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Mark Hill Books In Order

Publication Order of DI Ray Drake Books

The Two O'Clock Boy (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
It Was Her (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Mark Hill is an English author of Thriller, Crime, and Mystery novels. Besides writing, Hill also works as a journalist and music radio presented. Hill became a published author in 2016 when his first book The Two O’clock Boy was published.

The Two O’clock Boy

The Two O’clock Boy is the first book in DI Ray Drake series that introduces the readers to two childhood friends, one of which became a detective and the other one became a killer. Kenny Overton is a criminal trying to keep things straight. He is working night shift in a supermarket, and he wants to do the right thing and make up for all the life mistakes that he has ever done, a life that started in deprived and unhappy children’s home several years ago. But from the look of things, it appears that someone is determined not to giving Kenny a second chance. It seems that someone has been keenly watching him and waiting patiently for Kenny to desperately pay for his bad past, and deny him a happy ending that he now wants for himself.

When Detective Inspector Ray Drake and a newly promoted Detective Sergeant Flick Crowley are called out to a scene of brutal multiple murders, they suspect that these multiple homicides are never going to be a simple case for them to solve. The murder victims are three members of the same family, and the fourth member seems to have survived by the virtue that he had left his cell phone back at home. But who could be this killer who would dare take down three family members and in such a personal and wicked way?

Drake clearly understands the triple homicides are purely intentional and that the killer wanted to send a message somehow. The dark secrets which have for years been kept hidden are about to be revealed. Secrets which have a connection to the deprived Longacre Children’s home, one of its former occupants, Connor Laird, a boy who hosted anger inside himself that scared everyone else, and its manager, Gordon Tallis.

With Drake fearing for his own life and the safety of those he loves the most- his family and with the knowledge that highly depends on ensuring that truth is never revealed. He understands well that he needs to find a way in which he can prevent his partner Crowley from investigating the children home with all of its bizarre history and residents. However, the murderer, the “Two O’clock Boy” starts haunting Drake and constantly reminding him regardless of how much he chooses to ignore it, their pasts, as well as their future, are inevitably connected. The killer is determined to ensuring that their past secrets are revealed to the whole world. However, the question Drake has to ask himself is that, to what extent is he willing to go to stop the ongoing killings, also protect his beloved daughter and make sure that the truth and the past him and the killer have is never revealed?

The Two O’clock Boy, the debut book in DI Ray Drake series, is a stunning offer from the author, Mark Hill. Switching between the present day activities, investigations and to the year 1984, weeks after Connor went to Longcare, the author offers the reader an epic and thrilling ride which is full of surprises, twists and completes moral ambiguity. Could the characters be victims of their pasts? Or are they driven by the inconsiderable choices they make given their challenging and abusive start? Or are these just mere excuses to justify their crime? And what is that which transforms a person to a criminal, Nature or nurture?

The author’s onymous killer, the “Two O’clock Boy,” is an emotionally complicated character. As the author slowly reveals his past to the readers, you will be put in a position of feeling a little sympathy for his as well as that of his victims. What happened in the children home made them victims of emotion and physical? If you were to judge could you forgive him given the event that occurred in the home? In some way, Hill’s book will firmly grab your emotions and attention from the first paragraph to the last.

Ray Drake is an excellent character, smart and courageous. He loves his family and is determined to do anything to keep them safe at all cost. He was somehow involved in the event at the children home, but the reason as to why the killer is after him is never revealed until the climax of the story. As his past is revealed bits by bits, scene by scene, he becomes a complicated character than he never seemed before. Drake change of behavior shocks his partner DS Crowley who begins to wonder; why would Drake be so determined in avoiding the truth, and also derailing the investigation.

On the other hand, there is Flick Crowley, a well woven rounded character. Even though she seems perfect, she is battling her demons as well. She has a poor relationship with her father and also dealing with an over reliance upon her beloved sister. Vigorous and determined, and conducts her investigation despite the fact that Drake does not want her to. She is not a pushover and acts on her instincts.

The Two O’clock Boy is fast paced, with tension building up gradually until the very last page, as more of the past and ambitions are revealed. The twists in the narrative, the deception, the duplicity are well hidden in the story such that you won’t guess what happens next. The murders featured in this book are intense, and the killer does execute them without showing any remorse while the protagonist is divisive. The characters are multifaceted, and they are not exactly what they appear to be and those supposed to be helping others don’t live up to the mark. No one is perfect, and nothing is too clear as well- some people possess evil and good characters, but this does not make them either bad or good, it makes them human because that’s how human being are created to be. If you like reading mystery thrillers, then DI Ray Drake series is recommended series for you.

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