Ray Clark: Implant

Today on Portable Magic, it is my pleasure to repost my review of Implant, written in August 2018. It was written with thanks to Kelly from Love Books Group for inviting me on the original blog tour and Urbane Publications for my copy of the book.


Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire.Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence.Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy?The perfect read for fans of Peter May, Mark Billingham and Peter James.


I love a good detective series, and although I’ve arrived to the Gardener and Reilly party slightly late, I enjoyed getting to know them and their team. They all have well developed, intriguing back stories that give them a more compassionate edge, and they carry this into their investigations. They want the killer caught as much as the reader does, and this helped me to get behind them. Gardener and Reilly work really well together as a partnership, not only professionally, but they have a great sense of humour, which provides a few lighthearted moments amongst the gruesomeness.
Set in a village just outside Leeds, Implant is based around my neck of the woods, and I enjoyed the references to (and the little bit of history about) places such as Armley Prison and St James’ Hospital. I am also familiar with the specific places mentioned, such as Holt Park, Ilkley and Otley. These references allowed me to set the scene in my mind, and picture the places where the crimes took place. As a village, it is clear that Bramfield is a close knit community where everyone knows everyone, and I appreciated the accuracy with which Clark captured the essence of that type of community – something I recognise, in fact , from living in Otley for most of my childhood.
Implant is not a particularly gory novel, but the murders in it are horrific in a different way. They are meticulously planned, and clearly designed to cause the victims excruciating pain. I found the intelligence behind them fascinating, and the descriptions of the pain the victims suffered made me wince as though I was feeling the pain. This kept me turning pages as I wanted to know how the plan had been executed and why. As Bramfield is a close community, I always had the feeling that someone was hiding something, and I enjoyed the tension this created. Although I did guess who the killer was, there were further twists to come before the end.
I hope to read more from Gardener and Reilly in future, both as the series continues and catching up on the instalments I’ve missed!
Implant ​is available from Amazon.


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