This book is a new British crime novel set in Brighton. It follows a police operation aiming to bring down a large drugs ring.
The book opens with the death of an undercover police officer and the realisation that the operation may have been compromised. For DSI Tom Beckett, who has been leading this operation through his own personal grief, this looks like it could be the end of his career as he knows it. With the threat of budget cuts making itself evident and the potential leak, it seems that Operation Windmill is doomed to fail without having been completed.
DS Minter is the new guy on the team and has a bit of a patchy relationship with the team as well as having his own past demons to deal with. With the higher-ups expecting him to do one thing and the new team members all being suspicious around him, Minter finds himself in a tricky situation as he tries to help Beckett find a way to save the operation and get their guy.
I'll admit that it's been a while since I've read a British crime novel, the last few crimes having been Nesbo and Larsson, however I found that this crime novel has found a lovely balance between the stereotypical Nordic 'thinking & politics' and American 'all-action & explosions' crime.
This book starts by dropping the reader into the middle of the action with catalyst happening within the first few pages. With a view that covers everyone - from police officers to the drug barons - you get to see all the points of view and their thoughts on the matter, no matter how small the character's part. I found this to add to the mystery instead of take away from it as it had you left with more questions and totally ruined any suspicions I was already forming.
The two main police officers, Minter and Beckett, did seem to have been stuck into a mold that has been used a few times before in various guises which I found to be slightly disappointing. However, this aside, I found the bit-parters to be more intriguing and their view on their lives were definitely eye opening.
I have the feeling that Peterson really did his research before writing this book - on politics as well as police work - and this came across well in many of the things that happened throughout the plot (I'm trying really hard to avoid spoilers). Possibly someone with more background knowledge in this subject will be able to tell me how well researched this has been but to someone like me, who just knows what's told on the news and read about in papers and books, this does feel close to what could happen real life.
With such a lively backdrop as Brighton, Peterson has really brought the area to life, using it's vivid reputation to set the scenes and help move it along without having to go into too much unnecessary detail.
This is the first book in a series and I'm so happy I read it, I will be following Mark Peterson with eager anticipation for the next installment. If you're looking for a new british crime series to follow, or looking to get into this genre then might I suggest pre-ordering (or sitting on your hands and waiting) this book, I don't think you'll be disappointed.