Reviewed by Susan Lobban
Exclusive private school, Potter’s Field, is where lifelong friendships are created. For one particular group of friends they are keen to forget this time of their life. They have a dark secret, which 20 years later is beginning to catch up with them.
Detective Max Wolfe is a hero, who acts on his instincts. So when a businessman is murdered he is sure there more to it than meets the eye. When another victim turns up his suspicions are confirmed, especially as their murders are not the only link they have. Wolfe uses an old school photo as a clue to who could be next on the hit list, but will he be able to get to the killer before each one is crossed off.
The Murder Bag is a definite departure from Tony Parsons' usual family drama based books. I was interested to see if I would love the new direction as much as the old. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the murder aspect of the story. Whereas the family dynamic between DC Max Wolfe and his daughter Scout I absolutely loved. I savoured the father and daughter interactions interspersed in amongst the grit of the murder investigation. Tony Parsons really does know how to write parent child relationships that pull at the heartstrings.
The first two chapters of the book are very tense and gripping in two totally different situations, but then the pace slows right up. Each murder is gruesome but not entirely shocking and most times you knew what was coming next. In between each victim I just felt the story got bogged down with too much police talk, whether it was history facts or procedure. Some may find this interesting but I just got bored and was just willing for the story to come to its conclusion. Maybe I have been spoiled by American crime fiction but I am used to more fast paced stories.
If you enjoy reading about the inner working of the police service then this is for you, but if you prefer a whodunnit that keeps you on the edge of your seat then you will be disappointed. That being said I would like to read the follow up book to this as I long to see more of Max and Scout’s everyday life and who knows the next police case that he takes may hold my interest more.