Detective Constable Constance Fairchild is in for a shock when she heads back to the phony office, set up as the base for the Met’s undercover operations in London. She finds the dead body of her boss DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed with a single shot to the head, but not before he was tortured. Immediately, the powers that be in the Met want a scapegoat and it’s Con who’s given the blame. Suspended pending an investigation, Con is cut adrift with nowhere to turn with her grief until she is galvanised into action – somebody breaks into her flat and shoots two bullets into her pillow. Con has no choice but to hunt out the killer. If she fails, she’ll be dead.
Con’s given a distraction, an excuse to keep her head down and out of the way of those after her – an old friend appeals to her to help find her sister. Isobel has gone on the run from her school (Con’s old school) and her sister fears the worst. As Con delves into Isobel’s story, revisiting places and people from her own past, she discovers that she has nowhere to hide and everything to lose.
I am such a huge fan of James Oswald’s brilliant Inspector McLean novels and so I had some mixed feelings on hearing that the next crime novel would feature another lead character entirely – DC Constance (whatever you do, don’t call her Connie) Fairchild. It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the first person, present tense narrative by Con – this style is always hard at first when you don’t yet know the person speaking – but then it clicked and BOOM! I fell for Con very deeply.
No Time To Cry is a beautifully written, complex and thoroughly rewarding crime novel – as if James Oswald could produce anything other than that. It’s witty, extremely warm, with all of the evil in the world counteracted by the goodness of people like Con. The Inspector McLean novels have that little extra about them that’s curious, quirky and fabulous and I’m so pleased to have all of that here, too. There are also little shoutouts to the McLean novels, which warmed my heart. The move from Scotland to London also marks a change for this series but not all of the action takes place in the capital. We find ourselves in other places and I loved how real they feel, especially as Con goes back to places she thought she’d left behind for good.
No Time To Cry has such a fantastic plot. I love how complex it is, how Con pulls it all together. How we still have time to get to know her as a really rather wonderful person. Her relationship with Cat adds that little something and I absolutely love Con’s background. It’s very unusual and is revealed bit by bit. There is so much to know about Con. She’s so three-dimensional. I love how she works things out, her courage and her vulnerability and her wit.
I have no doubt that I will love this series every bit as much as the McLean books. I certainly know that I’m desperate for the next one and hope that we don’t have too long to wait. With No Time to Cry, James Oswald confirms himself as one of my very favourite authors, regardless of genre. Do not miss this book! The ebook is out now with the paperback published in November.