Blunt Force Trauma by John Carson

Blunt Force Trauma by John Carson
Publisher: Vellum (Amazon Kindle)
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

When looking into the abyss, be careful of who’s looking back…

When the lifeless body of a psychiatrist is uncovered in the heart of Edinburgh, the responsibility of unraveling this murder falls upon DCI Harry McNeil and his dedicated team. This well-respected professional had maintained a thriving private practice, commanding deep respect within his field.
As they meticulously deconstruct the facets of the doctor’s existence, they unearth a disconcerting revelation – not everyone held the esteemed psychiatrist in such high esteem. However, as a veil of silence shrouds potential witnesses, Harry faces an uphill battle in his quest to unravel the mystery behind the doctor’s untimely demise. Will he ultimately piece together the puzzle and bring justice to the fallen doctor?

Meanwhile, DI Frank Miller returns to his job, only to find himself facing a grave accusation. He knows his life is in peril, with a relentless enemy determined to see him silenced. A single name holds the key to his salvation: a mysterious woman whose identity remains elusive. With time running out, Miller must uncover her identity or face a life on the run. Will he unearth the truth, or will he pay the ultimate price in his quest for redemption?

It’s hard to believe this is the twentieth DCI Harry McNeil book – and yet here we are. I’ve enjoyed this series for quite some time and was pleased with this new addition to the series. As would make sense with a series this long running, at least some of the previous books should have been read prior to this just so the reader can have an understanding of the many characters and how they all relate and work together. That said, even with just a few (and possibly most importantly the book previous to this – Now Or Never) need to be read for this story to be thoroughly enjoyed.

I’ve been really gripped by the plotline surrounding DI Frank Miller. He’s been through an excruciatingly bad rough patch and in many ways, I feel that this book neatly ties up many of his plot arc and helps readers feel like this might be a good place to finish the journey. Equally so with DCI Harry McNeil. I’ve felt for a while like his series might be getting ready for a finale and this book may prove to be a satisfying end. A number of the various plotlines that have been previously left loose were very neatly tied up in this book and the afterword made it appear that – for now at least – this might be the end of the series while the author focuses on a new series.

Readers who enjoy a strong police procedural – particularly one of Scottish flavour – might find this book and series as an excellent place to spend some time. I felt the plot to be well paced and interesting with a believable bad guy and plenty of action and conflict. I found this book to be a satisfying read and have enjoyed this series so far.

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