Book review: Fear No Evil by Debbie Johnson
New Jersey may have Stephanie Plum, while the south of England has Grace Smith; but Liverpool now has Jayne McCartney who gives both of them a run for their money.
Like Grace, Jayne is ex-police and, like bounty hunter Steph, she rushes in where angels fear to tread – but that’s where the similarities end.
For not only does Jayne fearlessly take on the bad guys, with equal panache she tackles spectres from the infernal regions, telling demons from hell just where they get off.
In this comedy chiller-cum-whodunnit, what looks like a tragic accident involving a student soon turns into a series of close encounters with Liverpool’s underworld – and netherworld – and a host of bizarrely colourful characters… dead and alive!
McCartney – no relation to an internationally-known pop idol, despite the Scouse accent – has a penchant for solving tricky problems so she is hired to look into the death of Joy Middlemas who fell from an upper storey window in her student digs.
Jayne’s search for the truth leads her to the Caseys, Liverpool’s leading crime family who make the Borgias look like a bunch of pussycats, their henchman, fixer and all-round general thug Wigwam, all the more terrifying for being so startlingly camp, and the relentless, wakeful dead seeking to add to their restless numbers.
A spine-tingling, occult crime caper, Fear No Evil comes with a hefty dose of humour. It takes our heroine right to the gates of Hades, encountering drugs, alcohol, fraud, betrayal, murder and hair dye along the way, putting Lennon and McCartney into a whole new perspective at the same time.
It’s fun, it’s moving, it’s thoughtful, so there’s only one question to ask about Fear No Evil: why on earth is it only available as an e-book?