Bodily Harm by Charlie Gallagher
31st October 2021.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and what a read. While it’s a police procedural, it’s more of a thriller, set against a background of drug fuelled crime that has become impossible to control.
Enter DS George Elms, who has his own issues to deal with at home. An experienced officer, respected by colleagues and many in the community, he does his best to track down and put away the criminals who operate on a notorious estate, nicknamed Effingell. But when a teenage lad and girl are viciously attacked on a bus, media attention forces the top tiers of the police to take action.
The local commander sanctions an undercover team to infiltrate the drug gangs and restore law and order on the estate. It’s not long before someone confesses to the attack on the teenagers. George isn’t convinced and starts making his own enquiries. Not only does it bring him into conflict with his superiors, it puts him in the firing line as the undercover team move in an unexpected direction.
Filled with strong and believable characters, Bodily Harm demonstrates what can go wrong when desperate men take desperate measures. These measures contrast the more measured methods that rely on experience, local knowledge and dogged police work.
There are touching moments too, as George reveals the human side of the police when he deals with the victims of drug use. But even he has his limits, especially when certain lines are crossed. With humour and banter, a lovable chief constable and some authentic action, this story will keep you turning the pages and holding your breath as the climax unfolds.
An edge-of-your-seat crime thriller starts with a vicious stabbing of a pretty teenage girl and her boyfriend on a local bus. She happens to be the mayor’s niece. It’s the final straw for the community. The police are desperate to get results and decide on a risky course of action involving undercover infiltration of the notorious Effingell Estate.
Detective George Elms knows this hellish place extremely well, and his sharp investigative mind is put to work to solve the crime. The police are under immense media pressure and conveniently a local lowlife confesses to the attack. But George is not convinced. There are many layers of criminal and police motivation, and few people are what they seem.
Authentic, fast-paced, and with a touch of black humour, you won’t want to put down BODILY HARM till the nail-biting conclusion.
Who can you trust? And when his family is put at risk will DS George Elms go beyond the law?