The Heights by Parker Bilal #TheHeights #NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many Thanks to Net Galley, Black Thorn Book and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

Parker Bilal aka Jamal Mahjoub has written a gritty investigative fiction that is absolutely riveting and absorbing. The Heights is book # 2 in Crane and Drake series and now I want to get my hands on book #1. I didn’t feel like missing out on much, having not read book 1, although there are some past instances mentioned here and there in the story that would have made better sense if read in order.

Calil Drake and Dr. Rayhana Crane are into a new partnership in the Crane and Drake Investigations. Drake as well as Crane have issues with authority and are much better suited working outside the Met where they have been erstwhile employed.

The opening scene is quite gruesome, the discovery of a severed head wrapped in some rags and paper inside the carriage of a metro. It is probably a single chapter that shows us a harried mother Ruby Brown and her son who makes the discovery but it is the brilliance of the writing by the author that they remain in the minds of the reader even after the final chapter. Kelly and Milo of the Met police are tasked with the investigation but when it becomes evident that the case is linked to a past case that Drake had handled, things become murkier. Crane and Drake are in the meantime approached to a missing person Howeida Almanara, the inquiries of which leads them to financial skullduggery and the disturbing past of Crane’s childhood.

Alternating between Crane’s and Drake’s POV’s, the investigation becomes a race against time as it becomes evident that someone is hell-bent on framing Drake for the death of Zelda, an informant, who was murdered 4 yrs back and that which still haunts Drake.

The author offers the reader an excellent twisty thriller that touches all facets of crime; gang wars, mutilation, human trafficking also the pasts of both protagonists that come into play and exposing the underbelly of the London city. It was enlightening to read about the cross-cultural and transnational individuals that make the teeming crowd of the city. I did take some time getting Crane and Drake sorted in my mind as the names do create a muddle, so, until a few chapters in, the confusion remained.

The ending of the story was a little abrupt for my liking but as this series is a trilogy, I am wholeheartedly looking forward to reading the last one.

This review is published in my blog; Amazon India, Goodreads, and Twitter.

The discovery of a severed head on a London Tube leads private investigators Crane and Drake on a dark journey into the past – and a personal quest for retribution.

In this second title in the London-based Crane and Drake mystery series, Cal Drake has left the police force and is now working as a private detective, having teamed up with the motorcycle-riding Dr Rayhana Crane.

The chilling discovery of a severed head on the Tube draws Calil Drake back to the case he failed to solve four years ago which left his police career in tatters. Crane and Drake investigate while also searching for Howeida Almanara – a young international student from the Gulf and the missing girlfriend of a Crane family friend. Could her disappearance be linked to Cal’s past and the gruesome discovery on the Tube? Crane and Drake are plunged into the dark underworld of London and international crime, and must risk their lives to uncover the truth. 

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