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The Trawlerman by William Shaw - Review

Monday, January 17, 2022


I previously read Deadland by William Shaw and really enjoyed it, so I got the other books in the Alex Cupidi series on my Kindle and started one between Christmas and New Year because it was easy reading and I needed that after Christmas. This is the fourth book in the series, which I didn't realise, but like most detective series it can be read as a standalone. I really will try to read the others in order, though. 

In this book, Alex is signed off with stress from work due to stuff which has happened in the previous books. She is suffering from PTSD and high anxiety; her fight or flight reflex is extremely heightened. She is having therapy. She lives in South Kent on the beach with her daughter Zoe. Next door lives Bill, an ex police officer who Alex was instrumental in getting convicted in I think the first book in the series. He's out of prison and the two have an uneasy truce, mostly because of Zoe's relationship with Bill and the birdwatching they do together. 

Alex is on the pier one day when she sees two brides getting married and coming for some food on the pier. She starts to feel funny and realises that a nearby lady has a knife. She stops the woman from attacking anyone, and she is arrested by Alex's colleague and close friend Jill. In the car on the way to the station, the woman alleges that one of the brides, Tina, killed her son Frank. 

Frank Hogben went missing eight years ago, when he went out on a trawler and presumably went over the edge of the boat and was lost at sea. But Tina was already seeing her new wife at the time, and Frank's mother is convinced that the two of them had something to do with Frank's death. Alex does some investigating into Frank's death and the trawler involved. 

Meanwhile, Jill and another colleague have been attending two murders which have happened in the vicinity. Husband and wife, Aylmer and Mary Younis, have been found brutally murdered in their home. The couple have a lot of money, and also have a disabled son who requires round the clock care. There are no prints in the house and investigations draw a blank - but someone tells Alex that on the night of the murder, he thinks he saw their souls leave the house. It may sound bonkers, but Alex does some investigating there, too.

She ends up solving two crimes while she is on sick leave, which her DCI isn't impressed with, but that's Alex for you! I like her as a DS, she's easy to like and so is Zoe. I wish the two of them would get on better and open up to each other, but maybe that's for the next book in the series...

I'm giving this four out of five and I'll look forward to the next! 

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