Good People: A Mystery

Good People: A Mystery

3.5 2
by Ewart Hutton
     
 

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A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

Detective Sergeant Glyn Capaldi, fallen from grace and exiled from Cardiff to the Welsh countryside, does his best to serve as the catchall detective in the big bit in the middle that God gave to the sheep. It’s a place where nothing of any significance is meant to happen, a place where his superiors

Overview

A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013

Detective Sergeant Glyn Capaldi, fallen from grace and exiled from Cardiff to the Welsh countryside, does his best to serve as the catchall detective in the big bit in the middle that God gave to the sheep. It’s a place where nothing of any significance is meant to happen, a place where his superiors believe he can do little harm.

But trouble has a way of catching up with Capaldi. Six men and a young woman disappear after a night of rugby and drink. They don’t all reappear. The ones who do are “good people,” and they give a reasonable explanation for the absence of the woman and their friend. Only Capaldi remains unconvinced. In the face of opposition, Capaldi delves deeper and starts to uncover a network of conflicts, betrayals, and depravity that resonates below the outwardly calm surface of rural respectability.

An atmospheric, criminally smart new police procedural that brilliantly evokes Wales, Good People marks the introduction of a compelling detective and the arrival of a shining new talent in crime fiction, Ewart Hutton.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of gritty British crime fiction will welcome Hutton’s twisty first novel, set in Wales. One night, Det. Sgt. Glyn Capaldi, whose career is on the rebound, responds to a hijacking call. According to the stranded driver of a minibus, his six drunken male passengers tricked him into getting out of the vehicle, then drove off without him. Shortly beforehand, the men picked up a female hitchhiker. The morning after the crime, the minibus is found abandoned. Capaldi’s colleagues are initially unconcerned, but when the police learn that none of the men turned up at their homes, they start to show some interest. Things become more complicated after five of the men surface, leaving one of their comrades and the unidentified woman unaccounted for and Capaldi suspicious. Hutton throws in a number of curves along the way to a satisfying explanation of the mystery. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“The phrase, or variations of it, pops up: She comes from good people; they're good people. But what if they're not? That's the issue in Ewart Hutton's first novel...a gritty and graphic thriller featuring Detective Sgt. Glyn Capaldi, who, after a tragic outcome to a case, has been reassigned from Cardiff to a rural area of Wales where nothing much happens....Hutton, a native of Scotland who now lives in France, paints a rich portrait of a maverick cop, a small community and the depravity that lies beneath its pretty façade. Not for the squeamish, 'Good People' marks a striking and cunning debut.” —Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Everyone who thinks Ian Rankin doesn't write fast enough should give newcomer Hutton a try....the plot twists are cunning, and Glyn Capaldi is the most appealing antihero this side of John Rebus.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Fans of gritty British crime fiction will welcome Hutton's twisty first novel, set in Wales.” —Publishers Weekly

“Shortlisted for the 2012 Crime Writers' Association New Blood Dagger for best first novel, this is a stunningly dark debut. The first-person narrative keeps it personal, making the detective's vulnerabilities that much more intense.” —Library Journal

“Capaldi's investigation...is a joy to follow. And the wit of the first-person narration is priceless. Definitely a series to watch.” —Booklist

“An entertaining debut with more stings in the tail than a bag of scorpions.” —Val McDermid, international bestselling author

“Glyn Capaldi makes a hugely impressive first appearance in Good People…teasingly elusive, and convincing, set in dark woodlands and small towns that conceal more than the reader can possibly suspect.” —Campbell Armstrong, author of Jigsaw

“Smart, fast-moving and hard-hitting, this is a crime thriller with a witty edge to it.” —The Northern Echo

“Hutton's striking debut gives us a convincing version of the detective as outsider, and a cunning mystery that lasts through to the final pages.” —Morning Star

“A kick in the pants to the traditional maverick cop novel by a master of English prose. Good People breaks a stereotype in this pacey debut.” —The judges of the 2012 CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

Kirkus Reviews
Everyone who thinks Ian Rankin doesn't write fast enough should give newcomer Hutton a try. Relegated to the Welsh boondocks after his misstep causes a death in Cardiff, DS Glyn Capaldi, never one to follow orders anyway, persists in asking where Boon, a young black man, and a female hitchhiker have gone after five local lads say they left following a night of high-spirited debauchery. According to them, Boon planned to take the girl to the ferry to Dublin to meet up with her boyfriend and then return to his military posting. But their story is a little too pat, and when it crumbles, their revision sounds rehearsed and preplanned. Glyn, whose interrogation technique is part punch-up, part blackmail and total intimidation, singles out Trevor as the group's weakest link. After two prostitutes alibi the lads and Glyn gets treated to a tormented sexual confession, Trevor's dead body is found hanging from a barn rafter. No longer welcomed in the pub by xenophobic countrymen, and told by his superiors to leave off harassing the boys, Glyn can find solace only in his encounter with Sally, Boon's adopted mother, whose travails include an ex who absconded with a student and subtle bits of racism aimed at her son. But shortly after Sally and Glyn tentatively reach out for one another, the current husband of Glyn's ex-wife descends asking for a bit of advice, and investigation shows that more girls than the misplaced hitchhiker have vanished from the village in the past. Convinced that Boon and probably several of the females are dead and possibly buried in the countryside, Glyn makes several incorrect assumptions that lead to a final revenge scenario upending his notions of what good people can be driven to while their friends turn a blind eye. The sexual peccadilloes are not for the squeamish, but the plot twists are cunning, and Glyn Capaldi is the most appealing antihero this side of John Rebus.
Library Journal
MDS Glyn Capaldi (the Welshman is part Italian) has been banished to the hinterlands of Wales for his past indiscretions. Now he's stumbled upon a case that the locals want to sweep under the rug, and something sounds off to him. Six local guys had rented a van for their rugby outing, and one woman (possibly a prostitute) joined them later. The next morning, only five men are left. They provide a reasonable explanation for the missing man and woman, but Capaldi doesn't believe the story. Tired of being stonewalled, Capaldi investigates until he unearths tawdry, long-kept secrets so sinister that no one wants to believe they are true. When one of the five men is found hanged, the pent-up tension escalates into violence. It won't be easy, but bet on Capaldi to see it through. VERDICT Shortlisted for the 2012 Crime Writers' Association New Blood Dagger for best first novel, this is a stunningly dark debut. The first-person narrative keeps it personal, making the detective's vulnerabilities that much more intense. [See Prepub Alert, 11/4/12.]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250019615
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/16/2013
Series:
Glyn Capaldi Series, #1
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


EWART HUTTON was born and raised in and around Glasgow before slipping south to university in Manchester, and then on to diverse occupations in London. He has won numerous awards and prizes for his radio plays which have been produced for BBC Radio 4. His first novel, Good People, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey New Blood Dagger. He lives with his wife in France.

Ewart Hutton was born and raised in and around Glasgow before attending university in Manchester and then working in London. He has won numerous awards and prizes for his radio plays, which have been produced for BBC Radio. His stage play won the joint Traverse Theatre and Scottish Television Enterprise's Comedy Play Competition. He lives on the Welsh Marches with his wife. Good People is his first novel.

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Good People: A Mystery 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good people started out well with an interesting Welsh detective banished to the countryside investigating a bizarre missing persons case. But by the middle of the book, it became muddled with too many characters and mutiple layers of police officials. There's also some gross sexual depravity which really turned me off and an unnecessary romantic interest which for me was just a distraction.Couldn't finish the last 100 pages and by then, didn't really care how it ended or who the bad guys were.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
Awesome murder mystery! Hutton weaves a compelling and believable tale and writes like a poet! Loved it and am now reading Dead People. I would also recommend: the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child; the Trav McGee series by John D. MacDonald and anything by Ruth Rendell as well as A Place of Execution by Val McDermid.