CAUSE & EFFECT (Kind Hearts and Martinets Book 1)
The trilogy - Saturated in the tumult of recession, a dystopian Big Society, conflict of reason, entrenched doctrine and a series of senseless vicious crimes, two senior police officers find love; disconnected? No, it's a malign conspiracy and DI Jack (Jane) Austin knows he is the catalyst; because he is. 'Kind Hearts and Martinets' is a comedy, a crime thriller, a tongue in cheek conspiracy and a love story that veers to the darker side of life; a touchstone that people may recognise and feel they can do nothing about or even have the right to do anything about? However, ordinary people can be quite astonishing when seemingly powerless.
Despicable things happen and not until the final scenes of the final book does the reader, know thine enemy; never sure if it is a sociopathic solicitor, right or left wing activists, the civil service, religious zealots, the military, International Corporates or even DI Austin? In the end, Martinets are put back in their boxes, love looks like it will prevail and Kind Hearts are found in the least likely of places; but the cost?
Book one, 'CAUSE and EFFECT', opens in a benign and humorous way though the prologue suggests a malevolent force is at work in the city of Portsmouth; DI Austin calls that force Norafarty - he means Moriarty. Austin, who sees himself as an enema, meaning and enigma, is a 59 year old grotesquely disfigured and intensely motivated socialist; a half blind grieving widower trudging his melancholic life's furrow with a superficial laugh and a smile, because misery, his constant companion, is optional. To some, he's a brilliantly instinctive copper, often solving crimes out of the blue with no evident deductive trail; an amusing Mr Malacopperism, a warm individual albeit with a 5 amp fuse. To Detective Superintendent Amanda Bruce he's an emotionally disturbed, ugly, jumped up cockney barrow boy and she's not sure he has ever solved anything, running the Portsmouth Community Police unit from his deck chair like it was his East End of London barrow.
Steadily the illusive force intrudes on multifaceted fronts, seemingly disparate, but the suggestion of orchestration is gradually revealed. Facing stringent cut-backs police have to deal with a new source of drugs on the streets, disappearing bicycles, an executed police officer and the heart-rending rescue of a tiny girl from a nest of paedophiles. Austin unsubtly probes a fissure in social services; the vulnerable, especially children are being used as pawns in what is clearly a bigger game but is it Norafarty's game and who is thine enemy?