There’s a lot to like in this gritty detective drama and, just like in real life, some things I didn’t like. That’s not a knock on the story or the writing, quite the opposite. Kwen Griffeth has created some wonderful characters: strong, determined, fallible & flawed.
The story opens with veteran homicide detective Nate Burns picking up his rookie partner Manny, fresh off a stint in narcotics, as they’re called to their first case together. As his training officer, Nate takes Manny’s tutelage seriously and puts the new detective, as well as any other cops they encounter at the scene, through their procedural paces. This introduction to the main characters speaks volumes! It sets Nate up as the black & white, good vs evil man we are meant to see him as… but in the early hours of the case we are treated to a glimpse of the real Nate, as he kneels beside the body of an unnamed murdered prostitute and promises her corpse that he will not give up on her, that he will find her killer.
Seems like a boiler-plate detective story setup right? Think again! About a third of the way through the book readers realize they’ve entered a maze filled with politics, corruption, and challenges of fidelity and moral fortitude. Wending around the blind corners, pitfalls continue to crop up, each seemingly detracting from the main story of the murdered prostitute until WHAM! Kwen Griffeth masterfully ties up all the strings in a way that feels organic and, well, just meant to be.
The family lives of Nate and Manny play a rather pivotal role and I loved that we got to see that side of their existence, to appreciate the balancing act that is being a police detective and a family man. If the author didn’t spend time in law enforcement, I would be shocked. Either that or some very diligent research was performed. The police procedural aspects, dispatch calls, and evidence handling were all represented quite accurately. I really appreciated this attention to detail.
Wanna join the manhunt? You can pick up The Tenth Nail HERE via Kindle Unlimited.