I missed the first book in this series (Never Never) but have adored both Fifty Fifty (2017) and Liar Liar (2018). In those reviews I comment on what I think is Candice Fox’s influence or role in the creation of the lead character as I really (really) like Harriet Blue, our enigmatic but troubled lead.
Fox excels in creating amazingly complex (not to mention annoying but likeable) characters and has done the same in her Crimson Lake and Eden Archer series. Of course the short chapters and pace of the novel reflect the style for which James Patterson is known.
by James Patterson, Candice Fox
Series: Detective Harriet Blue #4
Published by Century Australia
on May 7th 2019
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction
Harriet Blue used to be a detective. Now she’s inmate 3329.
Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop – as Harriet is learning on a daily basis.
So, following a fight for her life and a prison-wide lockdown, the last person she wants to see is Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Woods. The man who put her inside.
But Woods is not there to gloat. His daughter Tonya and her two-year-old child have gone missing.
He’s ready to offer Harriet a deal: find his family to buy her freedom …
Harriet was in quite the predicament when we finished up in Liar Liar. She was – in true ‘Harry’ style – very zen about her impending life in prison, so I wasn’t surprised to have this book open with her prepping to get ‘jumped’ by other inmates – something that seems to happen with some regularity.
Things take a bit of a turn here though and there are again two cases for Harriet and her colleagues to pursue. And I must say I LOVE that Fox and Patterson felt no compunction to have them merge in any way… as it irks me when two seemingly disparate cases ultimately (and coincidentally) connect via some tenuous link.
I didn’t entirely remember Deputy Police Commissioner Woods however the disappearance of his daughter (or more importantly his granddaughter) and lack of progress from his officers force him to approach Harriet and her former partners, (currently suspended / on leave) Detectives Edward Whittacker (Whitt) and Tox Barnes.
I suspect it would be nowhere as easy in real life, but Woods promises to quash and reduce some of Harriet’s charges and have her released early (ie. now) if she unleashes her ‘no-holds-barred’ investigative approach on his daughter’s case. Of course we know – though her boss doesn’t – that she’s got another case she’s pursuing as well after a likeable prison doctor is killed and Harriet’s drugged-up and ditzy cellmate is suspected of the murder.
In my last reviews I’ve been keen for more backstory on Tox (as I’d seen him as a potential love interest for Harriet) and here Fox and Patterson deliver that backstory and, in many ways, Tox leads the charge in the missing persons’ investigation, doing a lot of the dirty (behind the scenes) work and calling on his many dodgy contacts.
The wrap-up of that case is a tad hard to predict if you’re not paying attention. It’s a little left field but there’s an element introduced briefly which offers a hint. Of course Fox and Patterson offer up many red herrings and it’s action-packed as the police aren’t the only ones after Woods’ daughter.
And then there’s the case involving Harriet’s cellmate which she pursues with her old boss, now retired friend and father figure.
In both cases the detectives are, very literally battling, against time and the book’s paced in a way that will keep you turning page after page.
I’m really enjoying this series. I think the characters are its strength and Fox and Patterson are slowly introducing a few new players to add some extra texture and variety. The challenge of course, will be keeping Harriet (et al) and we readers on our toes with more juicy crimes to solve.
Hush Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox will be published in Australia by Penguin Random House (Century) and available from 7 May 2019.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.