By Laurence Watkinson
First published: March 2012 (first Kindle edition)
Blackpool has long been Britain’s favourite seaside resort. But since its growth into a casino city, Blackpool has become home to a number of criminal gangs.
DCI Bill Ramsbottom of the recently-formed Blackpool Metropolitan Police is determined to find out which gang of thugs is blackmailing which leisure industry mogul – and whether the crooks are in alliance with legitimate business people, and if so which ones – and whether the extortion schemes are really linked to the growing prostitution industry – and who really controls the city’s hard drugs sector – and whether successive high-profile police failures are attributable to the corruption that the Blackpool Met thought it had stamped out – and whether the city’s impending gang war is going to kill off half the gangsters, or just make crime better organised and more dangerous.
DCI Ramsbottom has to deal with all of this against a background of interference from the National Crime Agency and the Home Office, and the burgeoning maverick tendency of his sidekick, DS Lucy Brown, who appears to have gone off on a mission of her own involving a greasy police grass called Brian Barnfield.
Rock and a Hard Place is the first of Laurence Watkinson’s new series of crime comedies set in Britain’s favourite seaside resort.