Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me toparticipate in the blog tour for Retribution, the second novel in Christina O’Reilly’s DS Baldrick series of police procedurals.
A young woman has been murdered on Ripton Beach.
DSS ‘Archie’ Baldrick and DC Ben Travers eventually identify the body as that of Lucy Martin, who has been renting a bach in the area. Her husband, Oliver, seems to know very little about his wife or her background.
What was Lucy hiding? Why has she no family or friends?
As the number of suspects mounts up, Archie begins to conclude that the real answer lies in Lucy’s dark and mysterious past, and that the murderer may be just a little too close for comfort …
UK / US
This is my second book by Christina O’Reilly and I must say I’m a fan of this author. Into the Void, published in December 2020 introduced us to DSS Archie Baldrick and DC Ben Travis. I loved Christina O’Reilly’s descriptions of Archie’s chaotic family life, his easygoing wife Jenna and his teenage daughters Alicia and Summer. If you like a well-written whodunnit with likeable main charachers and subtle humour, I’d recommend you read both Book 1 Into the Void and Book 2 Retribution.
A body of a young woman is found on the beach. The identity of the victim is quickly established when Oliver Martin calls the police to inform that his wife Lucy lived in a rented bach near the beach. Lucy left her teaching job to write a novel and needed some peace and quiet to reflect and complete her work. Lucy doesn’t appear to have any other family apart from her husband who claims to have been in Sydney at the time. Moreover, there is something about the murder that makes the police suspect the perpetrator was local or at least somebody who knows the beach area very well.
What follows is solid police work. Alibis are provided and thoroughly checked, telephone call registers are analysed, anyone who might have had any links to the case is paid a visit and interviewed, and suspects, likely and unlikely are identified. There are twists and turns as more evidence comes to light and shifts the investigators’ perspective. The plot is solid and although you may have an inkling of what the title of the book refers to, it isn’t easy to guess the identity of the murderer and the motive.
As it was the case with the first book, the parts I liked the most were the ones dealing with Archie’s family. Let’s say being a father isn’t all joy and pride, it also involves plenty of worry and racking your brains on how to pass on your life knowledge and lifehacks, while allowing your independent teenagers make their own life decisions and possibly mistakes. As long as they do know you are and always will be there for them.
This short book was genuinely entertaining and time spent in the company of Archie and his team flew fast. I loved the setting (New Zealand), the characters, both main and secondary, drawn with memorable details, the intrigue and the fast pace. I hope Christina O’Reilly is going to continue with the series and can’t wait to meet Archie and his team again.
Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for the review copy gifted with no expectation of a favourable review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Christina is a writer and professional proofreader living in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Four of her short stories have been published, one in a magazine and the others in anthologies produced by Page and Blackmore, Rangitawa Publishing and most recently in Fresh Ink: Voices from Aotearoa, produced by Cloud Ink Press.
As well as being a finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards, Christina’s first crime novel Into the Void was longlisted for the 2019 Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize for an unpublished novel.
Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/Christina-OReilly-Author-102419694721372/
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