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Post Mortem

(Collins and Griffiths #1)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  65 reviews
An intricate, gritty and authentic crime novel from a serving detective in the Met's murder squad - an explosive debut.

She closed her eyes and saw, as if on a loop, a repeating backdrop of square windows, blue concrete spinning and passing, passing, passing. She could not escape the horror of it: unstoppably, irretrievably until the hard concrete reaches up.

A long-serving
Paperback, 359 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Corvus (first published August 6th 2015)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  517 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wavered between three and four stars for this one but ended up going for four. It was a very realistic and consequently rather uncomfortable read.

Truth be told there was very little positive to come out of this tale of policing in England, especially as it was written by someone with considerable real experience in the field. It was sad to see that racism still occurred within the ranks, frowned upon but not always dealt with. Worst of all was the way they settled for the easiest solution and
PC Lizzie Griffiths, reasonably new to the job and PC Hadley Matthews, a twenty seven year veteran in the Met were together doing a routine check on a criminal damage call. Between two neighbours, it seemed a simple call-out; neither cops had any idea of the magnitude of the minor case; the escalation which would lead to disaster and lives which would be changed forever.

When Lizzie was found on the roof of a tower block in London’s East end, cradling a terrified five year old Ben in her arms wh
Debut author Kate London joined the Metropolitan Police Service after an early career in theatre. It seems an odd switch and has me kinda intrigued but guess both combine to offer a first-hand knowledge of policing and police procedures; and an ability to stage a scene… something which is awfully handy when writing crime fiction!

Although I didn’t feel as if I knew DS Sarah Collins well, I did (for the most part) like Lizzie Griffiths. London does a great job of getting inside the head of the rel
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Post Mortem is an unusual novel and quite compulsive in its own way but there is very little actual crime in the main plot. It opens with the death of a policeman and a young immigrant woman who fell from the roof of a tower block. The main witness, PC Lizzie Griffiths, does a runner before giving her evidence and it is left to DS Sarah Collins to try and piece together the events leading up to this accident.
The novel follows Sarah's investigation and flashes back to prior events from Lizzie's p
Dawn Davies
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
This was an unusually interesting book, there was not a lot if action and at times a bit slow.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Nicely written, a solid and interesting first book from Kate London. Can't wait to read more. ...more
Rachel Kirtlan
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I don't normally read this genre, but I must say, I really enjoyed it. I can definitely see myself reading some more crime novels in the future. This novel felt very realistic, and the description of many details was very intricate.

There weren't really any characters that stood out to me, or that I really liked. However, I actually didn't mind too much, as I was totally engrossed in the mystery of it all. I am normally quite an emotional reader, as in I like to feel some sort of feeling for the
Mar 07, 2018 added it
Just finished this first Collins & Griffiths from Kate London. It felt more like a story than a crime novel. Just enough police action to take it into the category. However it was a very good read. Although the ending wasn't as expected - bit of a twist - it was well written and I'm about to start the next one! ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings. I kept on reading. I think the narrator of the audiobook ruined it a bit so difficult to know. I wasn’t always convinced by aspects of the novel but I did find it compelling.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is Kate London's very first novel. Post Mortem is an excellent police procedural from Kate London. The story is draws you in and doesn’t let go with impressive police dialogue.

Without giving too much away. The first page opens with disastrous consequences of on the 17th April two bodies, spread on the tarmac of the square in plain view. Face down was a white uniformed male. The teenage girl,s face was dark-skinned North African that lay face up. They fell to their death from a tower block
Nov 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
I found it a bit hard to get into and then once I persevered I became hooked. it was a crime novel with a difference focussing on issues of morality in the police force. How important is it to "back" a fellow cop at all costs compared with doing what you know is right. This is the point on which the plot turns for a young police constable Lizzie Griffiths. There is an investigation into the death of her partner and a young girl. There are allegations of racism and a cover up and Lizzie herself f ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Ambiguous! I really enjoyed the writing style but feel dissatisfied with the ending- the whole book is an exercise in finding answers, from one perspective or another, but neither reaches a conclusion. Adds to the realism (and I'm still thinking about it) but doesn't give the sense of satisfaction a finished book normally does. ...more
Jay Dwight
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good debut novel from an author I am keen to read more from. Kate London is an ex-police detective and this shines through in a tale that is rich in police procedures. Provides an insight to the inner workings, relationships and politics of the force.
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a first novel this one ticks all the boxes, London clearly has experience of which she writes, she manages to offer us the voices of believable people in very real situations, allowing us an insight which at times isn't very pleasant. I have high hopes for her next novel... ...more
Lou Robinson
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Not bad...but not brilliant. Easy enough read. Just didn't find the story massively engaging. ...more
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Throughout this book there is an undercurrent of uncertainty, a feeling of something unsaid, unnoticed, but something which should be obvious. The pieces come together like a jigsaw puzzle until you realise that the last, crucial piece is missing. We know where, we know who and we know how but we don't know why. There are teasing bits of information throughout but surely they wouldn't lead to a tragedy like this?
Although parts of this are hyped for the dramatic effect, and to give a foundation t
Megan Jones
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A long serving beat cop in the Met and a teenage girl fall to their deaths from a tower block. A five year-old boy, Ben and rookie police officer, Lizzie Griffiths survive. Then Lizzie disappears hours after and Sarah Collins is tasked with finding her. A search that takes her to the heart of the dark side of policing. 
I read London's second novel 'Death Message' before this so I started 'Post Mortem' knowing the outcome. The excitement and intrigue was not here for me but I cannot comment on pe
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right, wrong - and the grey area in between

Kate London puts her Met experience to good use in this intelligently written, engrossing police procedural which centres around an internal investigation.

It touches on a variety of issues such as racism, immigration, the social tensions caused by gentrification, the respective values of old-style policing and newer methods - and, crucially, the difficulty of determining what makes a morally good decision, all making it a more challenging and satisfyin
Abbie Hooton
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down as soon as I started reading it. The storyline is so good and you can tell there is proper knowledge put behind it. Everything is very realistic but it is easy to understand. I love the story, it grips onto you and doesn't let you go until you find the conclusion and the reasons. I think it is really easy to relate to Lizzie, she is trapped in a relationship with a married man and she is then put into the centre of an investigation. There is enough in the story to c ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Was challenged to try Kate London as a Female crime writer with well researched, authentic details after I found another female debut novel a bit thin on real descriptive data of policing methods etc.

This was a complex and multi layered novel with very believable flawed characters and a storyline that filled the Reader with compassion for all sides. When and if it is right to bury truth in the cause of justice and compassion - and how the internal
struggle plays out for each character.

Delighted t
Helen Pakpahan
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Very mediocre. Too many police characters (and switching between first and second names) made it confusing and the plot was way THIN.
The author has attempted to uses characters to show the conflict within policing of 'doing the right thing' and always behaving by the book -:but the constant incessant racism is just unpleasant and feels contived (to make the point)... As an ex-police officer herself, i bet her former colleagues/bosses are pretty embarrassed by this tripe.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Quite frustrated that the Detective was only within a hand’s reach from the truth. I liked how this book tackled the issue of morality. Do we stay true to ourselves or do we back a senior on the job?

This was also quite realistic in the way that the crime was not really solved. There are some things in the world that we do not have answers to no matter how hard we’ve worked during the process.

Steve and Sarah are great characters and I loved the way they work!
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This certainly merits a 5* rating for its somewhat different perspective on policing; lower-key and more of the necessary everyday routine (but told with sufficient pace as to remove any sense of tedium) but also for the handling of inexperience fighting against moral imperatives like truth and loyalty to colleagues. I'm very glad to see this is the first in a series. ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's not very often I find myself having to query the meaning of words in a police procedural! The characterisation was great and made the story rock along even when things slowed down. It's just a shame that PC Hadley Matthews died at the start of the book. He had the right mix of moral ambiguity for a series of books. I'd read more from this author. ...more
Dawn Marsanne
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting read which focuses on the morality of choices and decisions facing the police where issues are often grey rather than black and white.
I was intrigued to get to the end of the novel but slightly disappointed by the ending.
This novel has a different slant to others in the genre.
Characters were believable and very detailed police procedure.
Deanne Blom
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting perspective to a crime / detective novel. A fictional novel written by a former detective, a real experience of the police force. Plays on the themes around ethics and moral judgement in positions of power, definitely an thought provoking novel.
Jo Marchant
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this after a while but I listened to it on audio and it was hard to follow at times, it takes a while to realise that you are moving back and forth in time and maybe that is more evident in a paper format? It was a good story though and I liked some of the characters after a fashion.
Lexie Conyngham
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
It wasn't gripping, but it was good. I was happy enough to put it down to do more urgent things, but always happy to pick it up again. The plot and setting seemed extremely realistic, but less of a whodunnit than a what-really-happened-and-why. For a debut novel, it was confident and accomplished. ...more
Colin Kirkham
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read with a disappointing end

I really enjoyed reading this book but felt the end let it down. There are just too many unanswered questions to feel satisfied after being promised so much more by the text.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and as the author is an x cop she knows what shes talking about. Conflict between new and old policing styles. Couldn't see how it would end but did in a satisfactory way. Read because #3 in the series got very good reviews. On to #2!
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Kate graduated from Cambridge University and moved to Paris where she trained in theatre. In 2006 Kate joined the Metropolitan Police Service.

Like all police officers she started in uniform, working for two years on a response team, and then moved into the CID. She qualified as a detective constable then went on attachment with the police nationale in France and finished her career working as par

Other books in the series

Collins and Griffiths (3 books)
  • Death Message (Collins and Griffiths, #2)
  • Gallowstree Lane (Collins & Griffiths #3)

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47 likes · 27 comments
“Too soon the cab was drawing up outside her parents' house. She paid the driver and let herself in quietly with her own key. Before stepping into the sitting room, she stood in the hallway for a moment like a diver slowly surfacing, carefully acclimatizing herself to a different atmospheric pressure.” 0 likes
“Things had been going well, that was what she remembered.

It had been the last night duty of the set, and the team were anticipating the four rest days that were finally coming their way. Everyone shared the growing night-duty appetite for carbohydrates and sugar. Arif had made toast. Lizzie spread melting butter on hers and poured honey over the top. Hadley handed her a mug of milky coffee and squeezed his bulk into one of the small chairs. He pushed one of the other chairs away with his feet and, leaning back, affected a Yardie style. 'Hey. Wagwan?'

She laughed. "Yeah, all right.”
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