Thursday, 12 April 2012

One Man's Opinion: MURDER MILE by TONY BLACK


Tony:  The New Black

Last year I had the pleasure of being introduced to DI RobBrennan, the new kid on the block for Scottish police fiction.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him and was left looking forward to the next time we’d meet. 
I bumped into Rob again earlier this week in the new book Murder Mile.
He looked well, at least in the circumstances.  Tough, dogged, passionate about the job and not about to suck up to anybody for any reason is how I found him – no change there.
He’s working another case.  That of a psychopath in Edinburgh.  A real nutter who delights in mutilation of young women.
Kicked out of the house by his wife, missing his daughter and having had to break the news of a new death to a young woman’s parents might be things he takes in his stride, but I think I know him well enough to see him buckling under the pressure no matter how philosophical he tries to be.
And hell, I don’t envy the office politics in his place; I thought my school was bad, but it has nothing on the police station, not even close.  Seems the economic crisis is hitting the boys in blue as much as everyone else.  So I told him, get the best you can to do the job, the bean-counters can go and play with their chick peas while you set about solving the case.
Now I happen to know that there’s a pimping ex-con with only the one prostitute in his team, and she’s past her sell-by-date even though she’s only a young-un.  Drugs, you see.  They’ll do that to some people.  Anyway, this guy has some information on the killer and is thinking about earning a little money to pay off a loan-shark – which means he has to be pretty desperate if you ask me.
I’d tell the DI, but I know he likes to work these things out for himself.
All in all, it was a whirlwind of a meeting.
Brennan’s nothing but stoical.  He’s doing the usual thorough search and he’s not going to let it go.  Dog with a bone that guy, with sharp teeth to go with it.
I’m really glad that I caught up with him again. 
I reckon you’d like to meet him too.  Will it matter that you didn’t get to know him on his last case?  I don’t think so.  I know him better now, but I would have loved him while he works the Murder Mile even if I’d never set eyes on him before.   When he tells you stories, they stand alone with a lot of strength, so don’t worry on that score. 
If you’ve already been there, then you’re in for a similar treat.  There might be a little of the ‘deja vu’, but that’s only because you’re like old friends already.
I’m hoping we’ll get together again next year.  Hard to guess whether he’ll have been thrown out of the force by then, or got sick of that politics or whether he’ll be on the way back from another ‘break’.  Who knows?  Only time will tell.
Till then, DI, good luck with catching that lunatic.  Make sure our kids our safe on the streets.   Bless you for that, sir.  Bless you.

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