Post Script: The Guilty – Sean Slater

The Guilty, Sean Slater

Sean Slater

The Guilty

Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781471101366







It’s clear to Homicide Detective Jacob Striker and his partner Felicia Santos that the two incidents are linked. But with no demands being made by the bomber, and no known connection between the victims, uncovering the motives seems impossible. Then detective Harry Eckhart disappears, tasking with him the lone survivor. His actions make no sense, and they force Striker to redirect his focus onto his fellow cops. It is an investigation Striker would prefer to avoid, but cannot – for the bomber is about to strike again.

And this time, it’s much closer to home…

My View:

An authentic voice in crime police procedural novels, Sean Slater is the pseudonym for Sean Sommerville, a police officer in the Province of British Columbia, Canada.

This is the third book in the Jacob Striker series but can easily be read as a standalone. I intend to look up the earlier books in this series; such is Slater’s writing skill! This is a brilliantly thought out, well executed police procedural – full of explosive moments (literally)J, fast paced action, subtle humour and great contemporary dialogue.

I loved the rapport between the two main characters – Striker and Santos and thought the portrayal of their work and personal relationship was realistic and valid. The dialogue between them and the cast of characters in the novel was smooth, effortless and natural.

Slater creates a unique and visual sense of place and time in this book. We experience firsthand the gritty and grungy view of contemporary down side British Colombia; the dirty smoke belching industrial chimney stacks, industrial concrete waste lands, abandoned warehouses, run down public housing, drug users and sellers, motor cycle gangs and the everyday hard working citizens (which includes the police force) juxtaposed against the wealth and opulence of the English Bay area.The topics of post traumatic stress – particularly relating to service in the armed forces and the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, are one of the major issues discussed in this novel; this rhyme is constant feature in the book and highlights the state of mind the bomber is in and is a reflection on a larger issue, of how the war can effect individuals in the armed forces .

Tommy Atkins went to war

And he came back a man no more.

Went to Baghdad and Sar-e.

He died, that man who looked like me.

Corruption in the police force is another topic this book tackles. Don’t be discouraged this is not a novel that is about shouting in your face causes or politics though they do play a part in the narrative; this is a story about modern life, about death – be it from illness, accident, crime and war and the affects death has on the living, it is about choices we make, about the things we chose to believe in and the positions we take and how the past can return to haunt us.  This story has an edginess that is disturbing – it concerns how issues can become black and white and not grey – positions where the truth is skewed and no one wins. But above all this is a superb police procedural with empathetic characters, a fantastic story line, plenty of action, drama and a sense of realness that is unsettling.  I am a fan!

2 thoughts on “Post Script: The Guilty – Sean Slater

  1. Pingback: Best Roads for 2013 | Reading, Writing and Riesling

  2. Pingback: My Best Reads of 2013 | Reading, Writing and Riesling

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