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Hackney Central by Michael K Foster - Blog Tour

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Hello! Welcome to my blog for my stop on the tour for Hackney Central by Michael K Foster. If you've never been here before please do click around to read more of my reviews!

Here's the description of the book: 

Gripped by gang wars, London’s East End is plunged into an endless reign of terror. . .
Walk these streets at your peril!
When newly appointed Detective Sergeant Jack Mason steps through the doors of Hackney Central Police Station, he is tasked with his biggest nightmare. A pensioner lies dead, his flat has been ransacked, and no one is willing to talk.
But why pick on a vulnerable old man?
No stranger to London’s East End, Mason is under no illusion that the chance of finding the killer is slim. Gripped by notorious drug gangs, knife crime runs rife, and nowhere appears safe.
With time rapidly running out, it soon becomes clear that he’s dealing with a version of justice terrifyingly different to his own. . .
You’ll be hooked from the start by this gripping crime thriller. There’s tension, suspense, and a plot full of twists and turns. Why not find out more about Jack Mason’s early career, and order your copy today.

And here's the author bio:

Michael K Foster has been writing crime thriller novels since 2006, all of them based in and around the North East of England. His bestselling debut novel, ‘The Wharf Butcher’, was released in 2015 and offers a unique insight into this rugged landscape. He has now written six full-length novels featuring the hard-hitting DCI Jack Mason and local criminal profiler David Carlisle. His latest book in the series, ‘Hackney Central', is scheduled for release on 23rd April 2020.
Michael was born in Plymouth, England. After ten years’ service in the British Army, he moved to Newcastle where he gained an MBA degree from Sunderland University. A former Magistrate, he now writes full time and lives with his wife Pauline in County Durham.

I haven't read any other books by Foster, but I was intrigued by this standalone novella which introduced his main characters Jack Mason and David Carlisle. I liked the premise of the East End setting and it does stand up in the book - it's full of estates, petty crime, hardened criminals. 

The book starts when an elderly man has been beaten up and left for dead in his flat on the tenth floor of a high rise block. Some of his posessions have been taken, including a gold watch, but it doesn't look like mere burglary. The attack seems professional and pre-planned - the attacker wore gloves and left very little trace of himself. 

Mason becomes sure that if they can find the watch, they'll find who attacked the elderly man. But on the estate, no one's talking. Two different young men control the north side and the south side respectively, and they even come together to try to keep the police out of their business. 

Mason also has a baby on the way, so his mind is kind of elsewhere for a lot of the book. I liked him, but I didn't find him a 'hard-hitting' detective. Maybe he gets to be that way later in his career, but he just comes across as quite nice and a bit naive in this book. I liked the story, but found some parts written a bit oddly. Some of the speech jarred a bit, too, but in all I thought Jack Mason was an interesting character. 

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