Gritty, hard-hitting crime rarely sits beside brooding atmosphere, flawless writing, and characters so real you could have a chat with them, but Salt Lane is that rare gem. A fabulous start to what I'm sure will be a must-read series.
Tense and brutal . . . Intelligent, beautifully written and with an emotional resonance that stays long after the book is finished, this is a tight and compelling read that rewards the reader in spades.
Stark beauty . . . The investigations raise issues important to 21st-century Brexit Britain - immigration, racism, sexism, poverty and inequality.
Evokes setting in every way possible - the darkness, the way of living on this land, the workers, illegal and otherwise, the land changing over the years, the rawness of the sea and the elements ... it's exposed, raw and hard to deal with at times, and all of this is also the essence of this very immersive read. This novel really shone for me as it weaves social commentary, great writing and unique observation of landscape into one neatly tied package.
A sharp eye for detail, turned on 21st-century phenomenon of people-trafficking. There are some touching moments in this vivid tale, which recognises that decent people don't always behave well.
A fine police heroine emerges in Detective Alexandra Cupidi . . . living in the shadow of the power station at Dungeness is a splendid backdrop for a troubled detective . . . Cupidi discovers the deep shadows that lie across the landscape of her new home.
Shaw scores subtle political points in this atmospheric, state-of-the-nation thriller that, as always, features intricate plotting, realistic dialogue and believable characters. A modern crime master.
Excellent . . . A web of events that reverses readers' expectations: Rather than having all their roots in the distant past, these crimes have more to do with the evils and inequities of the modern world
Salt Lane was my introduction to William Shaw, and when I finished it I instantly went to his backlist. He is a meticulous, thoughtful and insightful writer. I can't wait for Sergeant Cupidi's next case.
Brilliant. Atmospheric, immersive scene setting, highly engaging main protagonist and a superbly crafted plot, written beautifully.
William Shaw is one of the great rising talents of UK crime fiction. This is his best book to date, instantly engaging, beautifully written with really well observed and rounded characters.
Salt Lane is taut, terrifying and timely; the emotional tension never slackens
Intriguing and atmospheric, Salt Lane covers tough topics with sensitivity, a dash of humour and above all, beautiful writing. I love the whole Cupidi family - mother, daughter and child. I don't think there are any other crime novels I've read that are exploring this kind of family dynamic.
Cupidi is one of my current favourite crime fiction police characters. Shaw writes female characters and tackles the issues around motherhood so well. A page-turning police procedural with a thoughtful, character-driven heart, an astounding sense of place, and a quirky sense of humour.