Mismatched cops are a trope in crime fiction. Here that contrast is used to good effect. Believe it or not, there are two DS Wilkins; one is Ryan and one is Ray. Ryan grew up in the projects, wears track suits, has a young son and is white. Ray is Black, married and dresses like someone who shops at Brooks Brothers, whatever the British equivalent might be. They are paired on a case and, over the course of the novel, begin to understand one another.
The setting is Oxford which has led a number of reviewers to compare this series (a second is already out) to Inspector Morse. They are not the same although in each instance the author has a unique voice. Mason’s book shows college life but also much of the poorer side of the city. Race and religion are also important themes.
There are murders and detection, along with lots of back story and characters. I very much enjoyed this read and was so thrilled when the book became available in the U.S. It is currently only $4.99 for the e book and very much worth it.
Recommended to those who like character driven stories, crime stories set in Britain and a protagonist who will be remembered.
My only quibble is the surprise of the solution. The elements were there but it felt just a tad forced. This would not keep me from reading other books by this author however.
Have you read this? What did you think?