FLAWED - Jo Bannister

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

FLAWED is the seventh in the Brodie Farrell, Daniel Hood and Jack Deacon books, although the blurb doesn't mention Daniel.  As I've never read any of this series before, I was a little confused at the start as Daniel (who at that stage was a total unknown as far as I was concerned) takes centre stage in FLAWED, Jack Deacon is bit of a background character, and Brodie Farrell doesn't really get much focus until way later in the book.  To add to the slight feeling of discombobulation, there was then a pretty steep learning curve to get to know who these three are and how they all fit together.

Alongside the getting to know the main characters there's a multi-threaded story.  Daniel is a teacher, to whom something dreadful has happened in the past - not sure what.  Despite starting out attempting to return to teaching, he ends up working at Brodie's "treasure hunting" or private enquiry agency when she discovers she's pregnant to her now ex-partner Jack.  Jack is preoccupied with DI Alix Hyde - but not in any romantic way.  She's in town investigating a local elusive crim (and childhood friend of Jack's), who Jack has also tried to catch in the past.  His preoccupation seems mostly to involve keeping information back from Alix's investigation and then justifying that by claiming he was never asked.  

There's a lot of concentration on some minor points, there's an investigation to a major local criminal that seems to blunder along with very little insider information from the man in the know; there's a child abuse concern that Daniel is following up - that has a misdirection element that was so transparent it wasn't funny - and there's a very very very loose connection between the two investigations.  

I kind of liked Jack - despite the fact that he's so purposely obtuse and borderline obnoxious.  Daniel seems like an amiable sort of a character - maybe knowing his full back story would help.  Brodie had some good points, but unfortunately she started out pretty annoying, and whilst she did get a bit involved in Daniel's investigation later in the book - by that time the personal life and a slight feeling of whinging martyr had got to me and I was struggling to care about her much at all.

FLAWED was a very odd reading experience for me.  I think I can see how the trio of characters is supposed to work off each other, and I'll definitely give another book in the series a go, but it might have been better to start earlier on, to know what the various back stories are.

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