The Jawbone Gang, the third crime novel by Penny Grubb to feature her P.I, Annie, brings more insight into the complex character of this Scot, working in the city of Hull and the surrounding East Riding of Yorkshire for this story. Penny’s familiarity with the area and some of its less well-known parts, adds detail to the text, as she has her sleuth investigate, work and relax. The plot of the novel takes on unexpected twists, with secondary characters and events weaving complexity into the story.
Penny deals with real life issues in her detective series, eschewing gloss and glamour to give her readers insights into experiences closer to home. Her descriptions entertain with their detailed vibrancy and her characters leave the page as real people. She builds tension convincingly and the air of menace that prevails on her protagonist at key moments is skilfully contrasted with more basic daily worries assailing Annie as she attempts to modernise the agency in spite of the complacency and indolence of her bosses.
The denouement is expertly handled, with the near chaos of a local event acting as both background and pivot to a conclusion that has the reader turning the pages to discover the outcome.
If you haven’t read any of Penny’s crime novels, I urge you to do so. And, if you have, you’ll find The Jawbone Gang as intriguing and enthralling as the other two.