The Camden Murder is the latest in the Blitz Detective series from Mike Hollow that follow DI John Jago and his assistant DC Cradock. In The Camden Murder, Les Latham is found dead in a burning car, and it’s almost instantly clear that he was killed before the car was set ablaze. Jago and Cradock are on the case and find that Les had a lot of secrets and a lot of people had motive to kill him.
I picked this book out purely because of the cover. I’ve not read any of entries to the series and I’ve never come across them before. Sometimes a good cover is all it takes to get my attention and I’m so glad that this one did. I was completely gripped to the story. It wastes no time getting to the mystery and introducing the main characters.
I had absolutely no idea who the killer was for most of the story, although I had some theories. It’s a really gripping mystery and I flew through the pages, reading over 200 pages in sitting when I started the book. It’s set during the second World War, and there’s some nice scene setting and context building throughout the story. It felt a little like a history book in places. It’s not intrusive to the story at all and is a really nice touch.
While the book is part of a series, it can be read completely on its own. At no point did I feel like I was confused or that I didn’t know the characters. I think that’s mostly because the focus is on the case rather than characters. When I found out there were more books I was happy to know there’s more to read. Mike Hollow’s writing style is so easy to read and I will definitely be checking out more.
On the downside some of the dialogue is weak and unnatural. Some characters speak in pure exposition just to explain how ration books work or the real estate market during the war. It’s not the biggest issue, but it’s quite obvious. It also makes the characters come across a little thin, especially the side characters.
Overall The Camden Murder is a very enjoyable light read. It’s very fast paced and easy to get into. Perfect for a night time read before bed.