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Chris High books reviewed

The Edge - Chris Simms

Published by: Orion
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1409111067
ISBN-13: 978-1409111061

Published 30 April 2009

Image: Front cover of the book 'The Edge' written by Chris Simms

On the strength of the acclaimed Hell’s Fire, DI Jon Spicer’s return to feature in this his fifth case under the stewardship of author Chris Simms has been keenly anticipated and not least for the fact that the writer knows what he’s doing.

Slick dialogue, vivid descriptions, knowledgeable insight and believable scenarios are Simms’ stock in trade and, rest assured, he does not disappoint with what is quite possibly his best Spicer novel yet.



It's the phone call DI Jon Spicer has long feared - his wild younger brother has been found murdered and horribly mutilated. Aware Dave was involved in drugs, Jon had hoped to steer him away from his doomed and self-destructive fate and full of anger, he heads to the town where Dave's body has been discovered, bent on finding the killer.

Meanwhile, Dave's young girlfriend, Zoe, is trapped in an inner-city hell. Vulnerable, destitute and now alone, she is being hunted by the vicious criminal Dave owed money to. Arriving in the Peak District, Jon finds a community with plenty to hide. With time running out and his distraught family cracking under the strain, Jon realises the truth of his brother's death lies in two places: with a frightened girl trapped somewhere among Manchester's tower-blocks and out on the bleak heights overlooking the secretive rural town.

Taking Spicer out of the office and plunging him into intensely personal situations that go far beyond his career, Chris Simms seems to have invigorated his central character with a fresh energy that can be seen to be leaps and bounds ahead of those who proclaim to be better writers.

Spicer’s relationships both inside and outside of his career see him set on a path of self-destruction which further adds to the man’s charm, as each reader relates to moments in their own lives when the same can be said of the choices they too have made and regretted. In the hands of this author, however, these storylines are always eminently readable and go some way providing his stories with an extra dimension.

As lightening paced as Jenson Button at the moment, Chris Simms’ The Edge is a must read novel for all those who enjoy top quality crime fiction and like to think a little about the stories they are given, rather than simply put them down and forget about them when they’re done.






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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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