Book Review – CRACK DOWN by Val McDermid

Crack Down by Val McDermidCrack Down Synopsis

There was only one reason Manchester-based private eye Kate Brannigan was prepared to let her boyfriend help out with the investigation into a car sales fraud – nothing bad could happen. But by now Kate should know that with Richard you have to expect the unexpected. With the unexpected being Richard behind bars, Kate seems to be the obvious choice to look after his eight-year-old son – who proves even more troublesome than his father. Kate finds herself dragged into a world of drug traffickers, child pornographers, fraudsters and violent gangland enforcers… bringing her face to face with death in the most terrifying investigation of her career. (Kobobooks)


Okay, so this particular storyline did not exactly blow me away, but Crack Down is the next novel after Kick Back (a novel I enjoyed immensely) in Val McDermid’s Kate Brannigan PI series.

There are fast-paced action sequences, including illegal entry and car chases, and Kate finds herself and those she cares about in dangerous situations. But the real draw card for me was not the storyline this time.

For a bit of light entertainment, I just really like the main protagonist and narrator Kate Brannigan. She has had her share of bad experiences and cannot help be jaded by them, but she has an admirable resilience and is prepared to get her hands dirty to get justice for those who deserve it. She is smart and street-wise. She has acquaintances who dance on the thin grey line of right and wrong that she can and does call upon to help her when she’s in a bind.

Val McDermid’s Kate Brannigan is appealingly forthright and in Crack Down her sarcasm hits the right note with me.

Clive and I have never been buddies, probably because I can’t bring myself to be anything more than professionally polite to social climbers. So when the Edmund Hillary of the Cheshire set accosted me so joyously, I knew at once we were in the realms of hidden agendas. I smiled politely, shook his hand, counted my fingers and said, ‘Nice to see you too, Clive.’

This novel is by no means a world beater but I will certainly continue reading this enjoyable Kate Brannigan series – perfect for a quick and easy read on those days when my ‘jaded meter’ is peaking!

BOOK RATING: The Story 3 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

BOOK DETAILS: Crack Down (Amazon);  Crack Down (Kobobooks – epub);  Crack Down (The Nile – Australia)

Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime-Detective

Author Information: Check out Val McDermid’s official website.

Some other novels by Val McDermid: Star Struck ; The Grave Tattoo ; Fever of the Bone ; The Retribution

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