Friday 27 January 2017

Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie Blog Tour

Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

‘[An] immensely impressive debut’ The Times



Peter James meets James Oswald in this gripping, gritty British crime debut

The charred body of an enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found in the burnt-out shell of his car on the Southend sea front.

Meanwhile, a vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery of their colleague's death, dark, dangerous secrets begin to surface. Can they solve both cases, before it's too late?

Mark Hardie's stylish and gripping debut introduces a brilliant new detective duo to the world of crime fiction, weaving together two suspenseful stories that end in a breath-taking finale.

'An accomplished debut' The Sunday Times


As a crime fan did this book look very promising. A policeman that is found in a burnt-out car and a young woman that's trying to solve the death of a friend of hers. Intriguing. There are several POV, we have for instance Donna, the young girl that's trying to find someone to help her solve her friend Alicia's death. We also get to follow DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine "Cat" Russell, as they try to solve the murdered policeman's death.

The book starts off first with a prologue where a man is awakening in a car before it goes up in flame and then it's a time jump and we get to follow Frank Pearson arriving at the burnt-out car and is notified that it's Sean Carragher's car and that's probably him in the car. Then, we go back in time, four days earlier and get to follow the main characters as the story progress towards the unavoidable death in the car and what happens after that.

I found the book both interesting, but also a bit hard to take in. My main problem was that neither Frank Pearson nor Cat Russell made a big impression on me. Donna, however, was the one that I felt most for at the same time was I curious about her mental state. She did seem to be a bit troubled and could she have anything to do with Sean Carragher's death? In the beginning was it hard to figure out where all the different storylines had to do with each other. Why is Sean Carragher under investigations? Does Cat know more than she lets on? Was Alicia murdered? And, what's up with Frank Pearson brother-in-law? And, how is it all connected? Is it all connected?

Burned and Broken was an interesting book. I really liked that I did not see the ending coming. I would have liked to have connected more with the Frank and Cat, but I felt that they just didn't resonate with me, but thankfully the story made up for that.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 


Mark Hardie was born in 1960 in Bow, East London. He began writing fulltime after completely losing his eyesight in 2002. He has completed a creative writing course and an advanced creative writing course at the Open University, both with distinction.

Mark lives with his wife Debbie in Southend-on-Sea.

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