The body count is rising…
When psychopath Daniel Moxley makes his escape while being escorted to Broadmoor high security prison, he sets off on a trail of bloody revenge, leaving police forces throughout the north of England floundering in his wake.
Moxley’s paranoia has him seemingly selecting victims at random.
The only thing they have in common is the gruesome nature of their killings.
Police, prison warders and even old ladies have been the target of Moxley’s cold-blooded murder spree.
When Detective Inspector Vinnie Palmer is assigned to the case, Moxley decides that he too must die, but not before he has led him from one blood-soaked scene to another.
Among his victims is Vinnie’s offsider, Detective Constable Rob Hill, who he discovers has his own dark and destructive secret that rips Vinnie’s life apart.
With the help of Moxley’s psychiatrist, Vinnie delves deep into the man’s criminal past and uncovers a history of corrupt police, sexual coercion and gaol brutality.
But when Vinnie closes in on Moxley and takes the law into his own hands, he ends up suspended and stripped of his police powers.
Determined not to let Moxley escape justice, Vinnie continues his pursuit of the maniac as a private citizen.
He teams up with determined television reporter Christine Jones and together they pursue Moxley north to Scotland and back again.
But the killer always seems to be one step ahead, leaving a trail mutilated bodies in his wake.
Lured on by Moxley’s taunts, Vinnie discovers that it is his own wife – a fellow police worker – who has been an unwitting aid in Moxley’s deadly deeds.
As a result, his suspension is lifted in time for him and Christine to gain full police support and finally confront Moxley in a terrifying final encounter.
But is it too late?
The action-packed and full of gruesome detail, Nemesis is Roger’s first story in the new Badge and the Pen series that features detective inspector Vinnie Palmer.
The blurb above gives quite a bit of detail of where we go with the plot of this one, so I'll concentrate on the characters and the writing.
Its another police procedural and it stands comparison to a few I've read and enjoyed recently - David Jackson, Mark Hill, Sam Blake, I might be tempted to read more of these types of books in the future. An event during the course of the book, which sees Palmer suspended, does then seem to diverge into a one on one battle of wills as Palmer carries on chasing Moxley, albeit without any official status. He is soon back in the fold though.
I liked the main detective Vinnie Palmer and his easy relationship initially with his underling Rob Hill and then his boss Delany. Not too far down the road, Palmer and Hill's relationship comes under a bit of strain. Sleeping with another man's wife, can sometimes have that effect. Palmer's wife, who up to now has been a bit of a cow, gives Vinnie the heave-ho. While Palmer reconciles himself to his domestic strife, Moxley our villain of the piece deals with Hill a bit more permanently.
Plenty of brutality on display from Moxley, with a fair few scenes of graphic violence - some perhaps a bit OTT. Moxley is intelligent and extremely manipulative and is able to bend others to his will. Reneging on a deal with him has severe consequences, though you kind of feel if you played straight he would still enjoy having his own twisted brand of fun with you.
The story has plenty of legs and moves quickly. I really enjoyed it and will give the next in the series a go - Vengeance. Not the best book I've ever read, but I was entertained and sucked into the tale.
A solid 4 from 5
Roger A. Price has been read and enjoyed before - By Their Rules has featured previously, back in 2013.
Read in May, 2017
Published - 2016
Page count - 271
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle