Monday, 5 June 2017



The body count is rising…

When psychopath Daniel Moxley makes his escape while being escorted to Broadmoor high security prison, he sets off on a trail of bloody revenge, leaving police forces throughout the north of England floundering in his wake.

Moxley’s paranoia has him seemingly selecting victims at random.

The only thing they have in common is the gruesome nature of their killings.

Police, prison warders and even old ladies have been the target of Moxley’s cold-blooded murder spree.

When Detective Inspector Vinnie Palmer is assigned to the case, Moxley decides that he too must die, but not before he has led him from one blood-soaked scene to another. 

Among his victims is Vinnie’s offsider, Detective Constable Rob Hill, who he discovers has his own dark and destructive secret that rips Vinnie’s life apart.

With the help of Moxley’s psychiatrist, Vinnie delves deep into the man’s criminal past and uncovers a history of corrupt police, sexual coercion and gaol brutality.

But when Vinnie closes in on Moxley and takes the law into his own hands, he ends up suspended and stripped of his police powers.

Determined not to let Moxley escape justice, Vinnie continues his pursuit of the maniac as a private citizen.

He teams up with determined television reporter Christine Jones and together they pursue Moxley north to Scotland and back again.

But the killer always seems to be one step ahead, leaving a trail mutilated bodies in his wake.

Lured on by Moxley’s taunts, Vinnie discovers that it is his own wife – a fellow police worker – who has been an unwitting aid in Moxley’s deadly deeds.

As a result, his suspension is lifted in time for him and Christine to gain full police support and finally confront Moxley in a terrifying final encounter.

But is it too late?

The action-packed and full of gruesome detail, Nemesis is Roger’s first story in the new Badge and the Pen series that features detective inspector Vinnie Palmer.

The blurb above gives quite a bit of detail of where we go with the plot of this one, so I'll concentrate on the characters and the writing.

Its another police procedural and it stands comparison to a few I've read and enjoyed recently - David Jackson, Mark Hill, Sam Blake, I might be tempted to read more of these types of books in the future. An event during the course of the book, which sees Palmer suspended, does then seem to diverge into a one on one battle of wills as Palmer carries on chasing Moxley, albeit without any official status. He is soon back in the fold though.   

I liked the main detective Vinnie Palmer and his easy relationship initially with his underling Rob Hill and then his boss Delany. Not too far down the road, Palmer and Hill's relationship comes under a bit of strain. Sleeping with another man's wife, can sometimes have that effect. Palmer's wife, who up to now has been a bit of a cow, gives Vinnie the heave-ho. While Palmer reconciles himself to his domestic strife, Moxley our villain of the piece deals with Hill a bit more permanently.    

Plenty of brutality on display from Moxley, with a fair few scenes of graphic violence - some perhaps a bit OTT. Moxley is intelligent and extremely manipulative and is able to bend others to his will. Reneging on a deal with him has severe consequences, though you kind of feel if you played straight he would still enjoy having his own twisted brand of fun with you.

The story has plenty of legs and moves quickly. I really enjoyed it and will give the next in the series a go - Vengeance. Not the best book I've ever read, but I was entertained and sucked into the tale.

A solid 4 from 5

Roger A. Price has been read and enjoyed before - By Their Rules has featured previously, back in 2013.   
Roger A. Price has his website here. Facebook page here, Twitter@RAPriceAuthor

Read in May, 2017
Published - 2016
Page count - 271
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle  


  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Col, and for your indepth review of Nemesis, cheers and I hope you enjoy Vengeance too. Roger.

  2. Hmm....I'm afraid this one's probably not for me, Col. OTT brutality and blood isn't my thing. But I'm glad you liked the main character, and I'm glad the story worked for you.

    1. Margot, yes if I'm honest probably a bit too brutal for your palette. Much more up my street this one.

  3. The write up for this struck me as being similar to the DCI Ryan series by LJ Ross that I'm currently reading, with a policeman pitted personally against a serial killer. Thankfully the terrible murders are sparingly described and there are clever twists in the larger plot that follow into the next books.

    1. It did seem a one-on-one crusade particularly with the villain of the piece taunting the cop, as opposed to a team of detectives working the case and bringing him to justice. I liked it and will read more from the author. I will look LJ Ross up as it isn't an author I am familiar with.

      Can I ask are you UK based? Do you blog yourself?

    2. I'm in SE England - I don't blog myself, I just like to read all sorts of crime novels (& grow things on my allotment hence Spade & Dagger) and comment on like-minded blogs. Recently I was searching around for blogs about crime books that were neither Golden Age nor necessarily just published & found your interesting blog (from the Clothes in Books blog roll).

    3. Ok thank you. I didn't know if the Spade and Dagger alluded to Sam Spade and an affinity for US PI tales! I expect during these months you maybe read less and garden more.

    4. So glad Spade and Dagger arrived here from my blogroll! I am proud to be a matchmaker...

    5. New readers always welcome - where are they all hiding?

  4. Col – Thanks for the introduction to Price and his novels. I will be heading over to Amazon to give him a try.

    1. Elgin, hope you enjoy his work when you try it, can you get a sample first?

  5. Entertained is good. That is what I look for in a book. Police procedurals are my favorite mysteries because they seem more realistic to me.

    1. I like police procedurals maybe a bit more than I think I do. I suppose I've avoided them for a good while because they might also follow a formula. Maybe I ought to just judge each one on its merits.

  6. That is one complex plot summary! Glad you enjoyed it.