This is not so much a trilogy as a story in three segments. At the time of writing, only Part 1 is available but I believe the second and third parts will be published within a day or two.
This story is utterly gripping and stays in the reader's head. It's impossible to conceive of reading another book between these. I have a deep hunger for the second and third parts. You can find out more on Andrew's website -
The Third Rule Part One: Atrocities
Amazon.com The Third Rule Part One: Atrocities
My review -
Eddie Collins is a Scenes of Crime Officer with problems. His wife has thrown him out because of his drinking and his young son has died in a hit and run accident. One of Andrew Barrett’s great gifts is that of being able to get ‘into the head’ of his characters and we know that Eddie feels responsible for his son’s death; he should have been with him at the time but was hung-over. We get inside his estranged wife Jilly’s mind as she grieves with anger and sorrow for her family life and her young boy. The government has brought in a new Justice Act which allows for Capital Punishment for murder (The Third Rule). One of the proponents of this act is covering up for a son who is responsible for 2 hit and run deaths. There is evidently corruption in high places.
This book is an exciting read: the author writes very well and tells a complex but convincing story which is nevertheless easy to follow. There are several strands cleverly woven together and for me, the story never dragged. Andrew Barrett is an intelligent and articulate author. He is so good at empathy and we feel with his characters. I love his writing style. Down to earth dialogue is interspersed with brilliantly crafted descriptive prose. I can’t believe a mainstream publisher isn’t paying this man to write books. The Third Rule is beyond good; it’s excellent!
The Third Rule - Part 2: Running Scared
Amazon.com The Third Rule Part Two: Running Scared
My review -
In this continuing story, SOCO Eddie Collins is the author of much of his own misery. His drinking has alienated his wife and his young son is dead. His wife blames Eddie for this. His drinking pal, failed journalist Mick, is on a final warning with his job and turns up some information which implicates the son of the man who has driven through the new Justice Act – Sir George Deacon. Eddie’s wife offers to take him back into the marital home but he fears being thrown out again within a week. He is given the job, with his work partner Ros, of analysing the car which killed his own son.
This is an exciting story of a man trying to save himself and find the killer of his child. It is also the cleverly woven story of a number of others for whom the family of Deacon are pivotal. Andrew Barrett is a skilled story teller and knows his stuff with police procedurals. He is excellent at building up tension in a story and at making you care about characters who appear to be heading for self destruction. There is an emotional depth and richness here that elevates the book above the common run of crime fiction. I so want it to end well for Eddie yet at times I find him a very unprepossessing ‘hero’. Can he prove who killed his son? Will the corruption at the heart of government be revealed? Andrew Barrett makes you think; he makes you feel. I really look forward to seeing how this trilogy ends.
The final part of this book is a triumph. I'm absolutely up in the air with excitement about it. It's so much more than a crime thriller. It goes deep into human nature, both the good and the bad, and will chime within every reader.
The Third Rule. Part 3: Sacrifices
Amazon.com The Third Rule Part 3: Sacrifices
My review -
In the final part of this intriguing and gripping tale, Eddie Collins and his alcoholic friend, aging journalist Mick, finally make some headway in finding out who killed Eddie’s son in a hit and run accident. Drop-out artist Christian is being framed for the murder of his girlfriend. The justice system is falling apart but no-one will take any hard evidence into consideration. Eddie and Mick find the evidence that Sir George Deacon, Minister for Justice, is guilty of ordering murders to protect himself and his career. Can Eddie make sure justice is done?
This final volume in the Third Rule trilogy is an absolute corker. The writing is masterful and convincing, evidence unwinds before us and the story is involved but coherent. It’s a masterpiece! How I wish I could write like this. I was totally emotionally engaged with this story, especially in this, the final book. Andrew Barrett is a writer of enormous skill and talent and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read. You could measure this ending on the Richter scale. This is an awesome book and I totally recommend it.