Dark Trade by Helen H. Durrant


Available Editions
EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781912106615
Links Joffe Books

I would like to thank Netgalley, Helen H. Durrant and Joffe Books for my ARC of this book for an unbiased review.

A teenage boy is found murdered. He has been stabbed through the heart by a professional killer.Detective Stephen Greco and his new team discover that the boy is an illegal immigrant. Then another youth from the same background is killed. The murder leads DCI Greco on a trail of people smuggling and exploitation.

DCI Greco must quickly get his new team to gel, but he is still recovering from a terrible personal tragedy, and his relationship with DS Grace Harper threatens to turn very unprofessional.

And why is arch-villain and drugs baron Vinny Costello involved? And what is the connection to a private clinic specialising in plastic surgery.

If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.

DCI Stephen Greco is a meticulous policeman with a touch of O.C.D. Easy to admire, but difficult to like. He has created a new team after a personal tragedy threatened to end his career, and is struggling to care for his daughter.

DS Grace Harper is an ambitious young policewoman with excellent people skills. Like Greco, she is a single parent and struggles to balance work and childcare.

The Northern city of Manchester is a place of great diversity, from high-end restaurants and clubs for the moneyed classes to grim housing estates riven by crime and drugs.

This is a good all round read. It is the 3rd in a series of DCI Greco books. This i read as a stand alone having not previously read any other books by this author. I will however be keeping an eye out for more of these books by her. As a stand alone it works well, there is mention of relationships and characters from previous books but nothing that detracts from this story.
The story is set in Manchester. The book gets straight into a murder, no hanging around and no nonsense. The story progresses quickly and several characters are introduced, some new to the murder team and some hand picked for the case. As one murder is being investigated, another has occured with the same characteristics as the first, then a third murder seemingly unrelated and so it continues. A newspaper reporter Tony Rouse is caught up in the investigation, and after being asked questions he disappears. The Rashid Clinic is a reputable cosmetic surgery centre has ties to the local mob gang, through one of its gambling addicted doctors. A Romanian lorry driver with a really bad attitude and an illegal sweat shop are also thrown into the mix.
What begins as a drug and gang related issue soon turns into something much more deadlier and darker. Things start to fall into to place. The detectives have to travel to Brighton from Manchester, have boarder control and Illegal Immigration Officers involved. There are so many things going on this book, but not once did i feel i was getting lost in the details or the plots. It is very well laid out and explained right through, the characters are memorable and each has their own unique aspect to them such as nickname.

I would recommend this book to other readers for the fast paced plots, the ease of reading, the great characters and the well written story.