Fair Game by David J. Gatward

Fair Game by David J. Gatward
Publisher: Weirdstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Trouble in the Dales. A brutal gang of poachers. When one of the unsavories is killed, can a DCI stop a river of revenge from overflowing with blood?

Detective Harry Grimm is reaching another milestone in the Dales. As he completes the purchase of his new house, his plans for moving in are disrupted when a trespasser falls into a grisly calculated trap and bleeds out.

Tracking back to a recent violent confrontation in a local pub, Grimm and his team assemble a long list of suspects. But when a principal lead disappears in a potentially murderous payback, he fears it’s the start of an all-out slaughter across his idyllic countryside.

Can he halt a killer stalking human prey before the butchery destroys his beloved land?

DCI Harry Grimm is on the brink of making his biggest commitment yet to the Dales – signing on to purchase his own home. But life in the Dales continues along as normal, only this time some particularly grisly trouble is brewing. A small band of local poachers are roaming the area and many of the locals are taking matters into their own hands – and this ends up when a grisly trap turns deadly, and a man is left alone to bleed out in the dark night. Can Harry and his team figure everything out before more bodies are left behind in this idyllic small community?

I’ve been really enjoying the Grimm series and have found these last few books in particular to be strongly written and quite thick – with intriguing plots and numerous subplots all woven together to form a really engrossing and well layered story. Harry and his team are quite well meshed now, working well together and with solid relationships that are beginning to run really deep.

While I feel this extra depth and history between the characters would make it harder for a reader to pick this book (eleventh in the series) up by itself, I feel the story itself can stand well alone. It would be all the smaller interactions and deeper connection between the characters and their shared history that the reader would miss out on. The story itself – particularly this plotline – is very well encapsulated in this book and stands just fine by itself.

That said half the fun for me personally is seeing Harry and his team mesh and work together, and particularly Harry and his brother and how well their relationship has progressed and grown. All that is a real pleasure to read, and I feel adds a lot to the story. I feel the murder mystery is very well plotted and deep enough to keep me guessing – it’s a slower style police procedural plot but I feel the author really did an excellent job adding enough sub plots and false starts that it should keep even veteran mystery readers on their toes.

A great book with a number of linking plots and some exceptional small-town characters – this is a great British murder mystery and an excellent book I thoroughly enjoyed.

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