Wednesday 8 February 2023

The Delegate by Ali Carter BLOG TOUR #TheDelegate @alicrimewriter @matadorbooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


Ex Cumbrian G.P. Charlotte Peterson is a vicious serial killer simmering her way through a life sentence in Rampton High Security Hospital. A sycophantic inmate with Mafia family connections had aided her escape to a murderous New York rampage six months earlier, but Charlotte only managed to actually kill one of the remaining enemies on her list. She therefore needs someone on the outside to complete the job – A Delegate.

Recaptured by D.C.I. Harry Longbridge and D.I. Fran Taylor after flying to the U.S., Charlotte pulls the strings of a vulnerable woman with serious historic mental health challenges of her own. The icing on the cake for Charlotte is that the woman concerned is none other than Harry’s wife, Annie. It feels good – very good.

However, despite initially falling into line believing it will help with her own ‘List,’ Annie develops a growing inner confidence and two powerful women begin mentally circling one another. As Annie covertly pushes forwards with her own plans, the Zandini’s increasingly come to the fore in more ways than one - and Charlotte starts to feel distinctly uneasy….

The Delegate by Ali Carter was published on 29 November 2022 by Matador and is the third in the DCI Harry Longbridge thriller series.

My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

The Delegate is the third instalment in the DCI Harry Longbridge thriller series by Ali Carter. I haven't read the first two and to be honest, I think I would have really benefitted by doing so. However, the author cleverly interweaves the back stories of the characters into The Delegate, and does it with such ease that I soon caught up with what had happened in the past. 

This is a complex and tightly woven plot that takes place in two main locations; Cumbria, where Harry Longbridge is based and Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire; a top-security forensic psychiatric hospital where ex-GP Charlotte Peterson is detained.

Harry is officially retired but has been asked to return to work on a case nicknamed 'Operation Bonaparte', an apt name as the case involves the discovery of human body parts found in various locations. It was Harry's dog that unearthed the first one, an arm. Harry's wife Annie is a strange and troubled woman. It is clear that her mental health is declining and recent events have only made things worse. Harry and Annie have a very fraught relationship, Annie is insular and distant, often losing her temper and Harry has sought solace elsewhere. This troubles him, he's a good and honest man, but his feelings are so divided. 

As Harry and his team dig deeper into the case, it soon becomes clear that there's a link to ex GP Charlotte Peterson,  a local woman who is a sadistic and evil serial killer. Everyone on the case knows Charlotte's history and the tangled web of lives she destroyed, and potential new victims that she may have in her sights. How though? How does a woman who is locked away under the highest security manage to take down her enemies?

The truth is far closer to home than Harry can ever imagine.

Ali Carter has a great skill for character creation. Each and every one of the main players are carefully constructed, with their own stories to tell. Whilst the cast is large, each one is unique and easily recognised.

I was totally caught up in this fast-paced, action packed story. The pacing is excellent and the unexpected surprises are perfectly placed. Ali Carter can certainly write a great thriller and Harry Longbridge is a wonderful lead character. 

Ali Carter was born in 1958, grew up and lived in Surrey for over 40 years, then moved to East Anglia with her husband in 2003 where they initially lived in Cambridgeshire before settling just outside King’s Lynn for a further 14. 

But since her teens she had longed to live up on the Norfolk Broads. At the end of June 2021 she managed that dream, and now lives in a small village not far from the rivers, boats and other Broadland villages and towns she’s always loved since her boating holidays in the 70’s. 

Ali originally found some success writing poetry in the early 80’s and 90’s, winning a few competitions and having some work published, but inspiration for her debut crime thriller came after the Dr. Shipman case hit the headlines in 1999/2000. This first book - ‘Blood List,’ and its sequel ‘Dead Girls Don’t Cry,’ are the first two in her DCI Harry Longbridge series. ‘The Delegate’ is the third, and a fourth is currently underway. Each one is set around the same (fictitious) female serial killer, Dr. Charlotte Peterson; but with ‘The Delegate’ developing a second villainess, a conflict of power and mistrust is seen as an emerging theme against the background of a major international crime syndicate.

Twitter @alicrimewriter


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