Thursday, December 24, 2015

Publisher description: "When Gabriel Ash's wife and kids were kidnapped four years ago by Somali pirates, his life spiraled out of control. He left his job working for the British government and moved to a small town where he descended into near madness. But with the help of his dog, Patience, and his friendship with young police officer Hazel Best, his focus returned. So when he discovers that his wife is still alive, Ash is once again filled with hope and fear. Hope that he has another chance to find her and their two young sons; fear that, in trying, he may bring about their deaths."

One thing I like about Jo Bannister is that she excels at drawing emotional relationships between members of the opposite sex who are not romantic pairs. This is brilliantly displayed in Desperate Measures, the third book in the Gabriel Ash/Hazel Best series.

Desperate Measures is full of plot twists, okay, not all entirely plausible, but the story kept me guessing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At one point I actually had to skip ahead because something happened that I both believed and could not believe.

I love the character of Gabriel Ash, the depiction of his struggle to cope with his PTSD, and his ability to hear his white lurcher Patience speak. (Patience is a great character too.) I also like that Gabriel is clever and intelligent but not a James Bond type. ("He had never been licensed to kill. He'd never been licensed to shout loudly or carry a pointed stick. He was a desk jockey - always had been, always would have been until he took his pension and the CBE that went with it. ... He was the kind of man who apologized to people who bumped into him in shop doorways." (p. 216))

If you like English police procedurals with lots of character development, I recommend all of Jo Bannister's series. If you also  are drawn to depictions of characters with PTSD, so much the better as far as the Gabriel Ash/Hazel Best series goes. Can't wait for the next book in the series!

The Galesburg Public Library has many books by Jo Bannister in multiple formats. The first book in the Gabriel Ash/Hazel Best series is Deadly Virtues.

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