No Mercy by Robert Crouch #BookReview

When justice lets you down, what’s left?
Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?
Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people, or was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?
Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, drinks too much, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?
When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy. With time running out, can Kent identify the killer before the killer gets to him?

It's such a pleasure to be sharing my review of No Mercy today. Many thanks to Robert Crouch for sending me an advance digital copy of the book to read.

No Mercy begins where the fourth book in the Kent Fisher series, No More Lies left off, so ideally I would recommend reading that first. However, although I would advise reading all the previous books in the series to really get to know the characters and their histories, each novel can be read as a standalone and there is always enough back story included to allow new readers to catch up.
It's inevitable that Kent will soon find himself involved in a murder mystery - it's not for nothing that he's become known as the Jessica Fletcher of environmental health. This time his professional reputation is at risk but as his investigations continue, it seems that his life is in danger too. I love the way in which Kent becomes involved in his cases, it's just what I'd expect from a cosy mystery series and with the added attractions of his job as an environmental health officer, his animal sanctuary and gorgeous four-legged sidekick, Columbo, I'm sure it would make a terrific television show. This time, his new girlfriend, Freya is convinced that the apparent suicide of one of her dog grooming clients isn't as straightforward as things might seem.
However, Kent's attention is soon diverted by his work when an irate restaurateur, Samson Capote angrily accuses the council of giving him an incorrect hygiene rating. He goes on a Facebook rant where he suggests that businesses are receiving a shoddy service because Kent is too busy solving murders. One of my favourite aspects of these books are the realistic scenes set within the offices of the district council and the politicking that goes on at a local level - the response to Capote's complaints is just as frustrating as you'd expect. Capote is such a fantastic character; he's arrogant, aggressive and creepy so I really loathed him but he's one of those people who you love to hate!
It's almost a shame when he turns up dead but his brutal murder certainly adds another intriguing strand to the story as Kent becomes both suspect and potential next victim. I really enjoyed the introduction DI Ashley Goodman in No More Lies and I was pleased to see her return here. As always Fisher's private life is an important part of the plot and while I previously had a slight preference for Freya, I must admit that my loyalties are becoming torn but I'd still choose either over his ex, Gemma. Learning more about both their pasts is fascinating and I found it particularly interesting to note the way in which they were revealed. Freya's secret is divulged to Kent without her knowledge whereas Ash opens up to him and it definitely makes wonder what all this means for his future love life...
No Mercy is a satisfyingly puzzling mystery with the humorous dialogue and engaging characterisation I've come to expect from Robert Crouch, and is the best Kent Fisher book yet. With some tricky choices and new challenges ahead of Kent, I'm delighted that the sixth novel is underway.

No Mercy was published on 14th January 2020 and can be purchased from Amazon UK where it is also available on Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon US.

About the Author

In 2016, environmental health officer, Robert Crouch, hung up his probe thermometer and turned to murder. He combined his extensive experience of environmental health with his love of the classic whodunit to create Kent Fisher, a sleuth unique in crime literature. 
During his 39 years as an environmental health officer (EHO), he has worked with and alongside the police on many occasions, investigating fatal workplace accidents, bonfire celebrations that got out of hand and antisocial behaviour. 
EHOs often investigate complex cases, gather evidence, interview suspects and take prosecutions, following the same rules of investigation and evidence as the police. EHOs work closely with businesses and residents on a daily basis in their communities, having extensive networks and contacts. 
This gives an EHO the necessary skills and contacts to investigate a murder, especially one disguised as a workplace accident. 
Robert spent the majority of his environmental health career at Wealden DC. 
 “I used to drive around my district in the South Downs of East Sussex, wondering where I could hide a body,” he says with a wry smile. “I envisaged life and death struggles on the cliff edge at the Seven Sisters, and murder, mystery and secrets lurking within the beautiful villages and their tea rooms.” 
With four murder mysteries already published, and a fifth out in January 2020, Kent Fisher shows no signs of losing his appetite or unique interest in murder. 
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