Amanda Coetzee fan. Having worked with her, read her first sensational crime novel, Bad Blood, in manuscript form (straight from the slush pile).
Perhaps it's her dark hero, Harry 'Badger' O'Connor that has me tripping like a blushing school girl. I mean who wouldn't love a strong, fighter, covered in tattoos with a lilting Irish accent to keep you warm at night?
Amanda now brings her amazing fourth novel, One Shot. In this fast-paced stellar crime novel, Badger is pitted against an ex-British Force sniper, Tom. When a body turns up face down, the Bedford Police suspect it's gang related. Badger is thrown into his brooding-action-suave, that he does so well, to try find the killer. It isn't that simple, of course, because as the gangs start to unravel and panic at being ratted out, they send a rather gruesome message. It's this kill that sends Badger and his team into 'solve-crime' overload.
So how is Tom, the sniper involved? And each victim seems to be part of a bigger scheme of killing for good... Oh, I'll leave that up to you to find out.
The plot seems incredibly complicated, but Coetzee pulls it off with such ease and carried off by strong character relationships - hello, Adam and Sofia. It's the Ma de Quincey character that I have always loved - her strong presence on the page she emits is credit to Amanda's talent, and is loosely drawn from Amanda's childhood. With the skill of a killer herself, Coetzee draws the reader in with her ability to harness relationships between her characters while throwing them rather sadistically into hot water - I know Amanda, and a sweeter lady you'll never find, a proverbial shock to the system.
It's a fast-paced, lusciously enigmatic, strong description and hellishly-gruesome crimes. A great read for crime lovers looking for that tour-de-force required reading for a lazy reading weekend.