Book Review – February 2019 – Mummy’s Favourite – Sarah Flint

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Well, after a hiatus that extended somewhat longer than I anticipated, I’m back. I’m actually in hospital at the moment, in the quite wonderful National Spinal Injury Unit in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow. I’ve been here for three and a half months, and anticipate being here probably a couple more months. You’d think hospital would be an ideal place to catch up on your reading, but my concentration isn’t as consistently good as usual – although it is now dramatically improving. I’ll be posting reviews of some of the books I’ve read as soon as I can type them up – hospital is bizarrely tiring! Now, to the book…

Sarah Flint is the latest in quite a line of crime writers who were once “on the job” themselves. Not that that’s an automatic recommendation – the main qualification for writing a gripping police procedural is not authenticity (although naturally that helps.) No, to my mind, anyway, it’s being able to spin a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining yarn; one that keeps the reader guessing until the final reveal.

I’m happy to report that the first book in the DC Charlie Stafford series ticks all the boxes. It’s original, realistic, and as for whodunnit…well, at one point or another, I’d pretty much blamed everyone, bar the actual protagonist.

DC Charlie Stafford is also a likeable central character. She’s somewhat shambolic when it comes to presenting the present-day slick, media-friendly look to the world, with hair that sticks up everywhere, and a tendency for getting distracted by criminals on the way to work and appearing looking as though she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards. But she’s tenacious, and worships her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter (although naturally, stubborn Charlie attempts to hide it.) She works in the Community Support Unit, which is described as, “the first stop for all budding CID officers.” They deal with crimes involving domestic violence, and crimes connected to race/faith/sexual orientation/disability. The unit’s involvement in the big case featuring in this book comes about due to the disappearance of a mother and her son. The reason for their involvement is because there had previously been allegations of domestic abuse made against her husband – could he be responsible for the disappearance of his wife and one of his two sons? His reaction certainly looks suspicious – he wastes no time at all in clearing out all trace of her, as well as scrubbing the house clean, making it impossible to judge whether she’s left of her own volition, or been the victim of a crime, as well as destroying any DNA evidence.

Well, Keith Hubbard’s certainly a nasty piece of work, as Charlie personally discovers, but when another mother-and-child pairing disappears they have to widen their investigation – while not dismissing Hubbard entirely. And I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say there are more victims as the book proceeds.

A prominent and highly respected lawyer – the sort that’s a bane to coppers – gets mixed up in their investigation, intriguing me still further. There’s also a somewhat unusual love interest for Charlie – a homeless ex-soldier who suffers from problems associated with leaving the army: PTSD, alcohol abuse, and other such problems often associated with adjusting to life in the less regimented Civvy Street. He’s a good soul, with a soft spot for Charlie, particularly after one incident they both get caught up in. He makes a refreshing change from the more conventional love interests in police procedurals (very often, it’s colleagues.)

There’s ample red herrings, and excellent story development. This one will definitely keep you reading until the final page. A book is really having to grab me for me at the moment for me to get through it. Mummy’s Favourite managed to do that, and I look forward to hearing more about DC Charlie Stafford. Sarah Flint could be a name to look out for.

With thanks to Head Of Zeus for my copy of the book, which did not influence my review. 

BLURB: He’s watching… He’s waiting… Who’s next?
Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead.
DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing persons investigation.
As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person?
Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those he deems to have committed a wrong. Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.
A gripping, heart-stopping crime thriller, introducing new series character DC Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Stafford of London Metropolitan Police.

9 thoughts on “Book Review – February 2019 – Mummy’s Favourite – Sarah Flint

  1. So glad to see you back! I hope your stay in hospital is helpful for you, and that you’re making progress. Mostly, I hope you’re feeling better. I look forward to more of your posts are you’re able.

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  2. Welcome back, always good to hear from you. Goodness, you’re brave to attempt reviewing in hospital! I hope you feel better soon and don’t get too restless.

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  3. Sorry to hear you’re in hospital but glad that you feel you’re improving! I hope you’re able to get back to normal life soon – maybe they’ll give you time off for good behaviour… 😉 Take care and aw ra best!

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    • Here’s hoping they reduce my “sentence”! The one thing I’m really struggling with is going to sleep early (ie 10.30ish) – I have a really bad long ingrained habit of staying up late reading, when it’s nice and quiet, and I’m finding it so hard to rejig my body clock. It’s irritating as I need as much energy as possible for physio. Doubtless I’ll get it recalibrated just as they “liberate” me! Must have a browse on your blog, and other favourites, to catch up! X

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      • Yes, hospital hours can be exhausting – those early starts are nearly as bad as the early nights! Hopefully it’ll all be worth it in the end, though. 🙂

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  4. Thanks Margot! I’m more or less recovered now but in need of lots of physio and hand therapy…a gym isn’t my natural environment, but I’m throwing myself into physio as much as I can. I’ve got some posts handwritten, so I’ll get to work typing them up. Great to hear from you. X

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  5. I’m sorry to hear you’re confined to barracks and hope you’ll soon be back to full health and mobility. (Naebody nivver tells me naething!) Thanks for the review – I’ll look out for Sarah Flint.

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  6. That’s what happens when you’re no longer on Mull Jane! I didn’t mention it on social media as Mum wasn’t well when I first came in so I didn’t want anything said to her until she was a bit better. I’m currently reading a book called The Vinyl Detective – Written In Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel — it immediately made me think of you as there’s high praise on the cover from Ben Aaronovitch, of whom I know you’re a big fan! It was lent to me by a history teacher in the room opposite, as I fancied a change. It’s highly readable and very amusing, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to post a review. I think you’d enjoy it. Do let me know if you’ve any recommendations!

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