Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn.
His Last Resort Legals team investigates miscarriages of justice. But Gethin is running out of options himself: his gambling is out of control, his marriage is falling apart and there’s no money left to pay the wages...
Izma M was sent down years ago for the brutal murder of a young woman. In jail he’s written a bestseller and become a cult hero, and now the charismatic fading-film-star Amelia Laverne wants to bankroll Gethin to prove Izma's innocence.For Gethin – low on luck and cash – the job is heaven sent. But is Izma M really as blameless as his fans believe?
This seemingly cold case is about to turn very hot indeed...
Gethin Grey owns a small business called Last Resort Legals. Assisted by two women, Lee and Bex, Gethin investigates miscarriages of justice. Unfortunately, the business has not been faring very well lately, so when Gethin receives an email from an ex film-star named Amelia Laverne asking him to investigate a new case, it was like a godsend opportunity for him and his team.
Ismail Mohammed, aka Izma M, has been in prison for ten years now. He was imprisoned for the murder of a young woman. He has always categorically denied the allegations, but it seems he was seen with this girl on the night she was killed. Being a drug dealer didn't help his case either. In the time spent in prison, Izma has written a bestseller and has become some sort of celebrity himself. Gethin must prove this young man's innocence, but to do so he has to find out more about this guy and what has really happened on the night in question. Is Izma telling the truth? Is he truly innocent as he claims to be? Or is he using his book to gain the general public's support and sympathy? And if he didn't kill the girl as he claims, then who did? Was he really framed for her murder? And why is Amelia Laverne so interested in seeing this young man out of prison?
Apart from Gethin and his workmates, we also meet his wife and daughter living in their curious 'upside down' house. Life at home seems serene enough, but Gethin's internal demons threaten to destroy everything he holds dear. In his quest to find the truth, Gethin steps on the toes of some rather unsavoury underworld characters. People who don't appreciate his intrusion at all and who are keen to stop him, even if that means eliminating him.
It was kind of refreshing not having a detective or a police officer as main character for once. Gethin is quite intriguing. He's good at his job, but he can be quite brusque or bullyish at times and rather weak or even silly at others. But he's a man of principles, even though he doesn't always succeed in upholding them.
Full of twists and turns, the story is mainly set in Cardiff and Bristol, with the characters going to and fro between these two cities numerous times. Through vivid descriptions, the author sets the scene very clearly, putting the reader right at the centre of the action. Apart from the main story, we also have snippets of another sub-story set in the past involving a young man named Danny who lives in Cyprus. Who is this Danny? How is he connected to the main plot?
Well, I rather enjoyed reading this book. The only minor thing that annoyed me is that each and every time Gethin got in his car, the author felt the need to specify what CD he was listening to. Maybe he just wanted us to know who are his favourite singers. Also, I'm not that bothered by the 'F' word, but if you don't fancy books that include it, be warned that you'll come across it quite frequently in this book.
On the whole, this was a good read for me. Maybe not as suspenseful as I thought it would be, but I liked the main story, the characters, the way the plot develops and the heart-stopping moments. I was very curious to find out if Izma M would turn out to be really innocent or not. And I wasn't expecting the way things turn out at the end.
This book is out on the 21st February 2019. I'm not sure if this is the start of a new series, but I would love to meet Gethin again on a new investigation and to learn more about him and his workmates, which were both quite interesting in their own way. Recommended!!
With thanks to No Exit Press for an advanced review copy of this book.