I am delighted to taking my turn today on the blog tour for Our Little Secrets by Peter Ritchie. Thank you to Alastair Chivers of Black and White Publishing for inviting me along for this glimpse into the Edinburgh Gangland, in all it’s menacing glory.
On to the book…
Our Little Secrets is the fifth instalment of the Grace Macallan series.
Set in Edinburgh, we catch up with Grace, who is trying to establish where her life is heading. Has she got a future in the force, or does she need to break away for the sake of her family and her own peace of mind?
Meanwhile there is a new woman on the scene. DI Janet Hadden is a woman on the up. Ruthless and without boundaries she is looking to make her mark at any cost. Passed over for promotion, she is out to prove herself, pulling in one of the Gangland’s more notorious figures, Dominic Grainger.
The problem is that Grainger is not as sharp as he used to be and has pressing problems of his own. So begins the construction of a precarious but rather deadly house of cards. It’s going to fall but who will be buried when it does?
If you like your criminals hardened and the stakes high, then this is certainly the novel for you. Ritchie has painted a grizzly portrait of the Edinburgh Underworld. It is a dangerous place with it’s own rules, it’s own hierarchies and a web of intrigue and lies. The authenticity of this dark place where everyone is keeping secrets and no one is being straight can not be over exaggerated. The feeling of menace and tension leap right off the page leaving you terrified but, paradoxically, immediately wanting more.
Ritchie is a master of the plot. He spins a complex mesh of deceit and double crossing, perfectly woven to create a multilayered tale that all comes together in climax that pushes at the boundaries of tension
The focus of this story is on the darkness of it’s characters. Characters who are laid bare many times over, characters who are convincing, often repulsive but always compelling. There are no one dimensional ‘baddies’ here. Their motivations and histories are presented to us, layered up chapter upon chapter, making their actions seem strangely logically and the plot wholly believable.
The lines between traditional perceptions of right and wrong are continually blurred, often warped beyond recognition. Dominic Grainger is barely on the right side of wrong, hiding his crimes behind a legitimate facade, racking up debts and trapped in an unhappy marriage to the daughter of a Gangland chief. His police contact Janet Hadden is cold manipulative and devoid of compassion. Pushing her way through the ranks, she spins her web of informants, but has she stepped too far over the line?
Ritchie is a master of creating complex characters, with histories and high stakes, but crucially, with flaws. Throughout the narrative there is the feeling that no one is running at the top of their game, no one is playing a perfect hand. It is just a matter of time before something or someone tips the balance with a deadly mistake, but who is that going to be?
Greed and long held grudges drive the action forward. No one is prepared to let anything slide, no one is going to be made a fool of and everyone just wants just one more slice of the action. All these strong and brutal characters make for an explosive plot with a fiery conclusion.
And the key question remains can Grace Macallan put the pieces together and will justice, whatever form that may take, be served?
There is no getting away from the fact that this novel is brutal in it’s authenticity. Be warned through out there is strong language, strong feelings and violent confrontations. Violence is the language spoken here and it’s perpetrators have long memories. And it makes for very interesting times!
About the Author
Peter Ritchie is a retired senior police officer. The real- world authenticity in his novels comes from vast experience gained working in CID, murder squads, Serious and Regional Crime Squads, NCIS London and Europol.
Our Little Secrets by Peter Ritchie is published on 27th June 2019 by Black and White Publishing.
And there is more…
Check out other reviews of this gripping novel. Enjoy!