Saturday, 24 September 2016

Unsafe Acts by Bill Kirton Review: Jan Needle


Unsafe Acts, which features Aberdeen detective Jack Carston, has got the lot for thriller fans - except mindless violence. Bill Kirton's violence comes from the harsh world of the offshore oil industry, and is a product of the cruel environment, both physical and mental. A rig safety officer is beaten to death because his colleagues think he's gay, although in fact he is in a long term relationship with a prostitute whom he wants to help bring up her little son. 

This woman, his spiritual and physical comfort when he comes ashore on leave, is quickly murdered too. It is vividly upsetting.

Investigating the tragic acts, helped and sometimes hampered by his colleagues, Jack Carston soon picks up on deeper corruptions and crimes. Oil is all about vast sums of money, and when a rig begins to show signs of failing, the money men (in America) have interest only in the bottom line. Corners must be cut. Dangerous and illicit acts must become the norm. The woodwork is infested. The worms are coming out...


This book is not 'just' a thriller. Carston's attitude to crime, criminals and colleagues is refreshingly unlike that of any other DCI I've ever met in fiction, and there are four more books out there waiting for me to devour. 

I can hardly wait.