Burning Ambition by Barry Faulkner

16th July 2019      4 stars.

My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed my first outing with Detective Chief Superintendent Palmer as his team piece together a baffling crime puzzle. While I haven’t read the first six books in the series, in no way did it spoil my understanding or enjoyment.

At the heart of the story is a direct, no-nonsense style that’s easy going and addictive, giving pace without sacrificing quality or content. I was drawn straight into a story filled with well-drawn and believable characters on both sides of the law. These elements gave the story realism and authenticity, which can be lacking in many police procedural crime novels.

Though a quick read, the story doesn’t skimp on suspense, tension or thrills, though I would have preferred a little more details about the characters. The action scenes are well-handled and though I anticipated the final twists, they still delivered.

If you like entertaining crime fiction without frills and artifice, I would recommend this series. I’m certainly going to read more of the books.


What is behind the murder of three prisoners in a security van on their way from court to jail? How did one of the prisoners get substituted on the way and why is a family of one of them wiped out? What did they know that had to be kept secret?

DCS Palmer and the team find a wall of silence and a major crime family intent on one last major heist that would eclipse all others. An old adversary from Palmer’s early days in CID shows his hand and bit by bit the team piece together the clues. Then just when it seems all over and ready to file in the ‘solved’ drawer Palmer finds something that blows it all open again leading to the major end twist.

As usual with Palmer, his wife and nemesis neighbour Benji both have an input to the proceedings.

Burning Ambition by Barry Faulkner

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