A disused railway tunnel where cruel and sinister deeds are executed. A policeman on a mission. A killer who will stop at nothing.
The formidable DCI Cyril Bennett and DS David Owen of Harrogate Police find themselves embroiled in a series of bizarre events. A domestic dog attack on a child soon leads to a more complex case – the macabre discovery of a jigsaw of featureless, indiscernible body parts amongst bin bags littering a quiet road on the outskirts of town. While under the leadership of a Chinese Mafioso, a team of Eastern Europeans spreads its tentacles into the sordid underworld of people trafficking, dog fighting, prostitution and murder.
Hell’s Gate is the second book in the DCI Bennett series and it’s every bit as brilliant as the first one. This is fast becoming another firm favourite of mine. Also, in case you were wondering, yes, I’m trying to read this series in relatively fast succession again as I’ve discovered the next one is due in about two months and I want to get caught up before that. If like me, you wonder why I keep doing this to myself, I don’t have the answer to that. But I do know that very little beats finding a new brilliant series and this is a brilliant one.
Various events unfold and keep DCI Bennett and his trusted side-kick DS David Owen quite busy. A child is the victim of a domestic dog attack, a body is discovered amongst bin bags. Well, I say body. More like body parts, really. What happened to this poor soul? And are these events in any way connected?
This is another well crafted and structured plot. There’s a lot going on with a bunch of incredibly unsavoury people that have their dirty hands in all sorts of ugly business like prostitution, human trafficking and … ugh, dog fights. As a dog lover, those scenes were so hard to read that I may have skipped a few lines. There are some graphic and disturbing moments that almost made my stomach protest. Almost.
Hell’s Gate grabs your attention from the start and doesn’t let go. It’s completely engrossing and also thought-provoking, highlighting current events of people going on long and dangerous journeys with the promise of a better life supposedly waiting for them.
Bennett and Owen continue to steal my heart. They are so different but somehow work together well and I really enjoy the banter between them. For that teamwork alone, I advice you to start this series at the beginning with Only The Dead, even though this one can easily be read as a stand-alone. I can’t wait to see where Malcolm Hollingdrake takes these two incredibly likeable characters next.
Hell’s Gate was published in December 2016.