I’m delighted to be re-sharing my review of Mike Craven’s Body Breaker, re-released tomorrow the 9th of January (Constable)with a brand spanking new cover! Isn’t it lush!
The official blurb for Body Breaker says:
Investigating how a severed hand ends up on the third green of a Cumbrian golf course is not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke has planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secret protection unit from London swoops in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.
But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s only just been barred from.
In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of New Age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, has been arrested under the Terrorism Act – and has made a pact with the Devil himself. But a voice has called out to him from beyond the grave. And Fluke is only getting started…
What did I think?
A quiet Saturday afternoon on the golf course takes a sinister turn for DI Fluke and his team when they discover a severed hand. At first, Fluke is quietly delighted that this investigation is to be led by a secret unit from the London Met but when Fluke is around trouble is never far behind!
It quickly becomes clear that Fluke is somehow linked to the discovery and what follows has got to be one of the cleverest and most gripping plot lines that I have read this year! I was swept away on a journey involving police corruption; new age travellers, terrorism and past demons. #BodyBreaker is a police procedural of exceptional quality. It provides a level of detail that enthralled me and yet managed not to make it dull and unnecessary. I consumed each page with a hunger that was fully satisfied by the time I got to the last page – seriously it was so good that I am eagerly waiting for my next course! Twists and turns throughout that will have your head spinning and by the time you get to the end you are going to be screaming OMFG REALLY!!!!
In DI Fluke, Mike Craven has created a character so deeply flawed yet so engaging that no matter what he does I am right on the sidelines cheering him on! Fluke has a healthy disregard for authority when he’s embroiled in an investigation and will let nothing stand in his way of seeing it through to the end – no matter the impact it has on him and his relationships with those closest to him. I feel like I’ve got inside of Fluke’s head through the brilliant character development throughout this series and I’m learning what makes him tick. His relationship with Bridie, his current love interest is intriguing and I am on tenterhooks waiting to see where it goes! I think Fluke has met his match when it comes to her! However, how far is he prepared to go to keep it alive?
Matt Tower is Fluke’s sidekick and while the rest of the team all have significant roles to play throughout the book it is Tower’s relationship with Fluke that caught my breath. they have been through so much together during their time in the Marines and Paras and despite the fact that each can antagonise the other you know that they have got each others back covered at every turn. There seems to be a bond so strong between them that it goes beyond the need for verbal communication – they are so attuned to the other’s way of thinking that they just know what the other is thinking and what the other needs.
Jinx turns up at Fluke’s remote cabin and it is soon clear that she is a link to his past that he had never thought would surface again. I loved her character – a feisty yet vulnerable young woman, an unreliable narrator that will have you spinning as you try to work out just what part she is playing in all of this! She kept me guessing all the way through!
Fluke’s relationship with Nathaniel Diamond is also explored in #BodyBreaker; we first met him back in Born in a Burial Gown and he’s a bad bad boy, yet Fluke turns to him for help in #BodyBreaker. Is Diamond’s help going to be the making or the downfall of Fluke as his team are shocked at what he is prepared to do in order to proceed with the investigation….this relationship is DYNAMITE! I love the way that Mike has developed this relationship, it is completely realistic and will leave you reeling!
#BodyBreaker will take you on a whirlwind of a journey through the darker side of our police force to the world where the inhabitants have turned their back on the rat race for what appears to be an idyllic life. It probes your mind and leaves you right on the edge throughout.
I really don’t think that I have the words to write a review that will do justice to this novel. Everything about this book captured my attention from the word go – the characters, the setting and the plot – they all swept me away and gripped my imagination in a vice like hold. It can be read as a standalone but I’d honestly urge you to go and read the first two books in the series to give you a feel and a flavour of Fluke and his team. This book comes with a warning – abandon everything you planned to do and buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride!
Buy the book via
You can also get Born In a Burial Gown over there too….also with a brand spanking new look! You seriously do not want to miss these books!
Mike is THE 2019 CWA GOLD DAGGER with The Puppet Show
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .
M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.