A Matter Of Blood by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The world economy has tanked, police take protection money in lieu of raises/bonuses, the NHS is available only to the few, but crime? That hasn't changed. Cass Jones is a detective in the Rebus mold - flawed (cocaine habit, committed murder in the line of undercover duty), not loved by his superiors but they can't get rid of him because he's Just.That.Good., marriage in trouble, etc.. And there are two major cases that he's involved with, the accidental shooting of two boys that has the press in an uproar, and a serial killer to manages to lay maggot eggs precisely (virtually impossible to do) and scrawls "Nothing is Sacred" on his victims in blood.
As Cass tries to figure out who the serial killer is, and get up to speed on the shooting, he gets the news that his younger brother has killed his wife and son before committing suicide. Or has he? Evidence emerges that Cass may have been the killer and of course he's given "compassionate leave" while they figure out what his role may have been. Like all his predecessors in this sort of mystery, Cass reaches out to his few friends in the force and PIs and continues investigating all three cases while supposedly off work. And then there's a call from a Mr. Bright, somehow involved with The Bank, who wanted him on the case and points him in the direction of Mr. Solomon, the serial killer and an old associate of Bright's.
It's the Bright/Solomon connection, along with some mysterious Glow, that adds the supernatural touch to this book. It's not completely explained, and some of what is is rushed. Because Bright is cast as the deus ex machina in all three cases, the way in which they're solved is not as satisfying as it could have been. Still, I'm looking forward to the next installment to see what Ms. Pinborough comes up with.
ARC provided by publisher.