Tuesday 30 August 2016

Reviewed: End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn

TITLE: End of the Roadie
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Flynn
PUBLISHER: Lion Fiction


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Brendan Phelan, rock star, is playing the Apollo, Hammersmith. The stage show includes guns and whips: as it reaches its climax a shot rings out. The body of Oliver Joplin, one of the road crew, lies lifeless outside the stage door. DI Angela Costello and her team investigate, but they quickly discover that several stage hands, and Phelan himself, are adept with firearms – and that Joplin was widely disliked and distrusted. So why had Phelan kept him on, despite the reservations of his crew? Joplin’s emails reveal the presence of a shadowy figure stalking the dead man. Who might profit from Joplin’s death? Little by little Angela unpicks the web of lies. But unless one person opens up, she can’t crack the case. And that is not going to happen.

End of the Roadie is the third book in the D.I. Costello mystery series and I’ve really enjoyed reading all three books so far – each creative and engaging with surprising twists along the way.

Whilst this book will most likely appeal to fans of cosy crime, it does present a serious outlook on a relevant crime which we’ve heard a lot about recently in the media. I found this aspect to be developed really well and though it’s quite a gritty and sensitive subject, I thought the author handled the crime and particular attitudes and motives towards the crime well, whilst adding her own twist to it.

Brendan Phelan is a rock star performing at the Apollo, Hammersmith – a concert attended by D.C. Gary Houseman and his girlfriend. The night soon turns into something different than expected for Gary, as at the end of the gig he discovers Oliver Joplin, Brendan’s roadie, has been murdered.

I loved the investigation into this crime. Though I found it a bit of a slow-burner, once it got going I couldn’t put the book down. There were many twists and red herrings and things which weren’t always what they seemed – this had me really engrossed in the book and eager to discover who had killed Olly, and why. I really liked Brendan’s character too. He was quite charming but there were always some doubts about whether he could be trusted, but either way I enjoyed the deeper look into his character and how life wasn’t as rosy for him as one might expect given his rock star status.

I also loved Angela and Gary in End of the Roadie but actually I liked all of the inspecting team. The dynamics between each one of them was refreshing to read and I enjoyed the banter between them as well as their relationships on both a personal and professional platform. An aspect of the team I really liked was how we get to see their thought processes so clearly, when required, that it makes the reader feel in the know too and how we are working out the mystery at the same time and pace as they are. Angela’s ideas especially were conversed to the reader in a way that we know the things she’s picking up on but not dealing with straight away, or the things that have struck her and the potential links she’s found. Yet at the same time, there is an element of surprise in the way they handle what they’ve found or discovered, and suspense is wonderfully weaved into the story at times where I was waiting with bated breath to see what Angela, Gary and the rest of the force had uncovered.

Overall I found End of the Roadie to be an entertaining and satisfying read. There were a few loose ends that when thinking about the book a little while after finishing it I would have liked to have seen cleared up. But the story itself had me hooked and this was another mystery novel by Elizabeth Flynn that had me gripped and unsure of who the culprit was. I had guessed correctly at one point but changed my mind before reaching the end. There were so many little hints and suggestions and then things which altered everything and that’s what I really loved about this book – how easy it was to get involved in the mystery and how fun it was trying to figure it all out.

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