This is the story of a strong, sharp-minded woman, Police Officer D.S. Penny Britain. More than that, it is the story of strong women, with all their feelings, their audacity, their fears and foibles.
Qualitiy of the e-book is very good. There are almost no errors, and there is a nice,detailled Table of Contents, not the usual "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2" etc. (I still wish there would be a combined one, something like "Chapter 2 - The case of the concrete man". It is easier to remember to have read an important detail in Chapter 2, than something like "It was in the Chapter called The case of the concrete man").
The author also should correct a small legal glitch. He does not allow the E-book to be "stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic (...)", which must be done all the time to download and make visible the content, chargeable or not. The clause is from pre-Ebook-times, meant against scanning a book, printing out and selling bootlegs!
You will notice that my review of "Charm of the Devil" is almost identical of that of "Deadly intent". This was done intentionally. In more than one aspect, both titles should be read and understand together. "Deadly Intent" plus "Charm of the Devil" does not only describe the emotional and professional development of Penny. We also accompany the author into a new (sub-) genre of his, a novel of inner development.
You can see the build-up of the story, the details, the characters during the (until now) two books of the "Penny Britain" series. It starts with a lot of open questions and rather stereotypic characters. There are international terrorists but who sent them? (Yes, they have a known name but those four letters are all we learn about the organisation). What is the structure of the organisation? Why do they hit at that year, at that special moment, against that special country? - Another episode is about members of a cult. What is that cult? How old is ist, who founded it? Is the reader expected to believe in real, occult powers or does the leader of the cult mislead people for his own purposes only?
The author develops with his story, too. For example, in the beginning I had to look up the names several times, because they all seemed alike, until I knew by heart who was the good and who was the criminal heroine. The good one is a beautiful, young, hard working woman (like the criminal one, too). All good beautiful young single women in books have a cat, so this one has one, too, named Holly.
In "Charm of the Devil" there develop, among else of course, a number of sub-stories from the view of the cat. They are priceless! I grinned all the time - and they are so true. "Jill Smyth from admin said what a
delightful house guest Holly was. She had been taking care of Penny’s cat. Holly had already trained Jill to be punctual with meals". Everybody who knows cats knows how realistic this description is.
Penny Britain also gains on details. She starts on the first pages as a brillant but unpopular commissioner with lacking social capabilities. Social behaviour patterns pose an eternal riddle for her. It even seemed to me that in "Charm of the Devil" there was clearly described an autistic overload (" like she was sitting in the middle of a large field. Sounds around her became loud") but the author supplied an other explanation. But why is Penny what she is? How was her education? Is she socially impaired or is she still learning?
Very subtle humourous scenes are developing along the plot. Her assistant complains: "“You never actually said what you were looking for. - “Ah! Ow!” He tripped over a metal spike". - "You just found it I think Clive". Dramatic scenes are not missing either, and in my opinion becoming more and more brilliantly built up.
The extremely bloody and gruesome scenes like at the beginning (which I did not like very much) became less, the dramatic climaxes became better built up and much more vivid.
I came to like the plot and the style. To my own surprise, I was compelled to immediately continue reading with "Charm of the Devil" after I had finished "Deadly Intent". I think we can look forword very much to Book 3 "Unlawful Death" which is promised by the author at the end of Book 2!
Remark: I normally do not award ratings. For the reasons see my profile.
(review of free book)