I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
This is the first book in a series featuring DS Jessica Daniel. It's an average police thriller with an uninspiring plot. Four bodies are waiting to be discovered and at each location it is noted that all doors are locked so how did the killer enter? What if it was possible to acquire a duplicate key? As I do not want to spoil your enjoyment I will take this train of thought no further. The author does a nice job of introducing Jessica, a career minded detective, who shares a flat with her best friend Caroline. Caroline has a new boyfriend called Randy and wants her flat mate Jessica to make up a foursome with Ryan, Randy's friend. The reason I mention this is on their first meeting Jessica did not really fancy Ryan but jumps into bed with him almost immediately. I thought this a ridiculous premise an articulate and organised DS throwing all caution to the wind for a quick sh*g. As the body count mounts DS Daniel comes under pressure for a quick resolve.
The real problem I have with this story is the following. Most readers of crime (including myself) are keen to play amateur detective and try to solve if possible who might be the killer. It is obvious that an author will always try to keep the ID of any killer a mystery until the final pages. The real skill is presenting him in a small part, as an unassuming boring character, and then revealing him as the killer in the final pages, when hopefully the reader will be delightfully surprised and somewhat disappointed that he was unable to discover the truth for himself. In "Locked In", I knew immediately who the killer was as soon as he was introduced. This is the first book in a long running series by Kerry Wilkinson and I suppose we should grant some latitude in the hope that later books in the series improve. I have since read "Nothing but Trouble" and really enjoyed, so it is probably fair to say that Mr Wilkinson is improving his technique as the series progresses. Nevertheless "Locked In" remains a poor read and certainly not one that I will recall with any real enjoyment.