These days, I usually parallel-read two books: one "physical" book, the kind that is made of paper and can rest on your bedside table or adorn your shelf while you are not reading it, and one on my kindle. The kindle-reading is mostly limited to the train trips to and from work, but I made an exception last night: The ebook I had been reading for a while was 90 % finished, and I really HAD to know the end, so I read the last few chapters in bed, not waiting for my next trip to work.
The book was "Rope Enough" by Oliver Tidy, a self-published author from the UK who now lives in Istanbul. You can find out more about the author and his books here on his wordpress-page.
"Rope Enough" is the first of a series of four books, "The Romney and Marsh Files". The books are set in Dover and describe the cases DI Romney and his sergeant Marsh have to deal with. Romney is, I believe, in his mid-to-late forties; a single man with at least two serious relationships (marriages?) under his belt but convinced he won't find a suitable candidate for a third try, not at his age and not with his requirements.
Marsh is a young woman who has been transferred to Dover only two months ago and has not yet had much time to get to know the place and its people very well.
The two are very different in their approach to their work, but make a successful team - probably because of their differences.
A young woman working at a garage is brutally raped at her work place. She happens to be the girlfriend of one of the most notorious criminals in town, a man Romney would very much like to see behind bars. When more crimes linked to the first one happen, he sees his chance to finally prove the man's involvement in them and other illegal activities. But something does not add up, and it takes a while before the DI and his sergeant realize that there is more to this case than meets the eye.
The way they go about solving it is very well described; I am no expert in police procedure, but it all sounds very much like I'd imagine a real police unit going about their daily work, along with the tedious paper work, reporting to their superiors and so on.
People are portrayed in a believable way, and although I have never been to Dover, I am sure that those who know the place will recognise it well in the book.
This is no cosy mystery. It is contemporary crime fiction, and although Oliver Tidy never goes into too much gorey detail, some scenes are realistic enough to make you want to get on safer ground in the next chapter. Having said this, I very much enjoyed "Rope Enough" (which, contrary to what the title and cover image imply, has nothing to do with anyone's death by hanging).
For a self-published book, it was well edited; I found few typos and only one editing error: A witness changes his name from Nick Holmes to Ricky Holmes a few pages further on.
It was free on the kindle shop when I came across it, and I will certainly go and find the other three books in the series, no matter whether they are for free or not.