On the Bookshelf...

Devils Chimney

Adam Lyndon

On a wild and stormy night on England’s south coast, ambitious young police constables Rutherford Barnes and Harriet Holden are doing the rounds when they see a burglar fleeing the scene of the crime. And it’s Harriet’s house. The ground floor is ransacked. Scrawled in red across one wall are the words: DEAD COPS SLEEP LONG. Then a few days later, Harriet’s battered body is discovered in a shabby seafront hotel. Newly promoted to Detective, Barnes vows to discover who killed his partner, and why. Harriet had a dark secret. As Barnes uncovers a layer of corruption which threatens to expose people at the highest levels of the force, he has a terrible choice to make: justice for Harriet — or his career.

The first in the Rutherford Barnes series is Devils Chimney. A police procedural set in sunny Eastbourne, it portrays a world far different from the seaside town appears. Dark and gritty is the way I'd describe this book. There's nothing cozy about the world that Barnes inhabits. It's dark and soulless. Adam Lyndon should be commended for his style of writing.

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book from the 99p section of the Kindle store. Devils Chimney nearly didn't make it to my read pile, yet I'm glad it did. This isn't any fluff cheap read, the writing and characterisation is top notch. Set in an Eastbourne that is both recognisable by the its landmarks, and unreal due to it stroking the thick underbelly of society, Adam Lyndon has come up with a detective for the 21st century.

There's a brutal streak in this book that's very similar to Peter James. Devils Chimney is a great introduction the rising star that is Rutherford Barnes. A detective who has many flaws, makes mistakes with the best of them, yet manages to solve the vicious crimes in Eastbourne. To be fair the pointers are all there to the mastermind behind the crimes, but it doesn't detract from the overall story.

Adam Lyndon is worthy addition to the regional police procedurals. A name that may just end up in the dizzy heights that Peter James has attained. A five tower read.

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Review by
AJ Steel
June 13, 2023

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