The Bodies in the Marina

The Bodies in the Marina

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Detective Chief Inspector Jack Buchanan, whose wife, Karen, calls him an anachronism in the 21st century, a comment he whole heartily endorses, is a 35-year veteran of policing in Glasgow, which some observers call "The Mean City".
When he walked the beat in the Gorbals area of Glasgow as a young PC, his idea of street justice was to take the miscreant down a dark alley, thump seven bells of hell out of them and send them on their way with a warning never to do it again. Now 35 years later, and with the advent of PACE, he'd reluctantly had to modify his methods.
He would have happily served out his time working in Glasgow. It was an unfortunate alterfication in Porters bar that had him seconded south to Sussex CID and Eastbourne in Sussex, a fish out of water .
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Product details

  • Paperback | 364 pages
  • 133 x 203 x 19mm | 376.48g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1913471071
  • 9781913471071

Review quote

DCI Jack Buchanan is the walking epitome of Nietzsche's warning about the dangers of looking into the abyss - and having it look back into you. A career spent on a tough beat in Glasgow has left him seeing just how much grey there is in the world. After he is indirectly responsible for the death of two fleeing suspects, the force sends him on secondment to sleepy Eastbourne, where the trouble is supposed to be a lot less troubling.

Unfortunately for Buchanan, investigating the drowning of a woman in the marina, he starts to suspect his new beat might be subject to sinister goings-on of its own. And that impression only intensifies once he starts to see possible links with another body found in the same marina - this time a cop's, one who might have got a bit too close to discovering the truth about what happened to the dead woman. Buchanan has a luxury yacht full of suspects. At least one of them is lying, but they might all have their secrets.

Beyond being a fast-paced, dialogue-led mystery with more twists and turns than a bowline knot, this is also an interesting character study of Willis's rough-edged DCI. Initially appearing to adhere to all the usual traits of the grizzled (and sometimes sozzled) detective, over the course of the novel we find out he's really a man who hasn't lost his soul at all. His gruffness masks his vulnerability, and his apparent chauvinism at points is really born of an avuncular urge to protect people he thinks are in danger - especially his new partner, DS Jill Street.

Being an Eastbourne girl, it was fun reading about familiar places. The plot had me engaged and I liked Buchanan's character. The best part of reading the book was seeing how well Mr Willis writes dialogue to lead the story. For me that was a huge strength which made the book technically engaging as well as being a good tale. Not my last read from this author.

I enjoyed the local scene setting. At times I felt we should rename Eastbourne as Midsomer Eastbourne! I liked the main characters, (goodies not baddies) and the story read rather like a screen play. Maybe we will see this on TV one day. I look forward to that.

Bodies in the Marina is an excellent, enjoyable read. It is a fast moving detective story with twists and red herrings to fox the reader. Alex Willis has mixed together several themes within his narrative and these flesh out the character of Buchanan. This policeman is blunt and likeable and I am pleased to hear that there will be more problems for him in Eastbourne in the future. As an afterthought if you've visited Foyle's Hastings and Morse's Oxford could Buchanan's Eastbourne be a new "patch" to explore?

I really enjoyed reading "The bodies in the Marina". Fast moving well-developed plot with lots of compelling twists and turns, many unexpected; the sign of good writing. Alex Willis has real flair, and I shall look forward to reading another of his novels soon. The first for me was entirely absorbing. I recommend fully!
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