[quote text_size=”small” ]
Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.
Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.
Soon he is following the bloody trail from the back streets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.
As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves.
Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life.[/quote]
~Synopsis from goodreads
This book by Tony Parsons is the first one in a new murder mystery series starring detective-inspector Max Wolfe. This series is based in England.
I found the story and the setting somewhat generic. The plot very closely resembles an old favorite of mine – Ten Plus One by Ed McBain, only now modernized and set in a different country with different characters.
There is no reference to Ten Plus One, so I suppose the similarity in story lines is a co-incidence. What I can say is that I liked both books, story line similarity be damned. OK, a little honesty here, I loved Ten Plus One and I think it’s superior to The Murder Bag, but The Murder Bag is a pretty strong book in its own right too.
OK, enough with the comparisons, now on to a proper honest review.
The Murder Bag is a real page-turner, engrossing, and unputdownable.
The main character detective Max Wolfe is a lonely single parent with a dog. As detectives go, he’s not particularly gloomy or troubled, but the indications are there that in future books he could go that path. For now though, he’s lonely but still grateful for the companionship of his child and dog, and he’s a generally decent, stable, and all-round good guy.
When a series of gruesome murders hit London, Max Wolfe is unable to find a link between the crime victims except for the murder method and an old school photo. Being the smart detective that he is, he quickly finds the link between the victims and discovers that events in the past hold the keys to the killer’s identity.
However things get complicated because of a social media savant who takes credit for the murders and a whole lot of media hype tracking the murders.
In spite of all this, Max does a decent job staying on track of the killers and nailing down the culprits in the end.
I”ll be honest though, there were some major clues and hints scattered throughout the narrative that made it pretty easy to guess the killer’s identity. A little more subtlety could have carried the suspense on a lot longer. There is also one co-incidence in the book that is a bit hard to swallow.
These issues aside, this book is a good solid thriller, and is a good start to the series.
Huge thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon