Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: The Blake Harte Mysteries #4
AUTHOR: Robert Innes
LENGTH: 104 pages
RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2017
Seven years ago Thomas Frost was arrested for the murders of five women in the Manchester area and Detective Sergeant Blake Harte was the officer in charge of his arrest, saving the life of Kerry Nightingale in the process. Now, Frost has promised that Kerry was never safe and she’ll be dead within a few days.
Sure enough, somehow, Kerry is found dead in her top floor apartment – a place that was being guarded by Blake and the apartment’s security. How is it possible for Kerry to have been murdered in her apartment when nobody could have gotten in or out?
Did Thomas Frost somehow manage to murder Kerry from his prison cell? Who else could want to see her dead quite as much? As Blake and the team attempt to stop a killer who is seemingly capable of anything, he could never imagine that for somebody else in Harmschapel, time is also ticking…
As any of you who follow my reviews will know, I’ve been quite pleased with the Blake Harte Mysteries from Robert Innes that I’ve reviewed over the last few weeks. Now we have a new one, and I’ve got to keep it honest and tell you I wasn’t as pleased with this one. Let me explain.
In Reach, the author brings to life a very dark serial killer character from Blake’s past. We learn that Blake solved the crime and was there for the arrest and conviction of the killer. The killer has been trying to reach Blake for years, but he has ignored it up until now. When he breaks down and meets the killer at the local prison where he is incarcerated, things start to go downhill. The killer insists that the woman Blake rescued from him seven years ago, will be dead within days. The book focuses on that statement and Blake’s scramble to find out what is going on and how another ‘impossible’ crime could take place.
The story was good, but the execution was a little rushed. For some reason, the author decided to tell this story in roughly half the pages he has used in the previous three installments, and I’ve got to tell you that it lost out due to the length. I’m not sure the author realized it wasn’t long enough or detailed enough. I recently self-published a story myself that was roughly this same length that I felt was complete, but several reviewers felt was too short, so I can sympathize with the author, and I won’t hold it against him. Sometimes you feel you’ve told an entire story, but others want more. I still liked the story, but in my opinion, based on its length, it seemed hurried and before I really got into it, it was over.
On the plus side, it was pleasant following along with the characters the author has developed in the previous books, and I look forward to future installments.
I’d recommend this one to anyone who is reading the series. It sets us up for some events I think will take place in future installments. It is not a standalone in my opinion. Give the first three books a read first. I think you will like them, and maybe, like me, forgive this one for being too short and a little rushed. I’d say this one was somewhere between a 3.5 and 4.0 on our scale, and I’m rounding it up. Just because I can.