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  • A dark foray into immigrant detention centers

    Where the Innocent Die is the fourth book in the D.I. Ridpath series by author M.J. Lee, and my first foray into this series. Formerly of Major Investigation Team, D.I. Ridpath has been transferred to the Coroner office after a successful bout with cancer. Not content of the routine job it usually is, he keeps using his detective skills to uncover previously undetected crimes, not always winning brownie points from his fellow coppers. Appropriately, Ridpath doesn’t aim to please. He’s a no-nonsense detective, expert at applying pressure when needed, whatever the consequences. His tendency to unnerve people doesn’t phase him in the slightest, quite the contrary. When the coroner tasks him to investigate the suspicious death of a detainee at a private immigrant detention center, Ridpath discovers a botched investigation by the OIC, uncooperative administrators at the center’s administration, and is determined to uncover the truth about what he quickly thinks was a murder. However, the inquest is planned a few days later, and the coroner doesn’t intend to postpone it. As she often reminds Ridpath, for the coroner’s office, « who did it is less important than when it happened, where it happened, how it happened, and how it could be prevented from happening again ». The Coroner is adamant at wanting to release the victim’s body to her grieving parents at the end of the planned inquest, with no further delay. It’s then a race against time beginning for Ridpath. Fortunately, even if he’s kind of a maverick, he has allies to count on to help him when needed. The topic is somber, and there is relevant social commentary on how migrants are treated in the UK, even legal ones, in a system seemingly favoring profit over basic human dignity. The atmosphere is appropriately bleak, reinforced by a writing style I would categorize as « modern noir pulp ». The conflict between the aforementioned coroner’s philosophy and Ridpath’s still present copper mentality makes for a very interesting dynamic, and several conversations between them on this topic are food for thought. The focus, in the latter chapters, on the inquest proceedings (while Ridpath unravels the mystery in alternating sequences) also gives us a very interesting insight on a little known part of the judiciary system, and rivals in intensity the best « Law » sequences of the (often underrated) Law & Order TV series. In the end, it’s solid police work and determination from Ridpath and his team that allow them to salvage the initially botched investigation. That, as always, is way more satisfying than surprise witnesses, magic clues falling from the skies, or convenient deus ex machina informants too often found in crime literature. All in all, this book was an excellent read, not only for the mystery, but also for all the reasons stated above. It’s a book with depth, which leaves us thinking long after closing the back cover. Thanks to Netgalley and Canelo for the ARC provided in exchange for this unbiased review.

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  • Perfect Title

    I really enjoy a series and also a good crime who done it style of book. Well written easy read. Love a good back story that continues throughout the series as well. Highly recommended.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • Where the innocent die

    I really enjoyed this book and the characters are quite likeable I am looking forward to a follow up story

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Where the innocent ie

    A good srries of books in which fairly believable and some likable characters live through various murders. The editing is weak with characters identified as DS on one page and DC a few pages further along.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Where the innocent die

    Brilliant reading capture one from the start till end. Cant wait to se what decison ridpath makes

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