Vengeance (Badge and the Pen #2) by Roger A. Price
Jack Quintel is a hit man. When a job comes in to kill the Deputy Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Jim Reedly, he contracts it out to a new guy, Charlie Parker… Watching in the shadows, Quintel sees Parker shoot out Reedly’s windscreen, then drag him into the woods and thinks the job’s been done. But when Parker tries to pass off a pig’s heart as Reedly’s, things start to go very wrong. Jack’s right hand man Jason kills Charlie, who it turns out is an undercover police officer. Detective Vinnie Palmer is with the Preston police. He was called in when they received the information about the impending hit. Now he has to figure out how to clean up the mess. And he wants whoever killed Parker bad. He finds the man who put Parker in touch with Quintel, a low life hood named Dempter, living in an estate in Preston. He doesn’t know much, but motivated by money, agrees to be an informant for the police. Christine Jones is a TV reporter. She and Vinnie had worked together before, chasing a serial killer. They meet again at the warehouse where Charlie was killed, and realise their relationship could be more than professional. But first, Christine wants to know what’s happening. Christine is working on a documentary about positive discrimination against non-Catholic officers in Northern Ireland since the peace process. She makes contact with a former police officer in Northern Belfast named Paul Bury, who feeds her some of the information she needs. Meanwhile, as the bodies start to pile up in Preston, there’s another attempt on Reedly’s life, when a grenade is thrown at him at his brother-in-law’s funeral. As Vinnie fights to keep Reedly alive, suddenly Christine’s life is in danger. And they both start to wonder if the contract against Reedly has anything to do with her documentary on Northern Ireland. But how could it? Filled with twists and turns and gritty detail, Vengeance is must read for crime fans everywhere.
About Roger A. Price
The author is a retired detective inspector who had been in charge of a covert unit, which received national acclaim for its successes in engaging those who openly sold Class A drugs.Prior to this, he’d been in charge of the C.I.D. at Preston, having first led a dedicated informant unit.He also worked on murders, drugs squads, and the regional and national crime squads, often in covert roles across the UK, Europe, and the Far East, receiving several commendations.A member of the Crime Writers' Association he now writes crime thrillers in novel and script and uses his previous professional experiences to add gritty realism. Represented by SMA Talent.
If you liked 'Line of Duty' (and who doesn't?) you're going to love this gem which is the second in the 'Badge and the Pen series), Vengeance. The true investigation into contract killings is limited to just DI Vinnie Palmer, his boss Harry who sanctions involvement with Christine Jones, the investigative reporter who worked with Vinnie in Book One (Nemesis). Other than that, they have their work cut out on who they can trust, especially amongst more senior police ranks from the Chief Constable down. The contract killers clearly enjoy their craft, and they employ their skills brutally and creatively, which is not for the faint-hearted. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger, which made it even harder to put this book down.