Dead Wrong – Helen H Durrant

Title: Dead Wrong
AuthorHelen H. Durrant
Published byJoffe Books
Publication date: 3rd July 2015
Genre:
Crime/Thriller
Pages: 206
Format: Paperback
Source: Private Collection

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Blurb/Synopsis

First a shooting, then a grisly discovery on the common . . .

Police partners, D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to track down a killer before the whole area erupts in violence. Their boss thinks it’s all down to drug lord Ray Fallon, but Calladine’s instincts say something far nastier is happening on the Hobfield housing estate.

Can this duo track down the murderer before anyone else dies and before the press publicize the gruesome crimes? Detectives Calladine and Bayliss are led on a trail which gets dangerously close to home. In a thrilling finale they race against time to rescue someone very close to Calladine’s heart.

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

After picking up Dead Sorry via NetGalley a few weeks ago, I felt the urge to go back to the beginning of the series and start reading about D.I. Calladine and D.S. Bayliss from the start of their journey. I am so pleased that I did.


Dead Wrong is the first in the ‘Dead’ series by Helen H Durrant and introduces us to the key characters of the series; Detective Inspector Tom Calladine and Detective Sergeant Ruth Bayliss. You’d think being the first in the series, you’d be eased gently into the world they live in; Leesworth, a fictional town in the Greater Manchester Area and the dreaded Hobfield Estate. Not so! Dead Wrong follows an absolutely, graphically brutal murder investigation and the trials that life working on such a rough estate produces.

What I marvelled about in Dead Sorry was the amount of twists and turned that particular book took the reader on. While, I appreciate that this is a crime-detective book, I did feel that the main plot felt a little more linear than the later offering in the series; I guessed the culprit rather early on, but rather than let this put me off the story, I actually enjoyed the journey all the more. Figuring out their motives as the story progressed and who they were exactly kept me guessing enough to keep the overall mystery enjoyable.

Going back to the beginning also gave me a much better enjoyment of the main characters, Calladine and Bayliss. As with Dead Sorry, I thoroughly enjoyed their working relationship and the complications in their personal lives; how they worked together both professionally and casually. I am eager to read more about them both and how their lives and careers grow throughout the series.

Although I had some hang-ups about the plot, I did enjoy the setting. A part of this is personal bias as I live in the Greater Manchester area and some of the places written about in the book could easily be places I have driven past or visited. The scenery is well described without being overly bloated. The Hobsworth Estate; which is also written about in Dead Sorry, was vivid and had a gritty reality to it that can be very easily imagined. The characters that live on the estate feel visceral to the reader. They convey the personality of the area in which they live as much as the descriptions do and, while they probably aren’t people I’d like to meet in person, they are fantastic to read about and I applaud author, Helen H Durrant, for her ability to write such fascinating people.

There is an element of repetition to the book; part way through the middle of the story the Detectives are waiting for a break in the case. This does become a little stale and slows the story right down. Various avenues are explored with no real reason or results and there ends up being a fair amount of ‘thumb twiddling’ before the story picks up again and everything is then wrapped up rather rapidly.

Dead Wrong is graphically violent; I dare say that the scenes of depravity are some of Helen H Durrant’s better examples or writing – I’ve been into horror and fictional-violence for as long as I can remember and it takes a lot to make my stomach crawl; but the writing of these scenes in Dead Wrong certainly achieved that wondrous feat! Of course, this does mean that the vivid descriptions fo violence and gore may be far too much for some readers, but personally, I revelled in it!

I took particular intrigue from the relationship between Tom Calladine and Ray Fallon, the Hobfield Estates Crime Lord. I found the connection between them rather ingenius and certainly a unique aspect to the story, the same can’t be said for all characters and their relationships, such as the cliche ridden DCI Boss and Tom Calladines over emphasis on his instinct to solve his cases.

As a quick read, Dead Wrong is a great book. It’s an easy to enjoy crime-mystery with enough twist in the over-arching plot to keep the reader interested.

Due to the fact I’ve read Dead Sorry, I would very much like to continue to read this series and figure out how the characters get from their starting point in Dead Wrong and ended up where they do further down the line.

Summary

A very strong start to the ‘Dead’ series. Some extremely graphic depictions of violence that are expertly written. Intriguing characters that I am looking forward to seeing grow as the series progresses. Although the plot can be figured out early on, the journey and final twist is enough to keep the reader engaged.