I have to admit I’m a bit nervous when I start to read a book by an author who’s midway through a series. I either suffer from ‘WTF is happening?’ syndrome’; there are big reveals from previous novels rendering them redundant; OR they’re really crap (which is why I haven’t stumbled across the author previously) and I haven’t missed out on anything.
I hadn’t read any of Barbara Fradkin’s novels before and hadn’t even heard of the Canadian with more than a dozen novels under her belt. So it was with some trepidation I opened her latest Inspector Green novel, None So Blind.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I’m about to hunt down some old Inspector Green novels.
None So Blind had everything good crime fiction should offer: a cast of characters with believable and robust backstories; several plot twists and turns to keep us on our feet; and a lead character and supporting cast we come to care about.
Inspector Michael Green has a particular interest in the fate of inmate James Rosten who’s up for parole. As a ‘green’ detective (hee hee), Green was one of those responsible for putting Rosten behind bars, despite the accused’s protestations of innocence which continued over ensuing years.
Finally ‘accepting’ his role without admitting guilt Rosten is now out on parole and Green again finds himself dealing with the family of Rosten’s victim – a pretty student, Jackie Carmichael – with whom it’s believed he was having an affair.
When Rosten is found dead under suspicious circumstances however and it’s obvious he hasn’t given up on his quest to find Jackie’s real killer and clear his name; Green realises it’s time to reopen the original case. With many of the key protagonists still around Green needs to work out if he’s got more than one killer on the loose or if he was wrong all of those years ago.
Fradkin’s None So Blind is due out in late September 2014 via Dundurn.