***Shortlisted for the 2020 CWA Gold Dagger***
What You Pay For by Claire Askew is a police procedural set (as so many are these days) in Edinburgh, Scotland. The action takes place over the course of a week and it is quite gripping, a book you want to go back to reading. What’s it not strong on is mystery. This is partly the publisher’s fault: the blurb on the cover means there are basically no surprises in the first 100 pages and one excellent, really suspenseful passage is ruined by the fact you already know who is breaking into Detective Inspector Birch’s house. But it’s also not a book that particularly strives to have a clever plot: it’s more about emotional anguish and tiredness—and how you could accidentally end up as a gangster—than thrilling twists and turns.
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