I was so excited to start reading this book and was kindly gifted a paperback copy in exchange for this review, however, it has no impact on my review or feelings about the book.
The story starts when Detective Sergeant Mike Brugge and partner Detective Constable Mel Bailey have a case of a young m, unkempt girl they found who was malnourished, not speaking and non-responsive to any stimulus-even in the form of medical help. Mike and Mel have no idea who she is, where she came from or who her captor was. During their frustrating investigation, Mel falls victim to a serious assault by her dodgy landlord.
While Mel is in hospital and Mike works tirelessly to hunt down her attacker, he’s always on working to the bone trying to learn about the girl they found in Gordon Square, who is now under the care of a psychiatric team and undergoing hypnotherapy to try to unravel the mystery surrounding her identity. During this time, another girl in the same condition, only younger, is also found in Gordon Square and in need of in-depth medical and psychiatric help.
As the Gordon Square girls are being nursed and treated, Mike and his colleagues are lead to a children’s home, which gives them extreme feelings of suspicion, and in turn leads them to the man who put Mel in hospital.
The plot unravels at a quick pace at this point as the mysteries are solved and the links between the Gordon Square girls, the children’s home and brutish landlord are revealed.
I really couldn’t put this book down and read it in a matter of days! I didn’t see the links or twists coming what so ever and I really enjoyed the fact that to book started in the past and dipped back in to it much later in the book. It was really riveting! And the chemistry between Mike and Mel! Well, those two should just get a room already! But not in the cheesy, overly obvious but trying to avoid it way- obviously as partners who grow to become friends it’s fairly obvious that two singletons are likely to be faced with a similar situation, but the fact that neither knows about the depth of the others feelings actually makes it realistic and bearable to the point where you’re actually rooting for them!
I feel like this could actually be the start of a series-which I’d be more than happy to continue reading with two small exceptions; some of the narratives were a little repetitive in the respect that during a conversation, those speaking would often say the name of the person they were speaking to, which was a tad unnecessary for the most part. The second bug-bear I have is the punctuation- speech marks would stop mid-sentence which meant having to re-read bits, and occasionally paragraph breaks would be used when it wasn’t necessary and made things a little confusing again. Not major issues really, but something a proof-reader should easily be able to spot and make note of (I’m quite picky I know, but the spellings were spot on!)
I loved Martin-Summers’ style and the plot was riveting! The characters were perfect-even down to that awful landlord of Mel’s! The descriptions and adjectives truly bought them to life and I could envision the entire book playing out in my head while I read! If anyone has seen or read The Dublin Murders/Dublin Murder Squad, it’s easy to understand the chemistry and relationship between Mike and Mel, as it’s so similar to that of Rob and Cassie (that painstaking type where you want to shake them to just be a couple because it makes so much sense!).
Gordon Square is the first book by Martin-Summers, which shows with the punctuation irks, but the plot reads like a well seasoned crime author. I really do hope there many more Mike and Mel mysteries to come!
Tracy was born in Middlesex in 1964, has a husband, grownup children and one granddaughter. And like a lot of creative people I know, studied a variety of topics via moduled learning over the years, embarking on City and Guilds and NVQ courses, ranging from a brief spell in hairdressing to administration, and now works for a utility company in North West London (clearly the changes of career are good for developing characters)
Tracy will say she has always enjoyed writing short stories for the amusement of her own children (lucky!) and it’s only recently that she has become seriously invested enough to write a crime thriller (I’m seriously hoping for that sequel to land in my mail box soon!)