Friday, June 10, 2016
Review of My Kind of Justice by Col Bury (Caffeine Nights, 2015)
My Kind of Justice is a gritty police procedural set in South Manchester. The strengths of the story are the sense of place, characterisation and plot. Col Bury clearly knows the area well and he paints a vivid social picture of a place blighted by poverty, drugs, and criminal gangs. His central character, DI Jack Striker has managed to climb his way out these ills through a career in the police, though the cost has been his marriage and his relationship to his two kids. He still has family and old friends living locally, however, and they hold secrets he’d like kept hidden as he plays out his version of a redemption man. While he has close colleagues at work, he also has enemies, and Bury does a nice job of portraying work-based rivalries and office banter. The plot centres on the investigation into a spate of murders of local gang members by a vigilante who is steadily picking them off. The vigilante serial killer angle gives the story tension and an inherent pace. It is fair to say, however, that once the tale moves out of the purely procedural format as Striker is removed from the official investigation it drifts towards a thriller and starts to become a little bit telegraphed and reliant on plot devices. Moreover, the telling was a little stilted and overly descriptive at times, though this only marginally detracted from the enjoyment of the story. Overall, a decent start to what I suspect is the first in a series.