Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Payback by R. C. Bridgestock, the first in a new series featuring Yorkshire cop, DI Charley Mann. Payback was published as an ebook on 5th December 2019 and in paperback on 9th January 2020. Thanks to Emily at The Dome Press for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my proof copy.
About the Book
Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back, she’s in charge and the area’s first young, female DI.
Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.
When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex – reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.
Format: Paperback, ebook (320 pages) Publisher: The Dome Press
Publication date: 9th January 2020 Genre: Crime
Find Payback (DI Charley Mann #1) on Goodreads
No sooner has Charley Mann, newly promoted to Inspector, arrived back on her home turf in Yorkshire than she finds herself taking on the lead role in the investigation of a murder. The investigation becomes more complicated as her personal and professional life collide and the murder attracts unwelcome press attention. An unsupportive boss doesn’t help either.
Charley is no angel. She didn’t get the nickname ‘Champagne Charley’ for nothing, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, is intolerant of intolerance and can definitely look after herself when it comes to a spot of fisticuffs. (You certainly wouldn’t want to be in the culprit’s shoes when Charley catches up with them.) However, all of this makes her a very believable, well-rounded character with flaws as well as more admirable qualities, such as her passion for justice. As she says at one point, “I’m not here to be liked; I’m here to do a job. And no matter what it takes, I’m going to do it.” The authors have given Charley an interesting backstory, more details of which I’m sure will be revealed in future books.
As you’d expect from two authors with so many combined years of experience in the Police force, the detail of police procedure is meticulously described. From the handling of evidence, to the securing of a crime scene, working with forensics and search teams and preparing for interviews and operations, it all seems completely realistic. Being squeamish, the post-mortem scene was a bit too realistic for me. (By the way, you can read Bob’s guest postabout examining crime scenes here.)
To prevent the book becoming too much like a police training manual, the authors cleverly introduce rookie detective, Annie, as a way for Charley to impart information about police processes. The book is also good at reflecting the realities currently facing the Police force such as funding constraints, the burden of paperwork, the need to juggle resources and achieve targets whilst at the same time adhering to health and safety rules and upholding the rights and welfare of those charged with offences.
Tension builds as Charley and her team get closer to finding the culprit and work together to diligently build a case that will be sufficient for prosecution and conviction. Although the investigation is neatly wrapped up by the end of the book there are strands of subplot left tantalizingly unresolved to be explored in a future book. At least, I hope so.
Payback will appeal to readers who like their crime fiction packed with realistic detail of police procedure, to fans of the authors’ DI Dylan books or simply those looking for a new crime series to follow that features a strong female protagonist.
In three words: Authentic, suspenseful, assured
Try something similar: Poetic Justice by R. C. Bridgestock (read my review here)
About the Author
R. C. Bridgestock is the pen name of writing duo Carol and Bob Bridgestock. Between them they have nearly 50 years of high level experience in West Yorkshire Police. The couple are storyline consultants on Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey and appear regularly on TV, radio and in the press.
Connect with the authors