The Pier by Matt Brolly is a highly recommended procedural and the fifth installment of the Louise Blackwell series.
DI Louise Blackwell of the Weston-super-Mare police force will do anything to keep her niece, Emily, safe, so when a bomber targets her school it is obviously a message to Blackwell, especially as there is a message specifically mentioning her. Then there is an explosion at a nearby caravan that is tied into the school bomb. A suspect is found, but he is not the perpetrator. Tania French, the reporter, is hanging around, ready to write incendiary stories about the threat. And the corrupt DCI Tom Finch, who is in jail awaiting trial, seems intent on taking Blackwell down before she can testify against him, but there is also another relative of a suspect who may want revenge against Blackwell.
In this fifth outing of DI Louise Blackwell, the complicated background information needed to completely comprehend the plot almost makes it a necessity to read the previous novels in the Blackwell series. There are recurring characters and many ties back to events found in previous novels, especially the fourth novel, The Mark. There is background information provided, but it would really behoove readers to know more information and background to fully appreciate the plot.
Blackwell continues to be a compelling character that readers will up hold. She is a determined, intelligent and interesting character. DCI Robertson now heads her section and he has always supported her. Blackwell's flaws are also presented in the plot, which makes her a realistic and sympathetic character who will elicit your support as she handles the current investigation. Along the way there is further character development as the novel progresses. Her relationship with Tom continues to evolve and grow.
This is a great series for those who enjoy police procedurals.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.