No Going Back by Robert Crouch #BookReview #BlogTour

 

What you don’t do will torment you.

When journalist Harry Lawson is pulled from a private swimming pool, his drowning looks like a tragic accident, but for one small detail – he knew someone was going to kill him.

The three text messages he fired off to an old flame the night before confirm he’s a troubled man. But former friend and sleuth, Kent Fisher, believes the messages hint at something deeper and more sinister – an investigation that cost Harry his life.

When a second reporter dies, it’s clear there’s a killer with unfinished business. As Kent inches towards a breakthrough he clashes with close friend Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman. She instructs him to stop investigating, knowing full well he won’t.

For Kent there’s no going back. He has to finish what he started, even though he risks losing a friend, and maybe his own life.

In the seventh murder mystery of the series, Kent Fisher digs deep to complete an investigation that’s far removed from the one he started.

I'm delighted to be hosting the  book launch blog tour for No Going Back today. Many thanks to Robert Crouch for inviting me and for sending me an advance digital copy of the novel.

One of my favourite things about being a book blogger is discovering self-published writers I might otherwise have missed and then recommending them to other readers. Robert Crouch is just such an author and having read all his previous Kent Fisher novels, I believe No Going Back may be the best to date.
It opens with an immediate death as Kent discovers his former friend and fellow activist, Harry Fisher drowned in a private swimming pool in what looks like a tragic, alcohol-fuelled accident. Of course, things are never that straightforward in Kent's life and as he questions exactly how Harry found himself behind the high wall of the pool, he begins to suspect somebody else had a hand in Harry's death. His history with the victim isn't the only link he has with this case and as his investigation slowly progresses, he is given cause to wonder who he can really trust. 
Although No Going Back can be read as a standalone, there is a connection of sorts to previous cases,  and while it is explained here, I would recommend reading the series in order to really appreciate the ongoing plot development. That's particularly true of the recurring characters, many of whom have become involved in his investigations, one way or another. It becomes evident during the course of this novel that Kent and his friends - most notably DI Ashley Goodman - are still struggling to come to terms with their recent brushes with death and devastating loss. Kent himself doesn't always have the self-awareness to realise how much he has been affected by what he's experienced but others notice and I wonder if this is something that will be further explored as the series continues.
This felt like a  slightly darker story than the earlier books and though it's still a puzzling whodunnit rather than a gory thriller, I don't think it would be accurate to describe it as cosy crime either. Kent is in a more pensive mood as he confronts his guilt about the toll his amateur sleuthing has inflicted on others in both his personal and professional life.  His work in environmental health has always been a highlight of this series for me, with the frustrating bureaucracy he encounters in the council offices written about with authentic knowledge. However, although he is obviously pleased to have stepped away from management and back visiting premises, it's clear that trying to divide his time between his job, his rescue sanctuary and his sleuthing may eventually prove too much to manage. 
His relationship with the women in his life has always been rather messy and he still seems to be unsure as to what - or who - he really wants. He spends much of the novel with his old flame, Gemma whom I freely admit hasn't been a favourite character of mine so far. However, she seems to be more likeable this time around and I may finally be casting my reservations about her aside. One relationship that never seems to cause Kent any problems is that which he shares with his rescue Westie, Columbo and the furry scene stealer is as loveable as ever here.
Meanwhile, the rising body count means this mystery keeps him guessing and each red herring or shocking revelation ensured I was as perplexed as he is. No Going Back is a cleverly plotted, intriguing book which kept me riveted from first page to last and although this case is concluded, I loved the cliffhanger ending that promises more trouble ahead. I'm more eager than ever to read the next story in this reliably engaging series and continue to heartily recommend it.  

No Going Back was published on 18th May 2021 and can be purchased from Amazon UK where it is also available on Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon US.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.
Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.
Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.

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