Source: Review copy (TBC Audible Listeners)
Release date: 6 March 2020
Length : 10 hours and 4 minutes
Reader: Richard Elfyn
A murdered mother. A failing police force. A detective looking for justice…
When drug addict Dawn Piper is found dead in her own home, her neighbors are far from surprised. Dawn’s habit led her to mix with some dangerous people. But this quiet mother of one was small fry. Why would anyone want Dawn dead?
Inspector Drake knows that there is more to Dawn’s murder than a simple drug deal gone wrong. As he digs deeper, he discovers that Dawn hoped to clean up the streets of her community that are being overrun by drugs and the dangerous County Lines gangs that sell them. And it cost her her life.
Have the police force failed the community they serve?
Drake is used to the murky world of organized crime groups. He knows the dirty games they play to evade arrest. But in his toughest case to date, Drake is determined to make the guilty pay.
This time, they will have nowhere to hide…
I have been listening to a lot more audiobooks recently as I avoid watching too much TV and my reading has been slowing down. So when I was offered the opportunity to listen to the audiobook of Stephen Puleston’s Nowhere to Hide, I jumped at the chance.
This is the 7th in a series and although I have not read the others, I did not feel at a disadvantage and this worked fine as a stand-alone, though clearly there was a significant backstory I didn’t know.
Our protagonist is Detective Inspector Ian Drake, based in Deeside, North Wales. Drake works with DS Sara Morgan, DC Luned Thomas and DC Gareth Winder. Their Superintendent, Wyndham Price, is about to retire and Drake is concerned that the new appointment, Hobbs, will not be as easy to work with; his reputation is that of a man difficult to please.
Drake suffers from OCD, though that is improving now that he is in a new relationship with Annie and the pair are planning a much needed holiday, taking his kids to Disneyland, Paris.
The biggest problem facing the North Wales Police is drugs and the increasing supply coming in from England, which the police refer to as the ‘county lines’ problem. When Dawn Piper, a young woman and a recovering drug addict, is found dead in her flat and it’s clear she’s been killed somewhere else, Drake and Morgan investigate.
It’s pretty obvious to them that drugs are at the root of this murder and that Dawn’s death may be connected to local crime bosses. The local community are already up in arms about the drugs problem and then another death takes place, this time a friend of Dawn’s is murdered.
When Drake’s ex-wife is forced off the road, with his children in her car, Drake knows he has to find these killers before his family comes to serious harm.
Puleston writes a pacy novel and this police procedural is tense and twisty with a terrific sense of place.
Richard Elfyn’s narration is excellent. Fabulously and enthusiastically Welsh, he handles the different voices well and I could listen to his pronunciation of Caerphilly over and over.
Verdict: A solid and authentic police procedural with convincing characters and a strong and believable plot.
Stephen Puleston was born in Anglesey, an island off the north Wales coast. After leaving school in Holyhead he went to University in London before training as a solicitor/lawyer practising in a small family business doing criminal work in the magistrates and crown courts, divorce and family work.He lives on Anglesey near the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia
Stephen writes crime fiction based in Wales and about Wales. The rural landscape of north Wales provides the backdrop to the Inspector Drake novels. And Cardiff the capital of Wales provides the setting for the Inspector Marco novels set in a modern urban environment.