Falling More Slowly: Detective Inspector Liam McLusky
by Peter Helton
Review by Mel Jacob
Soho Constable Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781569478806
Date: 18 January 2011 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Author Peter Helton begins a new gritty mystery series with Falling More Slowly featuring Detective Inspector Liam McLusky. His first day on the job in the Bristol CID, he manages to total new police car in his effort to distract a man engaged in destroying a house with his wife inside. McLusky never hesitates to take risks to save others. Then a bomb demolishes a picnic shelter and injures a teenager.
As the first detective responding, McLusky is designated the head of the investigating team. Then, a series of other random explosions elsewhere follow in which injuries escalate and the bombs turn deadly. The only link appears to be an object picked up by the victims, but each object is different. The police find no common threads among the victims, and the lack of notes or warnings puzzles them. They sort through security camera coverage of the various sites for any clues.
By accident, McLusky becomes involved with other cases for the overburdened and understaffed police. The Superintendent wants results on the bomber and warns him to focus on his assignment. Politicians also demand answers. Other more senior detectives believe they should have been put in charge of the investigation and resent having to allot time to McLusky.
The economic pressure on the city mounts and pushes the investigators hard. To solve a crime requires evidence, but McLusky's experience and intuition also provide vital links. However, he needs the evidence to convince others. It takes time and more victims to amass that evidence.
This novel, like Helton's Rainstone Falls, places a heavy emphasis on gloomy weather and rain. Both novels are set in population centers in the south of England, but in towns less familiar to many Americans. Similar to other Soho mysteries, the novel is typical of Helton's writing style and supplies enough action to keep the reader's interest.