Crime on the Fens by Joy Ellis
A night wind blew along the narrow alleyway, bringing with it the smell of ozone and red diesel. Nikki Galena leaned back against the rough brickwork of the derelict warehouse and wondered how many other women of thirty-six would feel quite so comfortable in such unpleasant surroundings. The backstreets that skirted the docks were no place for a lone female at any time of day, but after midnight they were a definite no-go area. Nikki smiled in the darkness. Right now there was nowhere else she would rather be.
This is the first book in a series featuring DI Nikki Galena, DS Joseph Easter, and a team of 'misfits'. Their location is the Fens of Lincolnshire. I listened to this book on audio and the narrator (great job!) was Henrietta Meire. I remember reading some reviews of this series on one of my blogging friends' sites, but cannot recall who enjoyed the books. Is it you? Let me know. I liked this story very much. Nikki is a complicated person who is waging a war on drugs - not alone, but with the reluctant cooperation for her methods from some of her colleagues. She's gotten to the point where no one wants to work with her. Enter Joseph Easter - 'Holy Joe' - or maybe not so holy. These two characters really click - with each other and with this reader. And each brings out the best in the other one, in a manner of speaking. The crimes presented are varied and the pace is relentless. I'm all set to move on to #2 very soon. Happily, there are at least 8 books in the series so far!
THE DETECTIVE DI Nikki Galena: A police detective with nothing left to lose, she’s seen a girl die in her arms, and her daughter will never leave the hospital again. She’s got tough on the criminals she believes did this to her. Too tough. And now she’s been given one final warning: make it work with her new sergeant, DS Joseph Easter, or she’s out.
HER PARTNER DS Joseph Easter is the handsome squeaky-clean new member of the team. But his nickname “Holy Joe” belies his former life as a soldier. He has an estranged daughter who blames him for everything that went wrong with their family.
THEIR ADVERSARY is a ruthless man who holds DI Galena responsible for his terrible disfigurement.
The town is being terrorised by gangs of violent thugs, all wearing identical hideous masks. Then a talented young female student goes missing on the marsh and Nikki and Joseph find themselves joining forces with a master criminal in their efforts to save her. They need to look behind the masks, but when they do, they find something more sinister and deadly than they ever expected . . .
THE SETTING The Lincolnshire Fens: great open skies brood over marshes, farmland, and nature reserves. It is not easy terrain for the Fenland Constabulary to police, due to the distances between some of the remote Fen villages, the dangerous and often misty lanes, and the poor telephone coverage. There are still villages where the oldest residents have never set foot outside their own farmland and a visit to the nearest town is a major event. But it has a strange airy beauty to it, and above it all are the biggest skies you’ve ever seen.