Self-published (8th March 2015)
When the murder of a colleague is linked to a series of suspicious deaths, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods’ team are tasked with solving the mystery. New to the team is Maria Barnes, whose besmirched character sadly precedes her. However Woods quickly discovers there is more to the detective sergeant than meets the eye: her skill level, knowledge base, and investigative talents far outshine his own formidable qualities… And why is the Secret Intelligence Service so interested in Barnes and the investigation? It’s a race against time to stop the killer, but he’s meticulous, cunning and ruthless. He leaves the police and intelligence service questioning if they are all out of their depth… When forces contrive against them, Woods’ life hangs in the balance and for the first time in his career he risks breaking the rules… He and Barnes decide to go it alone to uncover who or what CXVI really is… The shocking truth lies at the heart of the Government and is trapped deep underground.
I thoroughly enjoyed this crime thriller by Angie Smith. The characters are complex and intriguing, particularly Maria; she was a fantastic character to read. Each time I thought I'd really got to know her, she produced another string to her bow or there was another surprise to be had. They way Barnes and Woods interact with each other is wonderful and really made the characters spring to life.
The crime detail is good. Unusual crimes with a consistent theme made this novel exciting and gritty. It held my interest throughout and also kept me guessing; I changed my mind a number of times about who I thought was behind the crime spree.
The only reason I have not awarded 5* is because I feel the ending was a bit abrupt and left questions unanswered; This is the first in a series, so it will leave readers waiting to read the next book in the series to discover what happens next; I can't wait to read it!
*I'd like to thank author Angie Smith for providing me with a digital copy of CXVI The Beginning of the End in return for an honest review*