I really wanted to like this. It’s not a difficult read. It has a seaside setting with a creepy pier, murderous clowns, mysterious disappearances and a couple of moody sergeants, but there’s an awful lot wrong with it.
For a start, where is it supposed to be set? Somewhere on the English coast, but I’m buggered if I can work out where. It must be near London because there is a connection between London and the investigation. As far as I can see, no place names are mentioned and there are no regional references to go by.
Another problem I had was that I found it very difficult to care about any of these people. Apart from Sergeant Trevor Joseph, who seems inoffensive enough but a little underdeveloped as a character, the rest of the novel’s population are quite unlikeable, and I felt it impossible to feel sorry for any of them. The police procedural process is all a bit vague.
The final reason is – without giving anything away – that the denouement, in which all is revealed is not only far too hurried, but doesn’t make an awful lot of sense.
I’m hoping that Joseph’s character will develop as the series progresses, and that we might be given a clue as to where he is actually based.