It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Burning Question by Linda Regan.
About the Author
Linda Regan is the prolific writer of eight crime novels, as well as a celebrated actress of stage and screen. After winning a worldwide writing competition with her novel Behind You! (2006), Linda published seven more novels, including Passion Killers (2007) which was selected as a Sunday Observer pick of the year. Since then, she has written the immensely popular DI Johnson series (2015) and the DCI Banham series (2019).
In addition to her writing, Linda is a much-loved actress, known for her recurring role in the hit BBC sitcom Hi-De-Hi, and guest appearances in popular shows The Bill, Birds of a Feather, Doctors, and Holby City. Before joining the cast of Hi-De-Hi, Linda started out in a comedy dance troupe in her youth before going on to a lead role in the West End production of Tom Stoppard’s Dirty Linen. Playing such vivid and iconic characters throughout her career, has helped Linda to develop character focused stories that bring a uniquely immersive filmic quality to the page.
In addition to her acting, Linda uses her personal experiences to write her signature brand of “strong crime”. All of Linda’s novels are set in South London, where Linda writes with meticulous knowledge of the landscape where she grew up and currently lives with her husband, actor Brian Murphy. Follow @Linda_Regan on Twitter
About the book
DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger are back. This time they’re investigating the tragic death of a young woman, burnt in her home. When another identical arson attack is reported, Grainger and Banham are on the hunt for a link, unaware that the new trainee DC, Hannah Kemp, already knows the connection. She also knows that if she comes forward with the information, her own past will come to light, and she’ll potentially lose her job. But, if she doesn’t, more women will lose their lives.
Hannah knows who they are, and she knows their attacker will stop at nothing to keep his ring of illegal prostitutes earning. Once he realises Hannah is now a police detective, she, too, will be in mortal danger.
As the clock ticks against her own life, she must decide whether to stay quiet for the sake of her career, or risk everything she’s worked for to stop a ruthless killer once and for all.
It’s a mid-series book, however it is absolutely readable as a standalone novel. DCI Paul Banham and DI Alison Grainger are investigating a fatal arson attack with multiple victims. It soon becomes evident that there was an intended victim and some collateral damage. Unfortunately the victim has a link to someone in the team, one she wants to keep buried for very good reasons.
It’s a balance between police procedural and cosy crime, the focus and the soft layer gives it a more comfortable feel. Despite the subject matter, which is a bit seedy and dark at times, it doesn’t have a brutal hardcore crime vibe. Nothing wrong with that, the author definitely puts an emphasis on the interpersonal scenes and situations.
Perhaps sometimes to the point of making the police procedural side less convincing, because the interpersonal relationships and interactions take precedence over procedure. Again, this is merely a matter of what kind of crime read you are looking for.
The author definitely likes to muddy the waters when it comes to the rule of law and the areas in between black and white, but perhaps the whole intention is to present a set of flawed characters, because the reality is even the people upholding the law are just mere humans.