SUFFER THE CHILDREN - Adam Creed
SUFFER THE CHILDREN is the first book introducing DI Will Wagstaffe. A confession early on - I try not to read blurbs on books so the first few chapters referring alternatively to Wagstaffe and Staffe left me mildly confused, a feeling that came back to visit me on a few occasions throughout the book.
Staffe is a workaholic, that or he doesn't trust the team he works with. Either way, as one of his past cases resolves leaving him threatened by the perpetrator and his gang of thugs, Staffe is planning a holiday. Which he cancels, or avoids, when somebody starts killing known sex offenders. Paedophiles keep dying, bizarrely, violently and Staffe and his colleagues find themselves in the invidious position of trying to find the killer of people that, well, does anybody really care. Guy Montefiore has a young teenage daughter of his own and he's not impressed with the bad habits her mother is handing onto her, but then he's also busy stalking teenager Tanya. Meanwhile Staffe mourns for his broken marriage, tries to help an old friend, and support a sister who is the victim of domestic violence (and who has moved into his house).
SUFFER THE CHILDREN has a very complicated plot line. It's overly complicated to be frank, which is a pity, as lurking within the complication, and slightly over dramatic goings on, there's a character set that had some promise. Mind you, yet another paedophile / vigilante / should anyone care because the victim's not a nice person - well it seemed very much like it had been done before and, even with all the ancillary goings on, there was nothing particularly startling or surprising. I think that's probably my biggest problem with SUFFER THE CHILDREN, predictable and a little boring and I wasn't all that shocked, or surprised, or disturbed or even particularly interested by the end.
London. A city where no-one feels safe and one man's crime is another man's justice. A paedophile is brutally murdered in his own home, and to protect other known offenders the police must haul the families of their victims down to the station for questioning. It's just another day in the life of D. I. Will Wagstaffe; better known to friends and enemies alike as Staffe. In this case nothing is simple, least of all Staffe's personal life. There's heartache from Sylvie, his estranged lover, and the dark shadow of Jessop, his mentor. And as he digs for answers into the grime of the city he finds the boundaries between right and wrong have been blurred, but the main question remains: just how far would you go to protect your children?