I’ve always liked a good detective novel. I used to power through the Dalziel and Pascoe books like nobody’s business when I was a teenager and OK, maybe I don’t read as much crime fiction these days as I used to, but I still like to get all engrossed in one every now and then. That’s why I jumped at the chance to get involved in this blog tour, actually: Burned and Broken looked like being A Good Read. It was nice to go back to a police procedural, in this world of the psychological thriller.
You’ve got a good detective duo which is always a winner with me. Pearson and Russell are no Dalziel and Pascoe, but I liked them both. There’s two stories running side by side, which I enjoyed – a young and messed up girl just out of care and wanting answers about the death of her best friend, and a detective, currently under investigation himself, found burned to death in his car. You can see where this is going, right? What’s the connection between the two – if indeed there is one.
It’s a pretty good book, all told. It starts off well, with a prologue (who doesn’t love a prologue) full of tension and then jumps back in time four days. I like that. I’ve always liked that – when you (think) you know how it’s going to end up and get the chance to see how it gets there. Backwards storytelling sort of I guess, it’s a thing I’m a fan of. I also liked the ending. The ending had me turning pages and staying up way past my bedtime and it’s always a mark of a good book when it makes me not want to stop reading and go to sleep. I am such a big fan usually of going to sleep.
It’s a little slow in the middle though, which is a shame. It loses its way somewhat and kind of drags and there was a point where I had to have a talk to myself and force myself to persevere and I did struggle a little with Hardie’s writing style. It’s very staccato, lots of full stops everywhere and I found it kind of jarring. It stopped me somehow from fully absorbing myself in the story; there was no flow. & I really wanted to be involved and just kind of wasn’t. Not in the way I expected to be anyway. I think that’s a minor niggle though – on the whole the story started out well, ended well and had enough twists and turns to stop you figuring things out too quickly and as debuts go, it’s a strong one. I’d read more of Hardie’s work for sure: I didn’t love it, but I did like it, and if it’s the first in a series – which rumour has it, it is - I’m pretty sure I’d pick up the ones to follow.