Cowboys and Indians (Detective Scott Cullen Mysteries Book 7) - Ed James

Cowboys and Indians is book 7 of the excellent Detective Scott Cullen series. I've been looking forward to diving into this book; I've been a fan of the series since the beginning. I wouldn't say you need to read the other book in the series first; there are references to past events, but not so many that a new reader would be lost. But as it's such an enjoyable series, I very much recommend reading the other books.

Cullen is easing into his new rank as Detective Sergeant, and managing a small group of detectives on the latest case of a man found dead under a bridge wearing only his underpants. They plunge into the sordid, corrupt field of banking, where everyone lies and power corrupts. Meanwhile, Cullen's girlfriend, DI Sharon McNeil is trying to solve a series of rapes on men after they visited a local gay bar, The Liquid Lounge.

There was lots to like in this book; strong characters and a riveting plot sucks you in from the start and the solid pace kept the plot moving without getting bogged down. I was afraid at first that Bain would not make an appearance; who doesn't love a character you love to hate? His antagonism provides not only a little comedy relief but also adds to the tension one needs while reading a thriller. Similarly, the relationship between Cullen and Sharon, and their sorrow is something that nearly everyone can relate to and gives one a more personal connection to the story.

Have to say, though: Cullen needs a refresher course on apprehending suspects without someone getting their balls kicked in. At least he can take a punch and keep on going.

Overall, a fantastic book by one of my favorite authors. Many thanks to Ed James for the advanced copy of what is easily the best book I've read so far this year.