BOOK REVIEW: The Charlie Cameron Series by Owen Mullen

Cameron seriesThe explosive PI Charlie Cameron Series

Available from: Amazon UK   Amazon USA

“Tartan Noir at its best”

A three book box set including: Games People Play, Old Friends and New Enemies, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Games People Play:

Thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland while her parents are just yards away.

Three days later the distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.

Against his better judgment Charlie gets involved in the case and when more bodies are discovered the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades.

Is baby Lily the latest victim of a madman?

For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go.

His demons won’t let him.

Old Friends and New Enemies

The body on the mortuary slab wasn’t who Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron was looking for.

But it wasn’t a stranger.

Suddenly, a routine missing persons investigation becomes a fight for survival. As Charlie is dragged deeper into Glasgow’s underbelly he goes up against notorious gangster Jimmy Rafferty and discovers what fear really is.

Rafferty is so ruthless even his own sons are terrified of him.

Now he wants Charlie to find something. And Jimmy Rafferty always gets what he wants.

There is only one problem… Charlie doesn’t know where it is.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead:

Gavin Law was a whistleblower.

Now he’s missing.

Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.

Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?

Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.

Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty.

With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.

If that means murder, then so be it.

Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.

He may not be so lucky a second time.


My Reviews

The Games People Play

This is the first book I have read by Owen Mullen. It is very well written and is different in that the main character is a Private Investigator with the Police taking a back seat on this journey.

Charlie Cameron is a Private Investigator who specialises in finding missing people. Owen has made a fair attempt at building a complex character but I found him a bit lacking. The story hints at him being close to Pamela, who disappeared from a beach many years ago, but the actual relationship isn’t revealed until the latter part of the book.

The book begins with 2 missing person cases being handled by Charlie the main one being a child going missing from a beach which throws Charlie right back into the nightmare when Pamela disappeared. His policeman friend tries to persuade Charlie to walk away from the case but he is unable to do that.

I found the book a bit slow going in the first half with a lot of descriptive text and character building but it is very intriguing as the reader is kept wondering where the story is going and there are many twists and turns with the ending being a real shocker.

Old Friends and New Enemies

This is the 2nd book in the Charlie Cameron series by Owen Mullen and I am totally addicted. It is well written and totally gripping.

The story is told from the perspective of Charlie Cameron who is a PI.  Anyone who hasn’t read The Games People Play may struggle with Charlie’s character but I think Owen has cleverly developed the character so that the book works very well as stand alone.  There is a gap between book 1 and this book but I didn’t manage to work out how long the gap is but it was long enough for Charlie to go from a relationship back to single status.

Charlie is a very lonely character who fell into finding missing people by accident and has built a PI business around his natural skill for searching for, and usually finding, missing people.  He has a difficult relationship with his parents who are very political and wealthy a lifestyle Charlie has shunned and  I doubt he will be changing that anytime soon.

Charlie has a freelance helper in his investigative work in the shape of Pat who is usually in the middle of a marital crisis of one kind or another.  He is a unique character with excellent people skills and has an important role in the investigations due to his extraordinary ability to persuade people to talk and divulge information where many others fail.  I think Pat really comes into his own in this book as his character develops.

I find that these books have a certain amount of humour, whether that is intentional or not I don’t know but I think it offsets the dark side excellently to produce a very gripping book full of suspense in which the reader isn’t quite sure what is going to happen next.

Charlie is tasked with finding a missing husband and during his initial search is faced with the dead body of his friend from years ago.  This sees Charlie not only juggling cases but also brings him face to face with long lost love.  Emotionally he is in a bad place and ping ponging about getting nowhere with either case while Pat and his other friends try to persuade him to focus.  Meanwhile he is in the site of drug lords who believe he has information they want.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

This is book 3 in the Charlie Cameron series and having read the previous books I was very happy to read this one.

Charlie Cameron is a private investigator with a big heart. His character has grown throughout the books and I feel I really know him now. He has an extraordinary skill for finding lost people and has built a business out of it. Unfortunately trouble seems to follow Charlie where he goes and is probably very lucky to still be alive especially since he has got on the wrong side of a gangster.

He is helped in his searches by Pat who is a very unique character, a lovable rogue with exceptional people skills that enable him to extract information for Charlie that otherwise may not be possible.

DI Andrew Geddes also plays a big part in the books as a policeman he is able to provide Charlie with information and has been known to be in the right place at the right time. In this book Andrew is having problems with the new DCI and is considering retirement which means Charlie becomes a counsellor along with his other tasks.

There is a lot going on in this book so much that at times it gets a little confusing. A man going missing puts into motion a series of events that brings Charlie back under the Gangster’s radar. He had a lucky escape once maybe he wont be so lucky this time. Pat and Andrew have problems of their own and Charlie has love life issues. As always everything comes together in a totally unexpected ending.

Another excellent book I am hoping to read more about Charlie in future books.

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