The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth
Publisher: Canelo Digital Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

DCI Craig Gillard will be pushed to his limits… But will he break?

It seems like a routine disappearance, a case of musician’s stage fright. As a senior detective, Craig Gillard isn’t sure why he’s even involved. Until it turns out the woman’s father is the German Minister of Justice, and the British Home Secretary is on the case too.

But nothing about the case is simple. How does a woman on a train simply vanish? What do you do when a trail runs cold and the pressure is on?

Before long the perpetrator has another target: DCI Gillard himself. What if the detective isn’t just running the case, but is part of it? The victim merely a lure for a bigger fish.

The answer is under the bridge. The chilling setting for the biggest challenge of his life.

DCI Craig Gillard is called in on what appears to be a fairly simple missing persons case. At first he’s surprised to be called in so very early on what apparently is a completely routine situation. Until it turns out the missing woman is the daughter of a very important politician, and as the hours and then days pass this simple, routine case turns out to be anything but easy.

I found this to be a very interesting and complex story. While it is absolutely a police procedural style of mystery/suspense book, I was interested by the refreshingly different plot and a quite complex turn the missing person aspect of the case took. Before I’d reached the half-way mark of the story it was very clear this wasn’t a simple or straightforward plot but a very convoluted and well thought out story. I really enjoyed that rather than having two or three plots running simultaneously the events all unfolded quite neatly, with one aspect of the plot leading to the next and then the next after that. Often, I find it a bit difficult to believe that two or three mysteries/cases just “happen” to all dovetail and neatly intertwine – often that aspect to a story doesn’t feel realistic to me. But in this book while the missing person case is sometimes left on the backburner, the leads and red herrings and different threads the investigation leads to all widen until multiple – and not one – crime is being investigated concurrently. I found this really gripping to read and I was seriously impressed with the author’s handling of such a complex and multi-faceted plot.

I also really enjoyed the main characters. I had no idea when I picked up this book – and indeed didn’t realize until I was well past the mid-point of the book – that this story is in the middle of a series. Much of it can absolutely be read as a standalone, though I expect some of the back story to the secondary characters and police team likely would be given in the previous stories so from that perspective having read others might give the reader a deeper connection with the characters. From a plot perspective though at no time did I feel like I was missing pieces of the puzzle or that I needed more back-story to really understand the story I was reading.

Readers looking for a very complex and interesting plot – a solid mystery where there are many moving parts and is a lot more intense than your usual linear and straight-forward murder mystery, this is an excellent book to give a try to. While it’s a British based police procedural and more mystery than action based, I feel it is a solid and gripping read, and I am definitely planning on going back to the start of the series and reading more from this author.