13th May 2020. 3 stars.
After finishing a novel, I like to wait a few days before writing a review. It can be a couple of days, or a couple of weeks if I’m not sure what to say about the book. This in one of the latter.
Overall, I enjoyed Murder on the Oxford Canal. It had some interesting characters and the story had enough suspense and pace to keep me reading to the end. Essentially, it’s a routine police procedural that starts with what could be an accident in the canal, but turns out to be murder. The victim works for a drugs baron who always remains one step ahead of the law.
Time to call in Hillary Greene, who has a few problems of her own. Her dead husband, also a police officer, was on the make and died, leaving a fortune tucked away somewhere. Internal affairs are investigating her, the rumour mill is at work, and she’s been kept off major cases as a result. Mixed in with this are the usual petty battles between officers looking for promotion and the need to work and share resources with Vice to solve the crime.
With all the ingredients and conflicts established, I looked forward to an interesting and twisting story. Unfortunately, the suspense and tension were diluted by too many petty jealousies and hostilities, too much detail about the love lives of officers and Hillary’s tendency to bend the rules to score points. She was also vain and sexually obsessed, thinking several of her colleagues were attracted to her. None of these qualities endeared her to me or explained why men found her attractive or such a good detective.
The climax was also a little pedestrian, but the final twist was terrific and easily the best bit of the story.
As it can take time for characters to develop, I’m going to read the second book in the series, which I have on my Kindle. I know plenty of readers enjoy the series from the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so I’m happy to give the author another try.
Not only has she lost her husband, but his actions have put her under investigation for corruption.
Then a bashed and broken body is found floating in the Oxford Canal. It looks like the victim fell off a boat, but Hillary is not so sure. Her investigation exposes a dark background to the death.
Can Hillary clear her name and get to the bottom of a fiendish conspiracy on the water?