Too Clever For His Own Good by Jon Fordham #BookReview #DIStevenHardcastle1 #AustinMacAuley #4.5*

Within the space of three days, two men are found brutally murdered.

Their only connection is that they were both involved in the same cricket match. But the complete lack of evidence left at both crime scenes leaves Detective Inspector Steve Hardcastle in a quandary. Is he searching for one killer or two?

The few lines of enquiry he and his team are able to follow up quickly lead them down a succession of blind alleys and Hardcastle comes under increasing pressure from his senior officers to make an arrest.

And when a third man who was also involved in the match suddenly disappears without a trace, Hardcastle knows that it is only a matter of time before he is taken off the case.

With his career prospects disappearing with each dead end, he is left with just one last throw of the dice.

A Promising Start to a Crime Trilogy!

DI Steven Hardcastle has his work cut out for him: two bodies, no evidence left at the crime scenes and the only link is that they played in the same cricket match. Unable to even discern if they are looking for one killer or two, Steve and his team chase down every possible lead, with a distinct lack of pointers to ‘whodunnit’. When a third man involved in the same match goes missing, Hardcastle fears it’s only a matter of time until the powers that be take over the case and he loses the chance of a promotion he very much wants – but he’s not a man to give up easily . . .

Rumour has it there’s no better way to spend the afternoon that watching a cricket match: the sound of leather on willow and a very civilised break for tea! Such a pity to spoil the image with the discovery of a body in the pavilion, but that’s exactly what happens here. I must admit to knowing absolutely nothing about cricket but, it is just the setting for a complex and compelling read. A real treat to come across a detective with a happy home life and I really enjoyed the mix of personal and professional in this one. While this is a complete story in itself, there is a definite lead onto the next book, and I shall look forward to it. I’m happy to recommend this one and give it 4.5*.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: crime thriller

Author Details

A retired building society general manager and county cricket executive director, Jon Fordham wrote his first book, Thanks For The Memories, in July 2014.

This was followed by the release of The Curse of The Great Train Robbery on 7 March 2016, published by Arena Books.

Married with three sons, his latest book ‘Too Clever For His Own Good’, published by Austin Macauley, was released on 31 May 2022. This is the first in the ‘DI Hardcastle’ trilogy, with the sequel, ‘No Time To Cut Corners’, due to be published in Autumn 2023.

Away from writing, his interests include following Charlton Athletic FC, collecting film related autographs and children’s books, notably the work of Billy Bunter creator Charles Hamilton, better known as Frank Richards.


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