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Right to Kill

John Barlow

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : HQ

Published : 24 June 2021

Copyright : John Barlow 2021

ISBN-10 : HB 0-00-840885-8
ISBN-13 : HB 978-0-00-840885-5

Publisher's Write-Up

Wortley, West Leeds.

On a Thursday night in February, DS Joe Romano finds himself back on home turf. He’s following up on the disappearance of drug-dealer Craig Shaw.

It’s the start of a case that could make or break Romano’s career. Because Shaw is about to go from missing to murdered.

While some don’t think Shaw’s killer should be brought to justice, Romano believes every life counts. But he’s running out of time.

The killer is ready to strike again. And Romano will be forced to question whether anyone has the right to kill.

The first in a gripping new crime thriller series, perfect for fans of Joseph Knox and Ian Rankin.

'The twisted big brother to Happy Valley.'

Michael Wood, author of the DCI Matilda Darke series
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (010521) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

Right to Kill is a crime novel that asks a lot of questions. Is it ever right to kill on purely moral grounds? How much importance should police, the public and social media give to the murderer of people whose actions in life have only caused harm?

The novel starts with a gruesome murder involving a pencil and an eyeball. It is one of those opportunistic murders, the victim looking at his killer in the wrong way. The first chapter is told from the killer's perspective, both shocked and exhilarated by their foray into murder.

DS Joe Romano is new to the Leeds area, his career and marriage both failing as the result of a sojourn to France, but the murder of drug-dealer Craig Shaw has woken up his police instincts. Although the opinions of both his superiors and social media is to show more sympathy for the killer than for their victim, he strongly disagrees.

As a second murder, this time of an unrepentant sex offender, with the same MO, Romano's caseload increases, as do his dealing with a Far-Right group, the incredibly hard-working and dogged policemen and woman of the Yorkshire police force, and the part that the court of public opinion plays in crime. Everyone has an opinion, and they are not always welcome ones.

The killer is dubbed the #Graphitemurderer, and as the case takes on a national interest, so does Romano's personal life. A date with a woman helping with some background research becomes viral on Instagram, and Romano is removed from the case. As the story reaches its conclusion, John Barlow has a few more twists up his sleeve. The murderer is a lot closer to home, and as the book ends, some closure is given to the mother of Craig Shaw and the fact that not everyone is as unwilling to find justice for him.

Joe Romano is a well-drawn character, with the other characters being both sympathetic and believable. The settings and the crimes are also well researched, adding to the ease of the read. It is linear and doesn't go into too much back story, which would hamper the pace and the progress of the novel. At the end of the novel, Romano is deep in conversation with another character, using his linguistic skills on a potential love interest.

The book is the first in a planned series, and I look forward to seeing how the stories develop.
Ben Macnair (1st May 2021)

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