Detective Inspector Matt Brindle of the Pennines Police has been home for six months. He’d turned in his resignation after he and his partner had been ambushed at a remote cottage they’d been led to by a police informant. A hand grenade tossed in a window had killed his partner and left Brindle’s leg shattered. He’s overcome the physical problems, but the psychological and emotional scars are deep.
His superintendent never accepted Brindle’s resignation. And soon the detective finds himself drawn back to work, to a case involving the murder of a friend. And it appears that a serial killer is involved, whose crimes appear to be without rhyme or reason and only sharing a mysterious colored mark on the victims’ arms.
As Brindle and his new assigned partner investigate, they discover that the mistress of the dead man has no history; they can find nothing anywhere about her background or past. When her child is kidnapped, they know there’s something really strange going on. And they’re right.
His Third Victim is the first in the Detective Matt Brindle mystery series by British author Helen Durrant. It has an intriguing premise and an engaging and sympathetic police hero. It’s well worth reading, but it’s a bit uneven in places and needed a good editing to polish and smooth the story.
Durrant has published some 24 mystery books in several series. The second in the Detective Matt Brindle series is The Other Victim. Durrant is a retired teacher and lives in the northwest of England.
My criticism is meant well; with little effort, this could be a first-class mystery series.