Aector is a Scottish detective working in Hull, England. He has a wife and two small children. His wife was formerly a traveller (a nice term for gypsy). So you could say they have an unlikely and unusual relationship. But it's so sweet and romantic, you can't help but fall in love with these people. Aector is so genuine -- and he has such a knack for solving crimes.
This time there are two problems. The marijuana trade has turned particularly violent and it appears that a new person has taken over and is taking no prisoners. Some of the descriptions of the torture and violence dished out during this investigation really had me a little queasy. And some of the travellers seem to be in the middle of this mess too, which makes it a bit sticky for Aector.
Secondly, Aector finds a cell phone and after analyzing it he discovers it belongs to a man who committed suicide. But as he finds more and more information on the phone, he becomes convinced that it wasn't a suicide. This leads Aector and his boss, Pharaoh, down a twisted and unlikely path to the killer.
The path, in part, leads to kinky sex clubs and very promiscuous behavior, so this is an adult book for that reason (although the sex is not described in detail, just in general.)
Pharaoh is my other favorite character. You just can't help but be entertained during Aector's and Pharoah's scenes. Their non-verbal communication is as engaging as the verbal.
The setting is dreary, and not glamorous. These are just regular people in a regular town trying to make a living and keep people safe. There are many references to Brittish items and ideas -- most of which I could figure out from the context ("parking lots" are "car parks," and things like that.)
It's definitely the main characters that do it for me. The story, at times, gets a bit bogged down with lots of characters and subplots, but we soon return to the antics of Aector and all is well again.
If you enjoy a mystery that I think isn't too easy to figure out, and engaging and quirky characters, Original Skin is recommended. You have to be able to handle some pretty graphic violence too.
Published by Blue Rider Press, May 16, 2013
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
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