The Eddie Kane Trilogy by Dominic Milne

Eddie’s phone was still buzzing, a text now rather than a call…DI Silver had called him twice. The message was from Teri Stone. It read: ‘Body found in flat on Liverpool Road. Silver’s trying to get hold of you…

The Eddie Kane trilogy is made up of three gritty crime thrillers set against the backdrop of modern day London. Beginning with Act of Contrition, and continuing in Act of Madness and Act of Vengeance, the series focuses on the exploits of anti-hero DS Eddie Kane as he tries to balance maintaining his career with his reckless decisions and exorcising the demons from his past.

In Act of Contrition, Eddie must try to solve a series of linked murders, figuring out whether they relate to the recent release of a violent offender back in to the community. However, Eddie owes a debt to crime boss Vincent Mullis, and Mullis has his own reasons for wanting to track down the murderer. Already under investigation at work, Eddie must decide where his loyalties lie.

This is a well paced crime thriller which does a great job of bringing London’s shady underside into the light. The book has an intriguing cast of characters, and does well to draw you into Eddie Kane’s universe from the first pages. The plot is engaging and has a satisfying mix of questions and answers.  Act of Contrition works brilliantly as a story of how our relationships and interactions can lead us into very strange, and often dark, places. Eddie is a likable, though occasionally frustrating (and as such quite believable), protagonist, and the story is thoughtfully plotted.

There would be more death before the month had played out its hand. The capital was melting, but the July heat was nothing compared to the evil storm about to break. Eddie Kane’s world was about to explode.

The next book in the series, Act of Madness, sees Eddie working undercover, a role which brings him into the path of the Albanian mob, and the deeply troubling world of human trafficking. Combine this with a worrying spate of ritualistic murders, and Eddie decides that traditional policing isn’t getting the job done, so with his trademark disregard for authority, he forges ahead with his own plans to disrupt the work of the mobsters. Slightly darker than its predecessor, Act of Madness is another pacy and enjoyable read; it brings together a number of threads into a gripping and climactic finish.

Eddie fell silent. He moved only briefly to place his hand over his mouth. There was one dead man in the room, another in the doorway who looked like he had just had his insides kicked out.

The trilogy comes to a close in Act of Vengeance. When an undercover officer at Wormwood Scrubs is brutally murdered, the crime seems to be the work of the Jamaican mob, but Eddie senses something else amiss when he hears the name of Barry Gregson, a prisoner on the same wing as his undercover colleague. This third installment gives us a much deeper look into Eddie’s past, and like the previous novels pulls the reader along with its finely balanced combination of mystery and resolution.

All three of the Eddie Kane novels feel accomplished and authentic, and I made my way through them one after the other, always left eager for more. I always feel that a good test of a book is how compelled I feel to re-read it, and I will certainly be returning to Eddie Kane.

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