What a deliciously dark delight this book turned out to be - Rubicon, the debut novel by British ex-cop Ian Patrick.
If you follow my blogs, you'll know all about my Cops Writing Crime project (see link - Also: Cops Writing Crime.) Well, part of my promise to myself with that project is to start reading more of my fellow ex-cops turned crime fiction writers.
Patrick is my third this year, following Bruce Robert Coffin and Clare Mackintosh (see earlier book reviews on my blog).
Rubicon has a tremendous plot line and will keep you reading in anticipation of what the hell is going to happen next. It sure did for me. It's noir, certainly, but also oozes the realism that comes from an ex-cop writing crime fiction. The characters are so believable - in fact, I felt like I'd met some of them, in my own police career! The wonderful tension between the old-school cop mentality, with results all important and ethics... (what are ethics?), versus the up-and-coming police who are obsessed with their own careers and results being secondary, is absolutely palpable in Rubicon. And in the tradition of the finest noir, you're never sure who to cheer on in this bloody and dirty tale. But the insidious reach of corruption through all society's layers and institutions is flagrantly evident here. This was a novel right up my alley, and I am really looking forward to reading more of Patrick's work.
That's the beauty of Cops Writing Crime - the feel of the realism is more acute than a smack in the face and the taste of that realism is sharper than a nose bleed.
If you like realistic, gritty crime writing, then I highly recommend Mr Patrick to you.
Bring on more of it!
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