Miller 7 : Nothing to Lose


There have been a series of attacks against betting shops in the Greater Manchester area, the perpetrators have put four shops out of business within a fortnight. These attacks have not been treated as a top priority by the police though, they have enough to be getting on with. They don’t have the time or the resources to drop everything and investigate mindless vandalism.

But things suddenly become much more serious when there is another attack. A bookies in Denton is fire-bombed in the dead of night, with a young family sleeping in the flat above. Only the mother survives the raging inferno which completely destroys the building.

The press are furious, demanding to know why the police have done nothing, and in doing nothing, have effectively given the betting-shop attackers a free reign to murder two children and their father in the most horrific of circumstances. DCI Miller is handed the case, mainly for PR purposes, as the senior police officials try to get a positive spin on the tragedy, and convince the press and the public that they are taking matters extremely seriously.

But Miller and his team are already overseeing the city’s most high-profile investigation into a seemingly random and unprovoked attack which left a jogger dead in a remote spot near Eccles. This is a case which has terrified the public and created an atmosphere of panic throughout the city.

Something’s got to give if Miller is to successfully find the killer of the jogger, and look for the people who seem to have a grudge against the city’s bookmakers, a grudge which it seems has escalated into a triple murder inquiry.

Fortunately, Miller has the rest of his SCIU team to rely on as the pressure reaches boiling point in Nothing to Lose.

Steven Suttie has done it again! The DCI Miller novels never fail to highlight a political hot potato and show how it affects normal people in society. In this case, it’s the effect of gambling addiction on today’s society and the lack of appetite by the government to put things in place to protect people from getting themselves into a financial mess, largely due to the revenue that they would lose.
As always, Suttie shows how the government will always choose financial gain over public interest, in a way that engages the reader and informs them on political issues that they may not have been fully aware of.
The great thing about this series is that alongside the familiar SCIU team, headed by DCI Andy Miller, there are always characters that are victims of social injustices that tug at the heart-strings. He also shows the effect of the media on public and police opinion, adding to the journalistic feel to the structure of the novel.
Ever present in a Suttie novel is the portrayal of how the reduction in police numbers across the country has affected crime levels and the failure of police officers to respond to reports of crimes in a timely enough manner to catch the perpetrators or even link crimes to one another until it is too late. Suttie is well informed and knows just how to generate a feeling of anger in the reader at the dangerous effects of this government’s austerity cuts.
If you’re a die-hard Tory supporter, this book isn’t for you (although it may give you some food for thought), but it’s a great addition to a fantastic series of novels and I look forward to the next one.

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