My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you were to look over my previously read book list, you’d notice ~75% are mysteries that are part of a book series. I enjoy getting to know a group of characters in a realistic setting who work together (or sometimes against) trying to discover what secrets led to a murder. Brian L. Porter’s ‘The Mersey Murder Mysteries’ series provides all that and more. I’d finished reading three of five previously written when his latest was released this month. Although I try to read in order, these can be read out of order as they’re stand-alone mysteries based on the fictional Merseyside Police Specialist Murder Investigation Team. If you read out of order, you might find someone married in a later book and single in an earlier book, but otherwise, it should be okay. Kudos to the author for building a great atmosphere and backdrop to tell his stories about the bizarre and nasty murders his special investigation team handles.
In Last Train to Lime Street, a train engineer making one of his final stops before retirement is navigating between stations when he sees something fall from a bridge. He tries to stop the train, but a collision is inevitable. He thought it was a body, but when he stumbles from the train car, it’s way more than he expected. Porter viscerally describes the impact of the train scattering body parts everywhere, and we soon realize, the body was naked and its severed head was actually cut prior to the collision. Who is the victim? When he’s got no identification and several parts are still missing, this won’t be an easy case. Enter detectives Izzie Drake and Andy Ross who quickly find a connection to a man recently reported as missing — an American transplant who runs a very successful adult entertainment company. Readers learn all about the porn industry through the victim’s business partners and three wives (1 current, 2 ex). Was he killed for something related to the mob-connected film company, a trick gone wrong, or some other more personal connection few knew anything about?
Our key detectives have to trace the path the victim took in the 2 days since leaving his wife and home for a business meeting. No one will admit to anything. Everyone says he was a good guy. Porter’s highly adept at creating a fine balance between educating readers on how the porn industry works versus what may or may not have contributed to the death. At times, the material can be a bit graphic, which for me was completely okay. It’s handled well, and it’s necessary to paint a full picture of the lifestyle and potential areas for clues. Not for the faint of heart, it delivers a powerful punch when you find out who the killer is and why (s)he felt the need to dispose of this well-known film star and business owner.
I’ve not read many UK police procedural series, but I love Agatha Christie’s books and the Midsomer Murders television show. I get the same traditional British feel in Porter’s books as I do from these other treats, but Porter’s are set in the early 2000s so they feel more current and urban. This is not your quaint little town that has a murder every so often. Drake and Ross handle only the intense! I love being able to get inside the head and actions of the entire team… we get the perspective from ~10 police members including a German transplant visiting for 2 years and those from other part of the UK who contribute to researching the case. Porter drops in a few wonderful personal stories for the primary detectives on the case so we know what’s going on in terms of marriages, children, relocation, and family death. It makes you feel like you’re reading about old friends when you stick with a series like this one.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest edition and am looking forward to reading the earlier two I hadn’t gotten to yet. I have a goal: to be current before Porter releases book #7 in this series in early 2019. Why don’t you hurry up and read them so we can buddy read the next together?
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.