Instinct by Nick Oldham
Nick Oldham was born on 26 April, 1956 in Belthorn, Lancashire, England. He was a police officer from the age of nineteen before retiring in 2005. He spent the majority of his service in operational roles and now lives with his partner, Belinda, on the outskirts of Preston.
Instinct is the seventeenth book in Nick Oldham’s series of books featuring his character, Detective Superintendent Henry Christie novel. Henry Christie investigates crimes in northern England. The book featured in the “new books” section of my library. I enjoy crime fiction, so I picked it up as I had not read anything by this author previously. Nick Oldham tells an unembellished and straight forward police story. However, there are lots of details to cache: that found me continually picking this book up at any moment I could snatch.
Detective Superintendent Henry Christie is a solid character and he anchors the story. Oldham gives readers an action-packed procedural crime thriller but his character Christie is far from perfect. He is grumpy, opinionated, short-tempered, and happy to operate outside the law when necessary. This does not endear him to his superiors or his colleagues. Still, his solve rate is outstanding, that saves his job time and again.
In Instinct Christie is grieving after a huge personal tragedy: his wife has died. He is trying to pull his life back together and thinking seriously about retirement. He would have a good life and decent pension. However, all his thoughts of peaceful retirement are shattered when the phone rings in the early hours, and he is called out to investigate a brutal crime, the rape and murder of a teenage girl, Natalie Philips.
This was a police procedural thriller, featuring evil Muslim terrorists, a tired but good cop, a semi-retired criminal, and the FBI. The investigation uncovers a possible terrorist attack on a local amusement park, leads to a young delinquent and a serial rapist, and occasions the reappearance of two old Christie pals, an FBI agent and a former cop convicted of corruption. Unexpected twists, a multifaceted plot, multiple subplots, and even a bit of romance add to the appeal of Oldham’s novel.
Instinct is filled with UK sites as well as exotic, foreign twists and turns as the story heads towards its conclusion. I really enjoyed Instinct and look forward to reading more crime fiction novels by Nick Oldham.