Cover Image: The Heights

The Heights

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Member Reviews

Really good thriller with plenty of action from the start. This is the first book that I have read in this series and I really enjoyed it. I liked the characters and the plot and would definitely read more by this author.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Black Thorn publishing for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!

This was the second novel in the Crane and Drake thrillers.  I haven't read the first one, but didn't feel that I was missing anything overly important.  It read well on its own, and did a good job of introducing who you need to know even though it was the second book.  This one starts off with a huge bang and sucks you in, but after that first initial wow moment I felt it was fairly slow building until the end.  The last 50 pages or so, the story does pick up and you can't stop turning the pages.  Overall, it was a decent thriller.
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This genre of thriller has a disfuctioning male and a feisty female working together against the odds to unravel the mystery of a murder. The ex colleagues of the Police are either helpful or scheming to wreak havoc in the lives of the book's heroes. 
This novel has all these characteristics, but reveals a more important story of loss and despair in the history of the wronged victims. It was beautifully crafted and an enjoyable read. Recommended.
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The heights wasn't the easiest of reads for me and that wasn't due to the severed head. 
Crane and Drake are running a private investigation angecy and find themselves with a case to find a missing girl. The case comes from an old 'friend' of Cranes a friend that Drake takes an instant disliking to. Even though they have been asked to investigate a disappearance Drake suspects there's more to the story and he's not wrong. However at the same time DI Marsh is called to an tube station where a severed head has bedn found on a train. Marsh believes the head is linked to an old undercover case Drake was on when he was with the MET so asks for his help solving this cold case  this case though is personal for Drake it turns out in more ways than one. 

I haven't read the first in the series and I wondered if that was why I was struggling with the characters and their alluded back stories. But the book does clear up any key events the reader has missed, allowing this to be read as a stand alone book (I won't be rushing to get the first one). But the more I read I realised I couldn't get into the story because it just wasn't gripping enough for me, with a start do out there of a head rolling up and down a train, i think I expected a lot more gore which wasn't the case.

By anout 40% of the way through i contemplated not finishing the book at all but im no quitter and if i start reading I finish reading (except that one book 😅) anyway im glad I did. By 60% of the way through it got more fast past more drama filled and a lot of missing pieces started to come together. This made my mind up i was finishing no matter what! 

So why did it get so good, well that would be a spoiler now wouldn’t it! But what I will say is they're start to get on the right tracks of both cases, which at one strange point overlap. That chapter I must say was by far the most page turning and completely unexpected also with a random bit of comedic value, which when you read it you may think im mad but bare with it. 

What the book does well is looks at relationships/partnerships and actually all of them platonic but important for different reasons. It really makes you think about the value of trust in relationships when can someone hold a successful partnership even if trust is being questioned. I think the author really depicts this well that actually doubt is okay and its how you deal with it that matters. 
The author also uses a lot of description, sometimes i was extremely grateful, for it, because i got lost in the fast pace of the story where everyone was. There's a great section of the book with Crane where she finds herself in an unexpected predicament where the description of her surroundings really makes you feel like your there! Occasionally though the drsctiption doesn't add much to the story but I didn't mind it. 

So my conclusion is this i would normally pick a book like the heights to read a crime book some psychological elements seems so me. It wasn't but im glad I finished it and got to enjoy the last half of the book the ending however finished on such a "this just got serious" paragraph that I know i will have to read the next book. Which I hope keeps up the pace from where it left off. 
I must say for both cases I solved them quite early on, but I'm a crime thriller fiction geek that maybe it might appear like a twist? 
I would recommend this book for those of you who are new to the genre and trying to find an easy-ish story to follow. Its not bloody or completely psychological that you might get overwhelmed with it. From a point it was an easy read (I read the first 55% over a period of 9 day and the remInder in a few hours), it just takes  while to grip you. 
I rate this book 2.5 stars closer to 3 than 2 so my rating will reflect a 3. 

Thank you to netgalley and blackthorn publishers for the ARC given to me for my fair and honest review.
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Hadn't read the first in the series, so read this as a standalone and it didn't disappoint in the slightest.
Cracking read that had me hooked from start to finish.
Thanks to the publishers and Net Galley for the ARC.
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The second in a series. I felt this worked well on its own too- I haven’t read the first one but didn’t feel like that had any negative impact on my enjoyment or understanding of The Heights. I loved the uneasy relationship between the two main characters, the tension is palpable! Bringing their own issues they don’t necessarily get along or work as well together as they possibly could which leads to further issues. This dynamic was really interesting. A really good tense read.
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This is the second of Parker Bilal's London based trilogy featuring former Met DI Cal Drake and forensic psychologist Rayhana 'Ray' Crane, who have set up as private investigators. Drake was once a high flying police officer expected to go far, a successful public symbol of police diversity, until he went undercover as Terry Nash, a smart small town drug dealer, with the aim of bringing down Goran Malevich, a crime king pin with his fingers in many pies, including drugs, prostitution rings, illegal gambling and more. However, the operation fell apart, when Drake's informant, Esma Danin, aka Zelda, is murdered with her headless corpse washing up on Brighton beach. The ambitious DCI Vernon Pryce, a man surrounded by rumours for years, tried to get Drake thrown out of the force, casting aspersions on his decisions and suggesting gang links when Malevich was killed, and much of his empire taken over by Donny Apostolis.

Drake left the police as a pariah, joining forces with Crane instead to set up with the greater freedom to be found in the private sector. The book begins with the stressed and fraught Ruby Brown travelling on the London tube with her baby and disruptive 9 year old son, Tyler, a Tyler who inadvertently frees a human head from a bag which rolls around the train floor to the horror of the passengers. DS Kelly Marsh and Milo Kowalski get in touch with Drake to investigate below the radar, budget cuts mean the police are going to engage in a cursory investigation only and the case holds no interest for DCI Pryce. The dentistry suggests the victim was Eastern European, and it appears the head could be that of Zelda, but why had someone been keeping her head in a freezer for years? As connections between the head and Drake emerge, the past comes back to haunt the present, bringing with it grave danger.

Crane and Drake get hired by privileged and entitled author, Marco Foulkes, whom Crane had known as a child, he wants them to find his girlfriend, the wealthy student, Howeida Almanara, whom he believes has been abducted by her strict and disapproving Middle Eastern uncle. Strange connections begin to appear between this case and Drake's investigation into who killed Zelda. This is a gritty, dark and twisted read, one of the highlights of which is seeing the relationship between Drake and Crane develop from uncertainty into one of greater trust between them. Although I have not read the first in the trilogy, at no point did I feel disadvantaged as a result, the ending was rather abrupt but I nevertheless want to read the last in the trilogy as I enjoyed this one so much. Many thanks to Black Thorn for an ARC.
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A new author for me and one ive not come across but having read this i will certainly be reading much more by this author

Thank you to Netgalley and Black thorn for this advance copy
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Black Thorn for an advance copy of The Heights, the second novel to feature former Met DI Cal Drake and forensic psychologist Rayhana Crane.

When a head is discovered in a plastic bag on the Tube it soon becomes apparent that not only does it have links to Carl’s past but someone is trying to destroy his present and future.

I enjoyed The Heights which starts with an interesting premise, a severed head in a public place and just enough evidence to link it to Drake, but turns into a far bigger novel in terms of scope and plotting. I must admit that I don’t have much interest in this wider scope, crooked financial dealings and gangland rivalries, but the author’s storytelling was such that I became engrossed and couldn’t wait to find out where it was going. 

This is the second novel in a proposed trilogy and while I haven’t read the first, The Divinities, I didn’t feel at a disadvantage as it seems self contained as far as history goes, but there are several unresolved threads in this one that I assume will explored in the next instalment. It is slightly frustrating for the reader not to get everything tied up in a neat bow but the journey to this frustration is interesting and full of action, events and interconnecting relationships, so something for everyone. My eyes did glaze over at some of the financial detail but that’s possibly because I assume that tax havens and avoidance are the norm in rich circles, if the papers are to believed, so nothing to get excited about. Otherwise the novel is good and it held my attention throughout.

I’m not actually sure what to say about Drake and Crane. They both come from dysfunctional backgrounds and carry a lot of baggage which seeps into the investigation from more than one angle. Serendipity or clever plotting? Who knows. Whatever, it does mean that they have an uneasy partnership and are prone to under sharing. I’ll be interested to see where they go next, apart from the obvious hints in this novel.

The Heights is a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.
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Parker Bilal opens the second volume of the Drake and Crane trilogy on the train. You can actually feel the claustrophobic setting of a commuter train paired with her patience draining by the minute. Bilal wastes no time revealing the severed head on the tube, and diving directly into the mystery surrounding it.

The Heights has a lot of moving pieces, and introduces a lot of characters into the mix - this narrative requires you to really pay attention to all of the details. Crane and Drake are best when they're together, and I found myself wishing they worked more shoulder to shoulder - instead of spending most of the novel investigating separate leads.

The Heights held my interest, but did not really pull me in until the very end. I would recommend picking up the first novel - The Divinities - before picking up a copy of the Heights.
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Good read but felt like something was missing. I enjoyed this story, good character development and it held my attention, though it wasn’t as enjoyable as other crime thrillers I’ve read. There were many characters to keep up with, and the merging with private investigators and police I found a little confusing, especially as many knew each other previously. It felt like a great recipe that lacked an ingredient, yet hard to distinguish just which ingredient was missing. I may read the previous book to see if that helps explain things better. I thought this would be a stand alone book. I was quite slow to warm up to it, and not an instant page turner. I was ready to put it away more than once but always try to finish my books unless something in the story is overly offensive which is not the case here. For me, The Heights was a good but not great read.
Thanks to Parker Bilal, Black Thorn publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Nail biting thriller that grips you from the start a high class story that is fast moving loved it excellent.
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