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Kitson, Bill - 'Chosen'
Hardback: 224 pages (Jan. 2010) Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd ISBN: 070908966X

Bill Kitson is a new author and this is his second book starring DI Mike Nash. Having not read the first of his books, I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the pace and writing in this book. It is not a rollicking ride but has a steady movement towards the disturbing findings of a policeman with a "feeling". A simple disappearance of a young girl becomes a serial killer investigation with no bodies, merely Nash's gut instinct and a chance comment.

The lack of bodies makes the investigation difficult and apparently less immediate than more visible crimes that are happening in the area. Nash has to balance his enquiries and uncomfortable opening up of old wounds with newer more pressing cases which have more straightforward solutions.

The plot of this book is disturbingly believable; that a series of young girls with no connection and from disparate parts of the county could go missing and no one would make a link. What is more difficult to relate to is some of the characters who are written in very sketchily and this really requires some engagement on the part of the reader to fill in the gaps. This can make the plot hard to continue, but it is worth it - closure and a neat solution to the mystery is forthcoming and does not miss out on some twists and turns along the way and, of course, some personal danger.

The police procedure descriptions do feel a little disjointed in places, but this only serves to make them seem more like real life than the convenient CSI view of investigations where murders only happen in twos and the whole team focus exclusively on them for a whole plot line. The main character, Nash, is flawed which makes him less plastic than some detectives in crime fiction and therefore a more compelling read. The ending is dramatic and startling, if a little abrupt given the depth of the rest of the book, but, this notwithstanding, I thought CHOSEN a good addition to the rich wealth of British crime fiction.

Amanda Brown, England
August 2010

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 29/08/2010 11:13