Within Reach
by Ian Douglas

"Then there are the confessors, the ones who front up to the police stations across the country, claiming 'I did it. It was me.'"

This exciting read opens with Simon Hadlow, a well-experienced New Zealand policeman, taking a new posting in Christchurch, where he quickly becomes involved in a gruesome investigation of two severed arms from different bodies. Flashbacks also occur of Simon's past during a Queenstown stint spurred by his family members asking him to arrange a scheme to protect his brother-in-law from burglary charges. All through the murder-solving adventure, Simon recounts his broken, beyond salvageable marriage and a personal improvement plan involving a tarot-reading civilian assistant named Melanie. As he works to solve the gruesome mystery at hand, Simon encounters the comical Inspector Galligar, the likable DCI Scotty MacPherson, and the respectable pathologist Gordon Williams. He ventures internationally until all clues come full circle and allow Simon to solve this mind-boggling case.

With subtle wit reminiscent of Midsomer Murders' DCI Tom Barnaby, Hadlow will quickly become readers' favorite character in this book. His uncanny intellect for solving cases will appeal to those seeking a modern Sherlock Holmes, and his self-inquiring, self-reflective nature will intrigue those who favor an Everyman and philosopher combined into one character. With its fast-paced plot and narratives, readers will find themselves quickly engaged in Hadlow's professional and personal affairs and often accidental shenanigans. The cop-as-human dynamic works in the character's favor as well as the plot's, while the book's examinations of public personas in the face of crime and criminals add a sociological element to the reading. Fans of flashback and the mystery murder genre will appreciate this book's unique structure, which bounces between the actual and the remembered to create a film-like experience worthy of any screen and any reader's imagination.

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