Title: Firing Line (The Blitz Detective #4)
Author: Mike Hollow
Publisher: Lion Fiction
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
It is the fall of 1940 and the city of London is experiencing the bombing blitz from German air strikes practically every night. Residents are seeking cover in their Anderson shelters or subway tunnels. There are volunteers on night watch to look for fires and such to report to officials and wardens to search for violators of curfew and other regulations. One such warden is heading out to get information for a superior about a bombing when she passes a home with a bright light shining out a window without any blackout material. This is against regulations, so she knocks on the door to tell the person to put out the light or cover the window. She gets no answer. It is against regulations for her to break in, but firemen can do so. She snags a fireman from a nearby bomb site, one who had been combating a fire started by an explosion, and takes him to the home. He breaks the door in and they discover the body of a young woman who has been strangled.
Inspector John Jago and his partner Detective Peter Cradock arrive around 3 a.m. to start their day and their investigation. With tireless determination, they question person after person and walk to place after place to run down clues. The victim’s husband is currently listed as missing at the front, and the victim had recently moved out of her mother-in-law’s home and into a place by herself. They learn from most that the young woman was sweet and gentle. However, Jago wonders if that is really the case as she was keeping a big secret from everyone. Is she really the sweet woman some say, or is she secretly involved in something darker? Jago also learns of a burglary at the victim’s place of employment. Are the two crimes related?
This is one of my favorite series filled with excellent writing and characters that are becoming like family. Inspector Jago is beginning to open up more about his feelings for the American journalist, Dorothy. His young partner, Peter Cradock, is beginning to develop his own style of investigating, but Jago continues to mentor and guide him. Jago is definitely still the leader of the two. The detailed and vivid descriptions of West Ham and London as well as the surrounding areas during 1940 put me right in the story. It was as if I could see the devastation and feel the grief and sadness myself. I just read book four in the series and I’m dreading having to wait a whole year before book five is released in March 2019! If you are a mystery lover, then this is one series you will want to read and put on your “keeper” shelf!