This is a terrific crime novel, with a startlingly original protagonist we're going to see a lot more of. Oxford's mean streets just got meaner.
This moody, atmospheric novel is full of surprises, with subplots about sexual harassment and the impact of the Syrian civil war.
It's a brave writer who sets a new crime series in Inspector Morse's Oxford but Mason has come up trumps with chalk-and-cheese cops DI Ryan Wilkins and DI Ray Wilkins...It's well plotted and very funny. *****
The first novel in a promising new police series set in Oxford that explores the working relationship between a chalk-and-cheese detective duo.
This has a TV series written all over it.
Simon Mason has reformulated Inspector Morse for the 2020s. This angelic two-year-old son, Ryan Jr ("Is it hard being a daddy?"), are superb and his relationship with Ray, a snob with a heart of gold beneath the sharp suit, shows huge potential. The good news is they'll be back.
The story has modern relevance, ingenious plotting, vivid characterisation, a touching father-son relationship and impressively accurate city geography.
[T]his is a very individual piece of work, with a satisfying plot involving Syrian refugees, snobbish dons and nimble interaction between the ill-assorted protagonists. There is real craftsmanship at work here.
Ryan Wilkins is about as far removed from George Smiley as a protagonist can be, he may in time become as memorable. He's an extraordinary creation, and demonstrates that even in the most suspenseful thrillers, character is king