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by Stuart Pawson
Allison & Busby, October 2002
298 pages
17.99 GBP
ISBN: 0749005440

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Laughing Boy is the 8th in this excellent police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Charlie Priest and the lads and lasses of Heckley nick.

Every avenue of investigation into the death of local woman Laura Heeley has come to nothing, despite the best efforts of Charlie and his team. Charlie is reluctant to wind-down the investigation, but the order has come from on high. Then news of another murder regenerates the enquiry. They're not looking for a random murderer any more - they're looking for a serial killer.

Charlie Priest is one of British crime writing's best kept secrets. He's an intelligent, hardworking, thorough policeman, but he's also a really nice bloke. He's the antidote to all those cynical loners who seem to police the pages of crime fiction. He has a ready wit, great relationships with his colleagues, and he really seems to care about the victims of the crimes he's investigating. If someone burgled my house, it would be Charlie I'd want to see at my front door with his fingerprint kit. And the first thing I'd get him to do would be to tell me one of his jokes.

The main attraction of the series for me is the warmth and humour of the characters. The banter between Charlie and his team is often laugh out loud funny - the man sitting next to me on the train when I was reading it looked at me strangely when I started giggling, so I told him one of the jokes and we both ended up sniggering like overgrown school kids. Oh, and the plot's pretty good too - straightforward, but in a wickedly devious way. And Stuart Pawson's writing is excellent - the book flows very well and Charlie's voice is superb.

This is a very underrated series which just keeps getting better and better. Hopefully now it's been picked up by Allison & Busby Stuart Pawson will get the attention he deserves.


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Reviewed by Donna Moore, October 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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