DCI Jack Lambert is no stranger to inner demons, having struggled with his own since the admission about his sexuality.
When two bodies are discovered in an open grave, Lambert must put his personal worries aside and work the case. But when the body of a local thug shows up on the banks of the River Tyne, the DCI’s criminal past comes back to haunt him.
Meanwhile, a local celebrity singer claims that she is being stalked. Could there be a link to the killings?
As the bodies start to pile up, Lambert realises the motive lies in the past and that the killer is taunting them.
The clock is ticking. Can he catch the murderer, or will one of their own end up in an open grave?
I would like to thank the author, publisher Bloodhound Books and Blog Tour organiser Sarah Hardy for the ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
Open Grave is a procedural police drama about DCI Jack Lambert who while dealing with the fallout after accepting he is gay, must race against time to stop a serial killer. It has added excitement, because it also pits him against a local crime lord and the demands of a local celebrity who claims she is being stalked.
What I loved about this book was the exciting plot twists. It was a real page turner that left me feeling like I was trapped in a maze. The writer takes you down one way, only for it to turn out to be dead end and then whips you around and around until the final page of the novel. You never quite know where it is all going, but it is fun to take the journey! It was my favourite part of the book, the false turns in the story. It meant I could never get complacent about the narrative, was never able to smugly outwit the writer.
If I had one small niggle and it is little, was that it had for me one too many story threads. I loved the murder investigation and Jacks criminal fast all fitted in perfectly. I just didn’t understand the need for a third story thread with the celebrity being stalked. It just seemed to distract from the much more thrilling main storylines.
The characterisation felt right, with an eclectic mix of personalities, which made the story a very enjoyable read. They were all so different, from the troubled DCI Lambert, to his sidekick who is an eager romantic and their boss, a dinosaur from a different policing era. They create a vibrant group that gives the novel believability, reflecting the reality of a real criminal investigation team. My favourite character was the main man himself, the vulnerable and rash DCI Jack Lambert. I love to celebrate novels, especially well written ones, which place an LGBT+ character within the story. If that character is the main one all the better! Representation for Gay men is improving, but still remains rare enough that it should be celebrated when discovered in any genre, especially one still mainly known for gruff talking straight men. I worried that Jack would be a token character, but he’s not, he is great, fully fleshed out, accepted by his colleagues and though he is struggling with his sexuality, it never stops him being a great police officer. Jack is Jack and his struggles with his sexuality just make him all the more fascinating. By giving him a traumatic personal life the story has added depth and I hope this will be further explored in future DCI Lambert novels.
Is this the point I ask A M Peacock to please write more novels containing Jack? I honestly believe he has the potential to become an exciting leading figure in police thrillers!
It is a great read and one that fulfils all the criteria of a great thriller. The hero is both ordinary and yet troubled. The adversary matches him for both intelligence and resourcefulness. It starts off with a scene that leaves you wondering about the horrors to come, with layers of tension and conflict that build up as the novel progresses. It’s also full of that magic ingredient, suspense. Troubles plague or hero at home and in work and we can’t help but wonder will he survive the killers tortured reign of terror.
Open Grave is a promising debut and I look forward to more of his writing in the years to come and I would certainly recommend this book to all thriller lovers.
You can purchase Open Grave from Amazon
My the author.
A.M. Peacock grew up in the North East of England before leaving to study for a degree in music technology at the University of Hull. A subsequent return to his hometown of South Shields saw him spend seven years as a teacher in a local college before changing careers to become a trade union official.
Having always been an avid reader, he took to writing after being encouraged to do so by his PGCE tutor. He has since gone on to produce a number of short stories, winning the Writers’ Forum Magazine competition on two occasions, as well as producing articles for both the local press and a university magazine.
A.M. Peacock is passionate about crime fiction and his debut novel, Open Grave, is the first in what he hopes will become a series of DCI Jack Lambert books.
Away from writing, A.M. Peacock enjoys watching films, playing guitar and can often be found pavement pounding in preparation for the odd half marathon.
You can follow the author on his Website, Facebook and Twitter.