The Two O’Clock Boy by Mark Hill – Review.

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About the Book

TWO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS… ONE BECAME A DETECTIVE… ONE BECAME A KILLER…
Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children’s Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home’s manager.
Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis’ favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried . . . until today.
Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O’clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it takes to stop the murders – but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

My Review

The Two O’ Clock Boy is one of the brilliantly twisty novels that I have read for a long time. Flick Cowley is investigating the murder of a family and whilst investigating realises that there is a link with other murders. The victims all had a link with an old children’s home. Her superior officer Ray Drake is helping and guiding her through her first major case. But he is also manipulating evidence and discouraging her from looking into the past. Understandably she is annoyed and confused by his actions. In some ways they are similar, both have personal problems. Ray has recently lost his wife and his daughter in struggling with her grief has turned against him.
Some of the people who have been murdered spent time at Longacre, a children’s home that had serious issues. Part of the novel reveals what happened there in 1984 and was unfortunately believable. But the main storyline deals with the current investigation and trying to keep the remaining members of the home safe.
I have read many crime novels but I can honestly say that I have never read any like this. I often see twists coming and sometimes I am disappointed by them. Sometimes they have no seeable connection to the rest of the story. But in this novel, I had no idea what was going to happen, what had happened and who the murderer was. The twists were all very well hidden and they all worked. Not once was I left shaking my head in disbelief.
I don’t know if this is a standalone or the first in a series. Each would work perfectly well but I would love to see a follow up. This is a book that will definitely be one of my top ten books for 2017.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
You can buy the book at amazon or Waterstones
Mark Hill will be taking part in First Monday Crime on May 8th. This looks like it will be a fantastic evening. Details can be found here