Title: The Suspects (Detective Helen Carter #3)
Author: Jodie Lawrance
Published on: 19 August 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
The Suspects is the third book in Jodie Lawrance’s Detective Helen Carter series.
Eight years ago, a notorious cop killer named Jimmy Osbourne pulled off a perfect heist and fled to Spain. Loughton and his partner were the first officers at the scene of the crime. Loughton barely managed to survive Jimmy’s attack while the same couldn’t be said about his partner.
Jimmy Osbourne is back in Edinburgh. But why? Helen and her team keep a track of Jimmy’s movements. And as a return of favor, Jimmy has his eyes on Helen. Meanwhile, a young lad of 19 is brutally attacked and left to die in an alley. Will Helen be able to solve this mystery with the help of her new partner Loughton?
I have been following Jodie Lawrance’s Detective Helen Carter series from the beginning. The series is set in 1970s, Scotland. Helen is the only woman police officer at the station and not all her colleagues are comfortable working with a woman. She’s subjected to misogynist remarks often but it barely affects her.
In the previous two books, Helen and DI Craven were partners (at work) and together, they managed to solve two crimes – one involving a serial killer. In The Suspects, we have Helen working with her friend/colleague Terry McKinley. Followers of the series would know McKinley has feelings for Helen – throughout the story, we have ‘moments’ where Terry shows he cares for Helen and wants to be more than friends with her. But Helen’s recently separated from her boyfriend/fiancé Ted and Terry’s out of an on-off relationship with Sally. Helen and Terry have been in a toxic relationship in the past. While Terry is ready to move on, Helen wants to concentrate on her work – love comes later.
DI Jack Craven played a major role in the first two books but we do not see a lot of him in this book. His ex-wife Liz has turned alcoholic after breaking up with her partner Milton. There comes a time when Craven has to look after their kids as Liz is in her own drunken-world. Not much details of how Jack manages to juggle between parent-duty and work – I wish the author had explored this; even if to see how a workaholic copper manages his family – on his own.
The element of mystery and suspense was low when compared to The Uniform and The Evidence. The mystery behind the young lad’s attack was good – but didn’t keep me on the edge of the seat. Same goes with Jimmy Osbourne’s arrival at Edinburgh.
Overall, this was an okay read. I really enjoyed reading the first two books of this series and hopefully in the next book, we will get to see more action and suspense.