Nothing To Hide by James Oswald #BookReview

The new book in the brilliant Constance Fairchild series, from one of Scotland's foremost crime writers. 



Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain's wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has other ideas . . .
Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.
No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly see the back of her, Con can't shake her innate determination to bring the monsters responsible for this brutality to justice.
Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has everything to lose . . .



I'm delighted to be sharing my review of Nothing to Hide by James Oswald today. Many thanks to the author and Wildfire Books for my advance copy of the novel which I received through NetGalley.

Nothing To Hide is set a year after the events in the first book in the Constance Fairchild series, No Time To Cry and sees Con coming back to London after spending time in the Highlands, trying to hide from the intense media attention. However, her return to her flat quickly turns sour - and not just because of the smell emanating from her fridge. She discovers a severely injured young man who has been left for dead and calls the police - who make it very clear that her role in uncovering a network of corruption within the Met resulting in the death of a couple of officers means her presence isn't welcome. She is surprised that CID are involved at such an early stage and even more confused when Detective Chief Inspector Bain from the National Crime Agency turns up. She soon realises that this is not just a run-of-the-mill street stabbing, particularly after Bain reveals the nature of the boy's injuries and that this isn't the first case of this kind.
I love Con; she refuses to let being officially suspended from duty to stop her from trying to discover who is behind the horrific attacks. This doesn't always endear her to her colleagues, particularly as her privileged upbringing has long made her an outsider in the force. Unfortunately, she is still considered an interesting story by the tabloid press who nickname her "Posh Cop' and take up residence on her doorstep while printing salacious stories about her family life. One of the many things I'm enjoying about this series is that Con is the type of character who is often portrayed rather negatively in some police procedurals. However, although she may have grown up in an affluent household, she has her own family issues to deal with and it's obvious that she grew up desperate for a more loving parental relationship.
I was thrilled to see her wonderful Aunt Felicity back in this book and really enjoyed seeing more of the fabulous Madame Rose, who contributes to the suggestion that there is something otherworldly about certain aspects of the story. I also really like Bain, who for all his bluster is actually in Con's corner. Nothing To Hide introduces some new characters, too - most notably PC Karen-with-a-K Eve and Superintendent Diane Shepherd. I hope that Karen will become Con's friend; she could really use one and I'd be fascinated to see how she would respond to having to be a little less self-reliant and realising that there are people who she can trust. There is almost certainly more to learn about Diane and I'm really looking forward to seeing how her character develops in future books. So many strong, independent and talented women in a series is a real treat and although they are all very different, they are all completely believable in their own ways.
Although the plot clearly signposts who is responsible for the barbaric killings, there are still disturbing and tense moments, especially in the latter part of the novel, and a few surprises as well. The inclusion of topics such as the worrying increase in the usage of the drug, Spice and the vulnerability of young homeless people may mean the story is darkly contemporary but there is good humour throughout too.
Slick pacing, intelligent plotting and excellent scene-setting complement the top-notch characterisation and ensure Nothing To Hide is an engrossing and enjoyable second book in the series with an intriguing ending which has left me desperate to discover what lies in store for Con next. Thoroughly recommended.

Nothing To Hide is published by Wildfire Books, purchasing links can be found here or support independent bookstores by buying through Hive.

About the Author

James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. AS COLD AS THE GRAVE is the ninth book in the Inspector Mclean Series. James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.
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