Title: The Mayfly
Author: James Hazel
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
It’s happening again.
A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .
Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.
Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?
Fast paced, gritty, and full of intrigue, The Mayfly lived up to my high expectations and left me wanting more. It had my attention from page one and kept me devouring it until the very end.
The characters are well crafted – Charlie Priest is a great new protagonist, not your typical Detective. In fact, he’s not a Detective at all anymore – he used to be, but is now a lawyer. He’s brilliant, bold, and a bit of a maverick, making him a great character to read about. His assistant, Georgie, is a bit annoying at times but overall she’s rather likeable; she’s sweet and fairly naive but has the same brilliant knack for picking up on things that others (apart from Priest, of course) wouldn’t think to notice, and they work well together. Then there’s Priest’s family – a story in itself really!
I love the WW2 element in this. Well, I shouldn’t say ‘love’ as such, because it’s rather horrible and disturbing, but I found it very interesting nevertheless. I love reading and watching anything to do with World War 2, so this element definitely interested me. Kurt Schneider ( I couldn’t resists looking him up) seems to have been based on a real person, and the story seems – to me, anyway – really well researched.
The story moves along at a good pace without being too fast. The switching between different narratives, and indeed different time frames, can take a second to readjust to – who’s speaking, which country are we in, which year? – as is always the case with those kinds of narratives, but it’s easy enough to work out what’s happening despite lots of names and people cropping up!
I felt towards the end of the novel there was a little big more cheesiness included, particularly with some of the romantic relationships, which I didn’t like as much. However despite this I felt that James Hazel’s writing was really great. He uses just the right level of description, and I feel that The Mayfly is really well written – so I’d highly recommend this novel, and am eager to read future books in the series!
Many thanks to Readers First and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.