Uncommon Cruelty – Liz Mistry

About the book header

DI Gus McGuire and his team are called in to investigate the Uncommon Cruelty Coverdisappearance of a teenage boy after his parents return from a weekend away, to find their home trashed and their son missing.

But that is just the beginning.

As the investigation unfolds, Gus must discover what links a violent bikers’ gang, a Muslim youth group and a fundamentalist American based Christian church.

Alongside this, two cases from the past come back to haunt DI Gus McGuire and his DS, Alice Cooper.

Gus has a lot to juggle, but will he cope?

Uncommon Cruelty is the fourth in the DI Gus McGuire series set in Bradford West Yorkshire and is a gritty, Northern Noir read.

My Review

DI Gus McGuire and his team are back in their fourth investigation in Liz Mistry’s gritty Bradford based series. Uncommon Cruelty follows the events of Unquiet SoulsUncoiled Lies and Untainted Blood – however it can be read as a standalone as the author gives enough back story for new readers but not too much as to annoy current readers 🙂

Uncommon Cruelty opens with a tragic house fire whereby all the inhabitants other than a young child are killed including the social worker who is a friend of DI Sandy Panesar – Gus is on hand to comfort not only his DI but also the fiancé of the social worker. Fast forward five years, Gus is taking a holiday with his family and best friend Mo, getting over events from Untainted Blood. This peace and tranquility is soon over for both Gus and Angus.

What starts as a nice, weekend away for the Proctors results in every parent’s nightmare. They return home to find that their house has been completely trashed by the attendees of their son, Simon’s impromptu party however he is no where to be seen. The aftermath of this party is only the beginning and results in Gus and his team working all the hours possible to get a lead and then put together the various contrasting threads that start to surface. As a result this is one of those books that you do not want to put down and if you have to, you cannot wait to get back to it to find out what comes next.

Alongside Gus is his trusty partner DS Alice Cooper and his pathologist father, Angus – I love the dynamic that Gus has with both Alice and Angus, especially when his Dad inadvertently embarrasses him in front of his team. Also, what I enjoyed about Uncommon Cruelty, aside from the investigation, is that we find out a bit about Alice’s background and why she’s ended up in Bradford.

I really loved the various threads within this overall complex plot that gives Gus and the team a lot to deal with – there are contrasting groups involved which add to the complications, not to mention the bent copper thrown into the mix. Mistry has done it once again, a seamless narrative brought together by a stellar cast of characters.

I highly recommend Uncommon Cruelty as well as the rest of the series – if you can, start at the beginning so you really get a feel of the characters and their relationships. If you can’t wait, then Uncommon Cruelty is a great read in its own right. Also, after THAT ending, I cannot wait for book five!!

About the Author

Liz MistryLiz writes crime fiction books set in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The DI Gus McGuire series is gritty Northern noir with a bit of Scottish thrown in.  She is currently researching for a Ph. D in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University. As part of her Ph.D she is researching how the teen killer’s voice is portrayed in the adult crime fiction novel with specific reference to the influence of  teen social media usage, with a view to writing a crime fiction novel around these issues.

Liz also teaches creative writing, specialising in crime fiction and is a regular panellist at literary festivals throughout the UK.  She enjoys reading her work at Open Mic and Noir at the Bar events. She was chosen to be one of the spotlighted authors at the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival in 2016.  She is the lead blogger for the well renowned crime fiction blog The Crime warp which reviews contemporary, mainly UK based, crime fiction, comments on current issues around the genre and creative writing in general and interviews authors on a regular basis.

She is available to comment on current issues around creative writing in general and crime fiction in particular and to speak at local and national festivals and conferences

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