Before The Devil Knows Your Dead by Owen Mullen

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Book blurb
Charlie’s Back! Gavin Law was a whistle blower. Now he’s missing. Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined. Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands? Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place. Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty. With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes. If that means murder, then so be it. Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale. He may not be so lucky a second time.

Review

Firstly, I would like to thank the publisher Bloodhound books, author Owen Mullen and the bloghounds for the ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review.

A good thriller needs a strong story because thriller readers want to be thrilled!  They want a complex, but flawed hero.  It should be full of action, stylish and complex. The main character should grow and evolve, pacing should always be fast.  Your reader should be eager to turn the pages, oh and lets not forget a nasty villain, we like our villains to be cruel. So if these are the criteria we judge a thriller against, how does Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead measure up?

It hits the base on every single one of the criteria all good thrillers are judged against. Not only did it rollick along, sweeping me from the opening scene, out into the gritty streets of Glasgow, into the shadowy world of organised crime, it took me into the less than professional operating rooms of egoistical surgeons and into the shadowy halls of council politics.

In PI Charlie Cameron we have a hero who starts the story needing to move forward professionally and personally and by the end Owen Mullen gives us a character who is stronger and ready to face his demons in the next thrilling adventure.

Even better we have a villain who personifies my image of a Glasgow Mafia Boss.  Sean Raftery is cruel, manipulative and ruthless.  Now that is a villain you will love to hate.

The supporting cast of characters range from a whistleblower who disappears, a devastated husband, a disgraced surgeon and tough police officers. Its the perfect cross section of characters who alternatively leave you angry and nervous, but your also willingly them to find the justice they seek.

It all adds up to a story with numerous twists and turns.  More than once I was wrong footed, convinced I knew who the killer was.  I was thrilled to discover than Owen Mullen had delivered a story with multiple threads. Not a simple straight forward thriller.  Like suffering whiplash, you were taken down one thread of the story, only to be whipped back and sent hurtling down another.  Yet he ties up all the threads perfectly, leaving the reader wanting more, ready for the next instalment in this series.

Without doubt this is a first class thriller. One I’m sure will please committed fans, while attracting legions of new P I Cameron devotees.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead is the third instalment in the PI Cameron series.  You can buy it from Amazon and Waterstones

You can buy the other books in the series by visiting Owen Mullen’s Amazon page

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When he was ten, Owen Mullen won a short story competition and didn’t write anything else for almost forty years. In between he graduated from Strathclyde University with a Masters in Tourism and a degree in Marketing, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; on occasion he still performs. He returned to Scotland to run a management consultancy and a marketing agency. He is an Arsenal supporter and a serious foodie. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow – where the Charlie Cameron books are set – and their villa in the Greek Islands

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