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Nothing to Hide by James Oswald

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has everything to lose….

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed No Time To Cry by James Oswald, I was delighted to finally get the opportunity to read the second book in this fantastic crime fiction series, Nothing to Hide.

Published by Wildfire, Nothing to Hide sees the return of DC Constance Fairchild. James Oswald, ‘one of Scotland’s foremost crime writers,’ would be familiar to many for his bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. DC Fairchild is another gripping crime fiction series…but with a female lead.

DC Constance Fairchild (Con) is never far from trouble. With the paparazzi on her back following her involvement in a very high profile case, Con had sought refuge in The Highlands for some time. Now, on returning to her London flat, Con makes a very grim discovery. In the waste disposal area of her apartment complex she encounters a young boy, brutally assaulted and tortured, with his tongue cut out and testicles viciously removed. Still alive, this victim is a possible link to something much bigger, something nefarious that is occurring in locations across the UK. With the hallmarks of ritualistic style attacks, in some cases with hearts removed from savagely tortured victims, the Met are faced with an evil and malevolent opponent, one who dances in the shadows and the darkness.

Con has multiple issues to deal with. The trail of devastation behind her and in front of her is incessant with no sign of letting up. Supposedly off-duty, Con finds herself unwittingly caught up in this new case. With the paparazzi still hounding her, Con can find no peace in her own home. At her place of work, many of her colleagues are keeping their distance and passing snide remarks in her wake. Following on from her previous case, members of the police team are under investigation and Con is the scape-goat in her station, as the now additional workload is allocated out to those still in their jobs.

Con’s family are dysfunctional. Coming from wealth, Con had to walk away from her inheritance in order to follow her dream of working for the Met. With her title of Lady Constance Fairchild always hovering in her background, Con is fodder for the journos.

As this new case gains momentum and more victims are discovered, Con finds herself on a journey to Edinburgh in the hope of unearthing more about the victim found near her flat. She remains officially off-duty and works somewhat outside of her legitimate parameters. While in Edinburgh, Con encounters characters who may be familiar to readers of James Oswald’s McLean series. I love how the two series ‘accidentally’ overlap and how James Oswald subtly weaves these characters into each separate plot-line.

Con is frustrated by the restrictions being placed on her. With family issues very prevalent, she is exhausted and demoralised as all sides of her life, both private and professional, seem to be collapsing around her. But Constance Fairchild is determined, resourceful and fearless. She isn’t afraid to take risks, at times putting her own life in serious threat. She is a fighter who believes in searching for justice at all times. She is indefatigable, completely unwavering in her search for the truth.

Nothing to Hide is a terrific addition to the series. It’s very interesting to follow DC Constance Fairchild’s career and to follow her relationship with her family and colleagues.

Nothing to Hide is a solid page-turner that kept me well captivated with a lead protagonist that entertained and continues to intrigue. The supernatural is a recurring theme in some of James Oswald’s books and in Nothing to Hide there is a strong sense of the bizarre with a spine-tingling plot that will horrify and fascinate at the same time.

A highly enjoyable and engaging read!

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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