Mark Hill's debut crime thriller Two O'Clock BoyFrom Line of Duty to Jack Reacher, crime is the thing nowadays – but the challenge is to find a new way to tease and entertain the myriad crime fans. One well-travelled path is to create a detective who sails close to the wind, a naughty boy, possibly even a criminal himself.

It’s a dangerous route, because it’s so easy to lose the readers’ sympathy, but if you do it well, it can be enormously rewarding.

This is the path that Mark Hill chooses for the conflicted Ray Drake in his confident new crime thriller Two O’Clock Boy. And with notable success.

Disturbing DI Drake

From its gripping opening, with a mysterious boy on a yacht in the English channel, to its dramatic ending, this is a true page-turner.

A series of apparently random murders have been taking place and, refreshingly for once, this doesn’t seem to be a serial rapist or paedophile. There’s something stranger, more personal, going on.

But there’s also something disturbing about DI Drake’s actions. Is he trying to help his detective sergeant, by giving wise advice, or is he trying to lead her away from finding the truth? And why?

Twists and turns of a complex plot

The twists and turns of this complex plot will keep you constantly on your toes, as Drake’s character develops and reveals itself, step by step, until we finally discover the horrific meaning behind the title. Hill never allows you to settle and the story that emerges is both intriguing and shocking. No ordinary crime thriller this.

Two O’Clock Boy is Hill’s first novel, but it will come as no surprise to the reader that he has a professional background as a communicator, both as a journalist and a producer for Radio Two. First published by Sphere as an e-book, Two O’Clock Boy has been rewarded with a sumptuous print copy.

Grab it quickly, so you can say you were in at the start of what promises to be an exciting new series.