Untouchable (2016) by Robert Innes

Harrison Baxter is being abused by his boyfriend Daniel – it’s been almost a way of life for the past two years – but he decides enough is enough and ends the relationship. Daniel arrives in a rage at Harrison’s parents’ farm but is overpowered and locked in the shed, a shed surrounded by security cameras. And then a shot rings out – Daniel lies dead, shot three times. But nobody approached the shed.

Meanwhile DS Blake Harte has joined the local police force, having left Manchester following an acrimonious break-up. A talented, if at times unconventional, officer, he finds that he has to bond with his new team quickly if he is to find a murderer who can apparently walk through walls.

JJ, over at The Invisible Event, has said a lot of good things about the Blake Harte series, so I thought I’d check it out. The fact that the author has, at time of writing, kindly reduced the first six ebooks in the series to… well, nothing, had nothing to do with it. So if you are stuck at home due to Covid-19 – and if you’re not a key worker, then you bloody well should be – why not give this series a go?

Because this is a great little read – it’s a long novella, by the way – with one massive caveat. The characters are strong and interesting to read about, with some of the relationships catching you out as to the way they progress. This extends to the suspects (who, to be honest, there aren’t many of) and the motivations which form a nicely complex web. There’s plenty here to make me come back for more…

… but for the locked room? Meh. It is absolute nonsense and how the hell Harte deduces it based on one tiny fact? It’s on a par with “he’s got no ****” from a certain “classic” John Dickson Carr book that I have issue with.

But it’s a fun read and as I said, plenty to bring me back for more. More to come soon…

 

3 comments

  1. I took advantage of that amazing offer too and your review makes me all the more interested to read these soon. Thanks for a bit of added inspiration!

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  2. The solution to the locked room might be silly, but it’s the fun and entertaining kind of silly, at least for me. Which about sums up my thoughts on the soluton you’re comparing it to.

    Also, thanks for this; I missed the author’s own post about making the first six books free and I probably wouldn’t have found out about this without you mentioning it here.

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  3. Heeey, glad to see some more coverage for Rob and Blake — the series gets much stronger very quickly, so I’m delighted to see you’re intrigued to read further. And I’m with DWaM on this: yeah, the solution here is bonkers, and so incredibly hard to clue and even see coming about, but it shows the sort of creativity I like.

    And, to help whet your appetite, I’m almost certain that one of the later solutions in this series is original…

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