Into Dust – Jonathan Lewis

In the Brecon Beacons, the Minister for Defence is blown apart by a car bomb and, right under the nose of DCI Ned Bale.  The security cameras had been disabled and no one saw the bomber come or go.  No one claims responsibility.  Bale feels stymied by the work of the intelligence agencies, and an answer is not easily forthcoming.  What does this targeted death mean?  What does this mean for security?  Then one piece of evidence puts a cat amongst the pigeons: the fingerprint of Kate Baker is found on a fragment of the bomb’s trigger device. Kate Baker is a police dog handler currently on attachment to the British forces in Afghanistan searching for bombs with her dog.  She’s also Bale’s lover…

With a plot that moves from the sheep-filled hills of the Beacons to war-torn Afghanistan there’s a lot of interesting fact to absorb in Into Dust and the ‘how things get done’ proves quite fascinating.  It can also be a little quirky, for example how the team works out the method of getaway for the bomber is derived from a certain clandestine relationship.  It won’t be what you expect and it’s pitch perfect old-fashioned Welsh culture.  However, the characters’ (nick) names – Extra Bilge, Spick, Span, Fatso – carry a comedic tone that does not sit well alongside the serious subject matter, and they feel as if they’ve just walked in from a Christopher Fowler Bryant and May novel.  The denouement also relies a little heavily on melodrama in one area of ‘relationships’.  It’s wonderful to have a Welsh setting and one that is properly understood for depiction.  If you like quirky and different then Into Dust will fit your bill.

To be published by Preface on 15 September and available on Amazon here.  The first in this series, Into Darkness is also available on Amazon.


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