Title: Deadly Shores (Detectives Harvey and Birch #3)
Author: Kerry Buchanan
Published on: 19 April 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
The tip-off comes just as the Christmas roast is being served. DC Aaron Birch receives a phone call from his boss, DCS Yvonne Patterson. She tells him she’s received a tip-off from her CI that smugglers are coming to a boatyard in Bangor.
Bangor is where DC Birch’s former partner DI Asha Harvey works. By the time Asha and Aaron arrive at the boatyard, the drug shipment is gone. The boat on which it was brought is still at the boatyard. On bringing the K9 unit, it is confirmed the brand new boat (still in its plastic cover) was used to haul drugs. A local named Phil Johnston is caught on the boatyard’s CCTV. Phil had tried to put the coppers off his scent by leaving a brick of drugs in the boatyard manager’s house. But his plan didn’t work as expected.
The truck driver who brought in the boat is found murdered in his hotel room. Meanwhile, Clara is transported a ‘cargo’ off the coast. She is obligated to do the bad work, after all, the man who calls himself Ole helped her when she was stranded in the sea a few months ago. In return for his help, he wants her to transport young and innocent girls to their final destination – brothel.
Deadly Shores is the third book in Kerry Buchanan’s Detectives Harvey and Birch series.
One of my favorite authors Kerry Buchanan is back with yet another fantastic addition to the Harvey and Birch series. I have been following this series from the start and I was super excited when I received an ARC of Deadly Shores.
The series revolves around two police officers DI Asha Harvey and DC Aaron Birch. Harvey as a DS before the promotion. She’s now working at the Bangor station and Birch misses her company. Throughout the story, people keep asking Aaron when he’s going to write the sergeant’s exam and become a DS. Hope to see DC Birch as DS Birch in the next book. 🙂
In the previous series, we saw two bent coppers Aiken and Kernaghan escape to freedom. Harvey and Birch knew they had a leader – someone high up in the management. So, they must keep their impromptu investigation a secret. They trust a young DC named Faith and tell her about their ongoing investigation. They do not know that Faith too is a bent copper.
We have two side stories here – both are interlinked. First is the drug haul at the Bangor boatyard. The second is Clara transporting young girls. The Bangor boatyard owner is Richard Steele. When he meets Asha, sparks fly. He asks Asha out for dinner but she refuses saying she cannot involve herself with a suspect. *heart break* Meanwhile, Clara knows it is wrong to help Ole in trafficking girls. But he hadthreatened to kill her brother if she refused to cooperate.
Yvonne Patterson wants to remove competition – there cannot be another drug dealer in the area. And the trafficking, well, she’s the boss (in committing crime and at the police station) and knows how to keep her tracks hidden.
Halfway through the story, Asha and Birch get caught up in an explosion. If not for Birch’s presence of mind, Asha would have lost a lot of blood. But this injury leaves Asha incapacitated for a while. But she does not take a no for an answer. She wants to get to the bottom of this and arrest the two bent coppers. She gets a ‘light bulb moment’ when she thinks of how the two cases might be connected.
In many ways, this story was a closure of sorts. For Patterson, for Harvey and Birch and their investigation on the trafficking ring and much more. I am curious to see what’s next for the two detectives. Also, speaking of next, Harvey is again asked out by Richard Steele. Will Asha finally agree to his offer? We will know in the next installment.
The suspense behind the drug dealing and human trafficking kept me guessing till the end. Clara’s identity was a total shocker. Well, she’s introduced as just ‘Clara’ as the story begins but her link to the other crime becomes clear only in the second half of the book. The ending was no less of a nail-biting, edge of the seat kinda adventure.
If you love gripping and suspenseful police procedural, you might want to give Kerry Buchanan’s Deadly Shores a try. A third in the series and can be read as a standalone but if you are new to this series, I suggest you start from book #1.
Other books in this series:
Book #1: Knife Edge
Book #2: Small Bones
Many thanks to the lovely Hanna of Joffe Books for sending an ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.