me over. He comes across as a decent guy, he is your stereotypical over-worked, stressed out and a flawed Police officer which we see so much of in TV shows, he has issues in his private life because of the job, but he is likeable and throughout the progress of the case you see Doug tackle a lot and I liked the interaction between him and the other officers and departments.
I really enjoyed how this really focuses the way different agencies and departments of the Police work together, and how such a horrific crime and the stress of solving the case and bringing the perpetrator to justice has such a colossal effect on those working on it. The realism of the strain the job has on the officer in charge really makes the reader stop and think, it shows the human side, the emotional, the breakdowns of the personal lives which our ever hard-working Police force have to deal with on top of the day-to-day job. It hard-hitting and makes you appreciate and respect those hard-working officers all the more.
Forgotten Lives is a mammoth of a book when I say ‘mammoth’ I mean it’s a real hefty length, but seeing as there is so much intricately woven into the plot it needs to be as long as it is. It’s also quite an evenly paced book too – not the usual boom; straight into the action and then off on a rollercoaster ride and blink of an eye and you miss things – no, it’s quite sedate compared to other crime /police novels, but don’t let that put you off as I do think that with the number of plot twists and various secondary exploits you need it to be a little toned down just so everything which you need to discover along the way you can at a very realistic pace. If the pacing of the book was speeded up, then I do think you would miss out on crucial information the bread crumbs which are so conveniently littered about for you to follow would be lost, so overall despite the length and the intensity of the subject matter it really works.
I cannot fault the author’s research, his in-depth knowledge of the ways of the police procedure really brings to life Stirling and his colleagues. It’s not the easiest of reads there is a lot going on, but the way Britain has handled the more harrowing moments and the attention to the emotional side to the proceedings and the officers instead of just focusing on the blood and gore gives this a fresh and cleaner edge which other books in this genre are missing.
Forgotten Lives is an edgy, tense, realistic and imaginatively written crime novel which delves into the human mind and pulls on your deeply hidden emotion. This is a must-read for crime fiction enthusiasts, and I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
About the Author
Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.
As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.
Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.
Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.
When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..