Review: In Place of Death by Craig Robertson

Monday, 6 June 2016
Title: In Place of Death
Author: Craig Robertson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 10th September 2015
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A young man enters the culverted remains of an ancient Glasgow stream, looking for thrills. Deep below the city, it is decaying and claustrophobic and gets more so with every step. As the ceiling lowers to no more than a couple of feet above the ground, the man finds his path blocked by another person. Someone with his throat cut.

As DS Rachel Narey leads the official investigation, photographer Tony Winter follows a lead of his own, through the shadowy world of urbexers, people who pursue a dangerous and illegal hobby, a world that Winter knows more about than he lets on. And it soon becomes clear that the murderer has killed before, and has no qualms about doing so again.

The past few months have been crazy for me and so I was annoyed to find my review for In Place of Death sitting in my drafts, half written. So, I'm pleased to finally be sharing my review for this book. I am a huge fan of Craig Robertson's novels, but I do have a soft spot for those that have featured crime scene photographer Tony Winter and detective Rachel Narey. Picking up this book was like meeting up with old friends again. Tony is such a brilliant character and I think that it's his outlook on life, his attitude and just his general demeanour that I like about him the most. I think that's because he reminds me of myself at times.

In Place of Death has such a fantastic story, and it was probably my favourite of Craig's so far. It also led to me carrying out some research of my own, not only about the city of Glasgow but also my own city of Liverpool. That research was looking at urbexers, I did know that people liked to explore abandoned buildings but didn't know it was called this. In fact as a child from a fairly rough area I'm not unfamiliar with checking out abandoned buildings myself, though nothing on the scale of what's featured in this book. I am part of a group on Facebook that posts photos of Liverpool and recently there was a set where a group of urbexers climbed up the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral which, whilst obviously extremely dangerous and illegal, the pictures were fantastic! It's easy to see why people are drawn to urbexing and Craig has chosen some brilliant locations to feature here, it just so happens that people are also being murdered at them. Enter Tony and Rachel.

The plot is always absolutely bang on with Craig's books. Everything flows so expertly that you just read and are carried along on an effortless read that completely absorbs you. I almost care about these characters as if they are real people because they are so well-drawn and so even their personal lives and those moments and scenes away from the case are always enjoyable to read. It shows them as human characters and you feel as though you are on their journey with them and this is why I enjoy reading series crime fiction a lot more than standalones. If you are yet to pick this series up then I definitely recommend starting with Random. In Place of Death was everything that I look for in a crime novel and then some and I can wholeheartedly recommend it for someone looking for an original crime story but with all the hallmarks of a truly thrilling tale. There were plenty of twists and surprises along the way as I have come to expect from the author and I am already looking forward to my next Craig Robertson read.

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