I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.End of the Line by Robert Scragg
Published by Allison & Busby Ltd on 21 January 2021
Genres: British Crime, Crime, Noir
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Detective Jake Porter's world was shattered when his wife was killed by a hit-and-run driver nearly four years ago. Since then, he has been building a new life piece by piece, but this is rocked when evidence comes to light that might finally lead him to her killer. At the same time, he and his partner DS Nick Styles have a volatile case to juggle. Ross Henderson was an influential vlogger rallying against the growing tide of the far right. As his audience tuned in to his latest live broadcast, they watched in horror as he was brutally murdered.
While struggling to prevent full-blown riots in the wake of the atrocity, following the trail to his wife's killer will take its toll. Porter will have to act like a criminal in order to take down the person responsible, but there's no guarantee he will come out the other side alive.
End of the Line is book four in the Porter & Styles detective series. I haven’t read the first three books, but I will be rectifying that as soon as I’m able to. The opening of the book gives the reader a glimpse into what they can expect and that is adrenaline. Its everything that I would expect to experience as a police officer serving the Metropolitan area. There’s spice, a huge dollop of action and all surrounded by the humanity of humankind. Robert Scragg certainly knows how to write people, as in, they are more than their identity as an officer of the law. They have feelings and emotions and the surging desire to get to the truth.
End of the Line introduces us to both Porter & Styles for the fourth time. At no point did I feel that I was missing out on crucial characterisation background. Scragg fills in the gaps like a meticulous builder. There are no gaps that something important can fall through. We know that Porter has had an extremely tough four years after his wife was killed in a hit and run. The what if’s still plague him, and her ghost is still an ever-present shadow over every aspect of his life, his new relationship with fellow cop, Evie, and his job. It’s a heart-breaking and difficult line to tread but the reader is in good hands with Scragg.
End of the Line has achieved something that a lot of authors struggle to do to me. He has me fully invested in the team from the very start. The easy relationship they all have with each other, the common goal of having each other’s back regardless of how it is going to look to their ogre of a Superintendent Boss. They know what is at stake and do anything to get that result. Its obvious that Scragg has the same feelings. You can tell from the intensity of the narrative that this team means a lot to him too. You can almost see the blood, sweat and tears coming through the kindle!
End of the Line is extremely relevant. We have the social themes that are running through not only our country but our communities. Brexit and the rising popularity of the extreme right politics. The author has ingrained these themes into the plot extremely well. The plot is extremely real. Scarily so. Porter’s involvement in this case intertwines with trying to get a result into his wife’s killer behind the scenes. He’s burning the candle at both ends and something must give.
The story is extremely clever and the heart of it is a ticking timebomb. Can the team get to the root of it when there are so many political dalliances are at play? One wrong move and the media will eat them alive and if they don’t move quickly enough the entire Met will come under a microscope. The team are walking a tightrope.
End of the Line is a story about vengeance and healing. Scragg’s realistic but dramatic narrative makes it a compulsive read.
ABOUT ROBERT SCRAGG
Robert Scragg is a northerner born and bred, and has had a random mix of jobs to date, including bookseller, pizza deliverer, Karate instructor, and Football Coach. He originally intended to join the legal profession, but after getting his degree, ended up with a job in Telecoms.
Writing was something he hadn’t done much of since he left school, until around seven years ago when an idea for a book popped up that he found too interesting to ignore, and his lead character, Jake Porter, plus his partner Nick Styles started to nag him to write it. His first novel, What Falls Between the Cracks, is the first in the Porter & Styles series. It was pitched during the 2016 Theakston’s Crime Festival at the “Dragon’s Pen”, to a panel of agents and editors, managing to get four ‘yes’ votes, and has since been picked up by Allison & Busby. It’s due to be released in Hardback and e-book on 19th April 2018, with paperback to follow on 20th September.
Robert lives in Tyne & Wear, with his wife, children and dog. Away from work and writing, he’s a long-suffering follower of Newcastle United, fan of all things martial arts, scuba diving and mountain climbing, and self-confessed crime fiction junkie. His favourites in the genre include Harlan Coben, Robert Crais, Linwood Barclay, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Sarah Hilary, Mari Hannah, Mark Billingham and Howard Linskey to name but a few.
Robert is also a founding member of the North East Noir crime writers group that was born following a workshop at Newcastle Noir crime writing festival in 2015, which meets regularly to discuss each other’s WIP’s, offer/receive feedback & chat about all things crime fiction related.
Check out Robert’s blog for his latest ramblings on his journey so far into the world of crime writing.