‘A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .’
The Mayfly is the debut novel from James Hazel and is the first in a new series featuring ex-cop turned lawyer, Charlie Priest.
Just published by Bonnier Zaffre, The Mayfly is a crime novel with a very intriguing historical twist. With the next novel, The Ash Doll, due out in Summer 2018, James Hazel is an exciting new writer to watch out for.
Please continue reading for my as ever unbiased and voluntary review…
Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.
Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
As Priest races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?
For fans of Thomas Harris and MJ Arlidge comes a high-octane thriller from an exhilarating new voice.
‘A sanctuary built out of love and innocence, defiled in the most grotesque manner’
The Mayfly opens up with a stomach-churning scene of horror that immediately pulls the reader into the story. A body is discovered in an abandoned summer house in South Wales with injuries inflicted that are beyond the worst nightmares of most.
The scene is quickly cordoned off and Sir Philip Wren, the Attorney General, gets summoned to this site of horrors.
‘It’s happening again.’
A chilling statement that has lots to reveal.
Meanwhile, London lawyer Charlie Priest is at home when an unexpected guest comes knocking.
Charlie Priest is the main protagonist of The Mayfly. An ex-cop turned highly successful London lawyer, Charlie works closely with a select team of employees at his practice, Priest & Co.
‘Priest had spent eight years of his life excelling as a policeman before he committed what his former colleagues judged to be the ultimate betrayal by becoming a lawyer. As if the natural mistrust that existed between law enforcers and law manipulators wasn’t enough, Priest had rubbed salt in the wound by making an awful lot of money in the process’
Charlie has always been very selective of his clients, dealing with cases where he can only guarantee success. He is a high-achiever with an excellent record but Charlie has his faults. A condition known as ‘Dissociative Disorder’ has plagued Charlie all his life. Over the years he has grown used to it’s warning signs and has the coping mechanisms now in place to deal with it.
One rather persuasive new client is pharmaceutical giant Kenneth Ellinder. The Ellinder’s are an extremely wealthy family and money is no object as they seek to uncover the reasons as to why their son was murdered. Initially, Charles is slow to take on the case, after already being the victim of a very recent assault, but circumstances soon change as Charlie finds himself fighting for his survival against an evil that has it’s roots in our history.
Buchenwald Concentration camp. Germany 1945, the American troops witness the horrors of the Nazi regime following the emancipation of the camp.
‘Thousands of them crammed into spaces designed for a few hundred at most. Stripped naked except for loin cloths. Freezing. Dying. Their bodies had shrivelled through malnourishment to such an extent that they barely resembled human beings anymore. The walking dead…‘
With the onset of the Nuremberg Trials, Nazis are gathered up and interrogated to reveal the barbarity of the atrocities inflicted on the victims of the camp. These were heinous acts of inhumanity that still impact many in today’s society.
The depiction of the camps is excellently portrayed by James Hazel but The Mayfly is not a book that remains in the annals of history. As a reader, you are taken through the decades as the ripple effect continues it’s way through generations.
The Mayfly is not a book for the faint of heart. There are very gruesome scenes throughout that will make you question humanity and the levels of violence that can be inflicted on one by another. The book does have a romantic element in it though so this does water down the intensity of the horror to some degree.
Charlie Priest is a great new hero in crime fiction. James Hazel has created a flawed individual who has his own personal demons to carry which makes for a very intriguing character.
The Mayfly is a very talented and unbelievable debut. With book 2 in the series, The Ash Doll, coming out next summer, I expect James Hazel will be a name recognised by many in the future. One-to-watch…..
Purchase Link ~ The Mayfly
Before turning his hand to writing, James Hazel was a lawyer in private practice specialising in corporate and commercial litigation and employment law.
He was an equity partner in a regional law firm and held a number of different department headships until he quit legal practice to pursue his dream of becoming an author.
He has a keen interest in criminology and a passion for crime thrillers, indie music and all things retro.
James lives on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds with his wife and three children.
Website ~ http://www.jameshazelbooks.com/
Twitter ~ @JamesHazelBooks