Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring Steps to Heaven: A Sgt Major Crane Novel by Wendy Cartmell.
About the Book: An evil cult figure is bending the minds of British Army soldiers,making them do his bidding and forcing them to take the first, untimely, Steps to Heaven,
On Aldershot Garrison, Solomon, recently returned from the theatre of war, is found to have murdered his wife and son before committing suicide. With pressure building at home and other cases needing his attention, Sgt Major Crane tries to put the tragedy out of his mind. It was just a one-time-thing. That is, until it happens again…
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My Review: After reading the prequel, I was looking forward to reading this and I wasn’t disappointed. As with the best mysteries, the detail of the characters and surroundings is fantastic and flows well within the story. The military aspect is no less detailed as we’re given a brief glimpse into military life as they and the civilian police work together to solve the murders. As a result, the action is smooth and seamless as the story progresses from one case and event to another.
If there is a drawback, it’s that Sgt Billy Williams plays an important, but smaller role than expected from the prequel short story. It’s not bad as we get to see his reactions through the eyes of the main character, Sgt Major Crane. To be honest, I didn’t even notice until partway through as the characters and story were that compelling.
As with the story, the characters were well done and believable, especially Sgt Major Crane. I could feel his frustration and understand his fear as he balanced finding the cult leader and his personal life. I really enjoyed seeing him work and push those around him to get the job done, but my favorite parts were with his superior. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but their relationship was rewarding for me in the end.
This is a fantastic start to a mystery series and something you don’t want to miss.