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review 2014-01-27 09:08
Tin Soldiers by M K Turner: fourth novel in a consistently excellent series

M K Turner’s Meredith and Hodge series, of which Tin Soldiers is the fourth, shows no signs whatsoever of running out of either originality or steam. It’s a real credit to this author that she turns out such consistently enjoyable and exciting novels.

Tin Soldiers opens with two young girls being lured away by a stranger. One of these girls is the daughter of Dave Rawlings, who’s on Meredith’s team of detectives, and emotions are running high. A homeless person, Peggy, has valuable information for Meredith and surprisingly she becomes a very close ally. Not only assisting with the case, she brings out more of Meredith’s softer side. We’ve seen him developing a lot during this series but he’s still able to surprise us.

Patsy too demonstrates how she’s learning to handle a personal life with Meredith, which he excels in making complicated, and her new career as a private life. However, contrasting the urgency of Meredith’s search for a child abductor with her own search for the probable but absent father of a baby, she questions how important her work is. It’s hardly life-changing, is it?

Nicola, Meredith’s ex-wife, reappears in this story, alongside the usuals of Meredith’s team and Patsy’s work colleagues of Chris, Sharon and Loopy Linda. We also meet foreign waiters, actors – both struggling and successful, dedicated doctors and troubled souls. M K Turner peoples her pages with fascinating characters from all walks of life and really brings them alive.

The plot as you’d expect is carefully constructed, ingenious and totally unpredictable. It keeps you guessing to the last. But not everything’s resolved for our main characters. We’re not sure what’s next for Meredith and Hodge but we definitely want to find out!

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