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Play With Fire

Play with Fire: William Shaw

Investigations need exact precision and the evidence at the crime scene must be meticulously analyzed and recorded. When Rolling Stone’s star Brian Jones is found dead the public is upset, the lead investigators must proceed with caution but this investigation into his murder and death is overshadowed by another one that takes place. A young girl, who is a prostitute, quite proficient at her craft is killed and left on top of an elevator shaft bringing many to wonder who did she get there, who would kill her and why everyone that is interviewed seems blasé about it and not really upset. Even the caretaker of her home seems is distant, answers questions but is his alibi solid as well as her lodge mates who have their own take on this young woman. Julie Teenager was her professional name and she was found dead on the top of an elevator lift that seemed as the investigation moves ahead tampered with.

The caretaker answers questions but seems aloof and not really concerned about the murder. Constable Mint, trying to impress Breen, his boss, does his best to take notes, interview some of the witnesses but in the long run in one case gets stonewalled and the result is interesting. Finding a magazine called Oz and having to purchase it to get any information out of one of the employees, he finds a short article about this person and the name Julie Teenager is her professional name but not the one in the article.

Added in Sarge Breen, has a girlfriend that was a policewoman and her friend Elfie who is a great chef, is often along to voice opinions and Helen, his girlfriend just wants to be a part of the investigation and some of her ideas and suggestions do pan out.

Some investigations require clever planning and others are straightforward, but the missing link is the maid that worked for Lena/Julie and the questions that many asked as to why a young girl would use her body so frequently for money. With his Constable Mint at his side and at the ready, things take on a different turn when Breen pretends to be a client wanting to take art lessons and the model just happens to be the maid Florence. Call her Ms. Caulk and as you get to know her, she is truly a piece of work. Thinking that she might be a suspect and having evidence that would help identify Julie’s clients as each name in the coveted diary that she has, might not be a name used for the booking but will she reveal the truth behind each one as Mint and Florence have to go through them all and hopefully be able to question each one.

Conversations are unique to the time period and although Brian Jones is dead and we later learn that he was a drug addict and found floating in his pool, was his death in connection to hers? The time period is the 60’s and the music was rock; Woodstock was prominent, and the Stones were high on the list of what young people listened and aspired too.

London in 1969 is much different than America yet Julie Teenager is not any different than girls on 42 Street selling their wares. Julie is a popular call girl whose real name is Lena Bobienski and when you see the crime scene as it’s described you realize that Cathal Breen and his team of London CID’s have their hands full with trying to find the killer. Keeping track of her clients as Florence her maid and his Constable will check them out, their alibis and more murders to follow, another branch, M16 gets into the mix and we learn more about just who Julie was, who else she was working for. How about a foreign government and the odd part is that the police have no record of her with either name. She is like someone who is there but not there at all why?  Why does he get the feeling that the higher-ranking officials do not want him to learn the truth about Julie and some of them might be her clients?

Some scenes are indicative of the times as Breen takes his investigation to one of his old haunts, The Louise and meets another police official hoping to glean some information as each one taunts the other.

Hoping to connect with someone named Ronald Russell we learn that he bought two rings for Julie and the history behind them might interest readers into learning more and understanding why his wife was left in the dark.

The interview with Felix the editor of OZ, the alternative newspaper with diversified readership and where Julie advertised in. Felix refers to Germaine who writes about sex and readership eats it up. There is a contrast between those with class, decorum and those who act out their fantasies and wants.

John Carmicheal is his contact in the Drug Squad and yet you can tell from their interaction that both have their strengths but its Breen that might solve the case. Things heat up as the evidence comes to light and he finally interviews Russell, but will he be honest and tell him the truth about his relationship with Julie even if it means his marriage? Author William Shaw even brings to light how many in London would feel dealing with immigrants as neighbors bringing another issue from the present into the past as well as more information about the death of Brian Jones and the fact that it was classified and I quote: As a misadventure.

Things take on a different turn when the team along with Creamer, his boss learns more about the clients, their false identities, the fact that Ronald Russell may or may not be hiding something added in we learn more him and the fact that Florence stated that one of the clients was a copper as they stated it back then. Is that why the higher ups are taking the report that Mint prepared and where would the investigation go? Would they cover it up for a cop?

Breen gets blindsided when coming to work and called in by Creamer and the Superintendent and questioned as a suspect. Who spoke to the press and told them that they thought a cop was a client of Lena? Who cleaned out her apartment after forensics completed their job? Which department was undercutting his and why did he get the feeling that the Superintendent was hiding something? Talking to Mr. Payne and Hass two residents in her building and then the caretaker letting in these men claiming to be the police, things take on a sinister and odd turn and then the maid disappears, and Breen feels he is to blame. Learning who the leak was puts him in a bad position and the fact that it might impact the case and someone’s credibility leads him to be more forceful, insistent that things get done and that they go to Lena’s apartment and hopefully her clients will show up.

Things turn dangerous when there is another murder this time the caretaker. Breen is stumped and learning who leaked the investigation to the press and then explaining the D Notice that would stop articles from being printed, he is placed in a difficult situation since the editor of OZ wants his day in the spotlight but will he agree to not publish anything or speak out until Breen has more to go on?

With Helen stir crazy, and Elfie dealing with her errant and cheating boyfriend, things get tense and tempers rise but will Breen put it all together?

Creating false leads and impacting the lives of others the police higher ups create roadblocks-that hinder Breen’s investigation until he learns sine hard facts and it’s all taken out of his hands. When someone close to Lena/ Julie is attacked, Helen is seriously injured and a simple item triggers it all into place just how do the pieces link two murders and two attacks to Russian spies and what is being done to get two back and arrested yet letting a key player skate? Some endings will bring incidents and murders to a close where this one will leave you wondering what will be Breen’s final fate, what about his relationship with Helen and what about a murder that brought unsaid justice?

Characters that were diversified, some with unscrupulous personalities and one man named Breen’s who just wanted justice served and at the end learned just what happens when you Play With Fire 🔥 as author William Shaw takes readers and Breen’s down some very crooked and dangerous slopes with harsh realities and unusual reasoning for solutions that readers and even the characters will question and ponder in the end.

 

Fran Lewis :just reviews

 

 

About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

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