The sergeant took some from each box and spread them around the floor so they could all see. Dozens upon dozens of them. DI Rachel Narey’s guess was that there were a few hundred in all.
Many of them were in crowd scenes, some just sitting on a park bench or walking a dog or waiting for a bus or working in shops. They seemed to have no idea they’d been photographed.
A dawn raid on the home of a suspected rapist leads to a chilling discovery, a disturbing collection hidden under floorboards. Narey is terrified at the potential scale of what they’ve found and of what brutalities it may signal.
When the photographs are ruled inadmissible as evidence and the man walks free from court, Narey knows she’s let down the victim she’d promised to protect and a monster is back on the streets.
Tony Winter’s young family is under threat from internet trolls and he is determined to protect them whatever the cost. He and Narey are in a race against time to find the unknown victims of the photographer’s lens – before he strikes again.
It’s been far too long since I read a Craig Robertson book and so I couldn’t resist bumping The Photographer to the top of my TBR. What a 24 hours it has been reading this book, I’ve been addicted to the story and have tried to read it at every available opportunity. The Photographer is a timely read and hugely powerful and emotional in its execution. Craig Robertson may have just written one of his best books yet.
The Photographer sees the return of the fantastic detective Rachel Narey and her husband, Tony Winter. I have loved this duo ever since I first read about them and with the addition of their new baby daughter, it added a new dynamic to their relationship and made the determination they both had for justice throughout this story all the more palpable. I always enjoy following their lives alongside the main plot line and this book really tested them both emotionally with where their investigations took them. Add in the addition of Tony’s uncle Danny and we’ve got a great cast of characters to read about.
The storyline in The Photographer is so timely with the Worboys case being in the news every single day these past few weeks. I think it was brave for Craig to tackle the subject of stalking and rape in this story, and I appreciated and admired how sensitively he did it, writing a book that was both gripping and full of scenes that made this an explosive book but at the same time writing a story that was wholly believable and respectful to those who have been stalked or raped themselves. It’s clear the level of care and research that has gone into the telling of this story and it is all the more powerful because of that. Rachel Narey arrests a believed rapist, however when the case is presented to the court, it is thrown out and all hell breaks loose for Narey with the public gunning for her and the rapist lording it over her with threats of suing her for defamation of character. It has been a while since I’ve read a story that filled me with such hatred and anger but that’s what the character in this book genuinely made me feel. Fictional it might be but there’s men just like this one in the world, as evidenced seemingly every day in the news. The Photographer will completely play with your emotions and consume you whilst you read, but to be honest if every book you read doesn’t do that in some way then you’re reading the wrong books.
Craig also shows the power of social media. Being a 90s baby I have grown up through most forms of social media since their inception and remember starting my very first MySpace page and adding people I didn’t even know. Then along came Facebook and Twitter and now, for those of us who are that way inclined, it’s possible for people to track our each and every movement. I find it rather strange those friends that share every detail of their life and who check-in at every location. It can be so easy for somebody to stalk and take advantage of you innocently sharing this information and that is clearly highlighted here. It makes you question what you choose to share and makes you wonder about who is following you. My Twitter is only open to share the book love and I try to keep personal stuff away from my ‘book’ Twitter. Twitter’s growth in popularity also saw an increase in the troll culture whereby everybody seems to have an opinion on everything and they aren’t afraid to voice it, whereas in real life they most likely would not be as outspoken. It made for uncomfortable reading at times witnessing the venomous comments aimed at Rachel during her investigation of this case and again it highlights just how much work needs to be done to tackle these trolls, not just towards women but towards everybody who might be affected by it. Katie Price is currently fighting for the law to be changed and I’d urge all to sign her petition and show your support for tackling this problem that only ever seems to get worse.
There’s a real sense of unease whilst reading this book. I actually felt sick at some points of it because Craig has done such a fantastic job of creating a truly hateful individual here and I can’t remember the last time I read a book where I wanted to see somebody get their comeuppance as much as I have done here. I found the ending left me wanting more but perhaps because no precedent has really been set it was kind of left a little bit open-ended but I would have liked a few more chapters concluding the story. That said the closing chapters in particular were some of the strongest and most emotional in the whole story. It makes you realise the power of somebody believing you, or the power of having police officers who aren’t afraid to go above and beyond to investigate a case. Early on Rachel is warned away from investigating the case, had she done that and moved on with her life then he surely would have walked free and carried on doing what he was doing. Not only must the mindset of higher level police officers be changed, but the law needs looking at in terms of just how these cases are investigated and then prosecuted and anybody who has picked up a newspaper or watched the news today, will know that that change is near. I cannot find fault with this story and as said earlier, The Photographer might just be Craig’s best book yet. It’s emotional, powerful, contains an unforgettable story and highlights just what a talented author Craig Robertson is. If you aren’t reading his books yet, you really need to be.
Great review from BookAddictShaun. I loved this book too! Catch my review HERE
Make sure you grab a copy of this fantastic read!