Point of Contact
When people start mysteriously dying in Newcastle, and the local police force can’t get a handle on why, they get in touch with Ian Fenwick to see if he can provide them with any pointers. Long exiled from the north-east, he returns to see if his skills can be of some assistance. No detective however, Fenwick’s particular expertise lies in fire, which is particularly pertinent here, as not only are the local coppers puzzled about why these people died, but how. Because, for all intents and purposes, it seems that these victims have spontaneously combusted. It’s a neat set up, and although the novel could have benefited from a good editor (“She had survived so far though and was now in Intensive Care in one of the cities hospitals” rather than “city’s hospitals”), and the characterisation a little thin, this is a real page turner, full of surprises, and the sci-fi and horror elements really lift it out of the usual hum-drum police procedurals.