*Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett has been republished as THE LONG REVENGE – my review*
A gritty and gruesome thriller featuring CSI Eddy Collins. When his colleague is killed processing a murder scene Eddy is determined to catch the culprit
Eddy Collins #4
I’m in shock after reading this captivating crime novel with a twist. Meet Eddie Collins a foul-mouthed no-nonsense CSI with a heart of gold. He is not good at socialising and has trouble facing facts even when they stare him right in the face. However, in his work he is simply the best: like a terrier, he gets his teeth into a case and does not let go until the crime is solved. Now he stands before what could very well be the most difficult but certainly is the most dangerous case of his life.
The year 1984 is ominous in literature and very difficult for the people in Ledston Luck: the village thrived on the mine but in 1984 the miners were on strike in fear the mine would be closed, and this did happen in 1986. Whoever had a job by then was lucky, the rest faced poverty. Then there was Divine Wright who loved her dad right up to the moment she killed him. She had wanted to confide in someone who “had the power to end it all” but could she trust him? We are transported to the present day, where CSI Eddie Collins is his usual charming self and about to tag along with his junior colleague James. For James, it would be the first crime scene to independently process but Eddie, being the man he is, has trust issues. Detective Inspector Benson is present and he already ruled the death of the man lying in the basement of the chapel as accidental. Eddie’s experience tells him otherwise: this most definitely is murder.
The body in the basement has been lying there for years, but alas a new murder is added to that: James, on starting to process the scene, finds the crime scene booby trapped but it is too late for him. His life ends in that moment, killed by a shotgun, the blast of it blinding Eddie and knocking him out. The shock of James being killed makes Eddie furious. He must get back to the investigation even if he is not allowed to work the scene as rules dictate that a ‘foreign’ CSI has to take over in a case like this. Regardless of these rules and the direct orders from his superior Jeffery, despite warnings from his father and DI Benson, Eddie is strong headed and determined to investigate. We, the readers, know that there is a good reason Eddie is acting the way he does, no matter the consequences: Eddie excels at his job and is the best CSI there is. James’ murder deserves to be solved – Eddie owes that much to James and his parents.
There is no way in hell Eddie is asking nicely or follows any rules but his own. Furthermore, he is not afraid to use violence if someone stands in his way. He knows that the case is very complicated as the male body must have been murdered decades ago. The “overwhelming sorrow” about sending James to his death contributes to the simmering anger Eddie feels inside, the anger that is bound to come out one way or the other. When it does, a colleague is hurt and Eddie is obliged to attend therapy, something he detests. His father tells Eddie there are two ways to handle what he is going through, either bottle it up or deal with it and get it out of his system. Eddie knows for sure the only way he will find closure is by bringing James’s murderer to justice. In order to do that, he needs to examine the crime scene properly for the first time to see whether South Yorkshire CSI had been as thorough as Eddie himself would have been.
Apparently, they have not because Eddie discovers another body in the basement. Whoever it is or what possible connection between the two bodies exists has yet to be established. We do know that Eddie is once again in over his head and has antagonised almost everybody around him: his father and his colleagues, his superior and the South Yorkshire CSI. He is jeopardising his own career and that of those who stand by him. Eddie feels this urge deep inside that forces him forward: it is why he excels at his job but it is also the cause of what others regard as Eddie’s anti-social behaviour. Eddie ploughs on, he cannot rest until he has found who is responsible for the murders and for James’s death. In the meantime, we have no choice but to witness domestic violence. Divine is desperate for someone to break the chain of violence perpetrated by her abusive father. Only one person is able to find out the truth: Eddie Collins.
What a great read! It is gritty and gruesome and just plain terrible to read sometimes! Can you grow up surrounded by violence without being touched by its vile influence? Do you automatically become an abuser yourself considering your only role model was an abuser? When once in your life you reach out to trust someone to be let down, is it a wonder that you turn to become who you are familiar with? These thoughts went through my head and I just could not stop them. What if and why would people rather turn a blind eye than do the right thing? Eddie Collins does not – he is one hell of a CSI even if he can be irritating and argumentative. I loved reading about Eddie, found him both endearing and yet wanted to shake him sometimes. When it comes to interacting socially and him missing the obvious, that made me smile. Ledston Luck is my introduction to Eddie Collins and I look forward to reconnecting with him more!
About the Author
Andrew Barrett is a crime and thriller writer based in West Yorkshire. Since the 1990s he has written several novels and short stories, all set in northern England. Also, he has co-written a number of television scripts. Andrew’s novels focus on the world of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). Andrew offers a unique insight into this dark landscape, making good use of his expertise as a Senior CSI to “envelop the reader in exciting yet realistic stories.” Among his books are the Roger Conniston Series consisting of 3 books and the Eddie Collins Series consisting of now 4 books The first three in the series are:
The Third Rule (Eddie Collins #1) – Black by Rose (Eddie Collins #2) – Sword of Damocles (Eddie Collins #3)
Andrew Barrett has also written three short stories including The Note (an Eddie Collins ShortStory – my review).
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (14 Dec. 2016)|