Taking Pity

Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy of Humberside Police returns for David Mark's fourth book in his police procedural series. Despite being on sick leave and separated from his wife and infant daughter after a tragedy in the previous novel, Sorrow Bound, McAvoy is asked to fact-check a 50-year-old case that may finally come to trial.

McAvoy's assignment is meant to be a quiet, low-key job, confirming that evidence and witness statements are secure enough for a likely conviction. But when some details give McAvoy an uneasy feeling, he starts digging, pursuing the investigation further than instructed. What the determined detective uncovers drops him smack in the middle of a current war between two organized crime factions Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh is struggling to neutralize.

Taking Pity alternates among many different characters' perspectives, leaving the reader with only partial snapshots of each. In addition, Mark tends to keep information from his readers, even as the characters receive it, like writing only one side of a phone conversation, and not divulging the contents of letters received. These techniques all work to compound the novel's intense suspense.

There are threads that continue throughout the series, so readers familiar with all the books will likely have a firmer grasp on this novel, but Taking Pity can still be thoroughly enjoyed on its own. Fans of gritty, dark crime who are unfamiliar with this series should dive in immediately and be prepared to become addicted. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

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