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No Good Reason by Cari Hunter
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it was amazing
bookshelves: britain, cops-feds-rangers-spies, crime, favorites, friends-to-lovers, lesbian, medics-nurses-doctors-shrinks
Read 2 times. Last read February 24, 2018.

Wow. This book is fantastic.

Sanne Jensen is the junior detective on the district's major-crimes squad; while out mud-running on the moors the Peak district is famous for, she (with the help of two local lads) finds herself rescuing an unconscious kidnapping victim. What follows is a patient, steady investigation - never boring or slow, but replete with actual things that actual policemen do: door-knocking, contact-building, and taking advantage of bloody good luck. This is the novel of the bloodhound, not the pitbull, and she follows her nose through more twists and turns than a go-kart track before being let loose to bite.

The pacing is a dream. Each and every scene adds to the investigation just that little bit more. Sanne is no slouch either; "junior" doesn't mean "pushover" or "not competent". Her competency, in fact, is beauty in motion (and none of it down to anything but footwork, the aforementioned luck, and a sharp eye for detail.)

Interspersed throughout is the main relationship in the book; the friendship between Sanne and Meg. Meg is the scatterbrained, highly competent A&E doctor at the large District hospital - a premise which could go badly wrong but went so, so amazingly right. Their relationship is not separate from the main plot, but confidentially runs parallel with it and intersects with it at appropriate points. And oh, but this relationship is just a joy; like previously mentioned it runs along in the background, but is hardly in danger of being overpowered. Hunter has made her two lesbians actual, real people - people who *like* one another. They've known each other a long time, and have been in love a long time. It feels like they've loved each other a long time, in lots of different ways at once. They laugh and prat-fall during sex and they're just warm and alive. They've got real chemistry - but since they've already had sex in the past, and they know they can have sex again in the future, they don't sweat it. Frankly, it is their friendship which wends them together and elevates this to something more... more; a real friendship, like actual partners have, with its profound warmth and intimacy, with all its humour and cosiness. My god, it reminds me of being in love with my own wife. The "angst", if angst it be, is that they're kind of friends-with-benefits and worry about asking too much from the other. (They're both dumb as a box of rocks in this regard, and each knows it; literally every other person in the book pairs them off as naturally as the two breathe. But I suspect if they were together it would be difficult to write the distance they require, and if they were in "will we or won't we" the sheer tenderness would be lost. Either would be a crime.)

The above rant should serve to explain the remainder of the relationships also; they are spectacular. The book brims with good humour, and some of the exchanges sparkle with wit. They use the right slang. They read the right newspapers. Each and every character feels different, purposeful, and unique. The book leavens and enhances them by arming each with the full gamut of human emotion. It also has a certain honesty about actions and consequences on individuals and bonds as well, especially regarding the victims and the damage they sustain.

Right-o. The world-building. Superb from the beginning, and only got better. From the sticky mud of the moors to the cloying reek of death. From the careful attention to which British accent each person uses, to the descriptions of the vomit being thrown up onto Meg's scrubs. Nothing was overly done (I.e getting overwhelmed with trivial background detail), nothing was lurid or purple. Hunter fucking nailed her descriptions of local policing, of council estates and petty crooks, of pubs and markets and fake DVDs. The Peaks District itself is famous for its natural landscape, and Hunter makes it almost another character in the drama. It helps and hinders our hero in equal measure throughout the novel.

What a cracker of a book; I am in raptures. This has to be the best lesbian police procedural novel out there, hands down, full stop. Go buy it and read it then come back here and join the rest of us in fucking loving this book.
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Reading Progress

May 1, 2015 – Shelved
May 1, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: britain
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: cops-feds-rangers-spies
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: crime
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: friends-to-lovers
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: lesbian
July 12, 2015 – Shelved as: medics-nurses-doctors-shrinks
Started Reading
July 13, 2015 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
February 24, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate I don't normally read crime novels, but you made it sound so good I'll have to check it out!

Agirlcandream You nailed it. Great review for a terrific novel.

message 3: by M (new) - rated it 5 stars

M Wonderful review. The best book I have read this year, bar none. This book deserves to crossover into mainstream crime fiction and be more widely read. Fingers crossed that the sequel will be with us soon.

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