Graham Ison joined the Met Police with a stint in Scotland Yard’s Special Branch. He brings that expertise to his Hardcastle series and to the Brock and Poole series, of which Jack in the Box is one.

Fans of Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series will enjoy Ison’s Brock and Poole. With that same kind of breezy humor and unselfconscious, Ison uses DCI Harry Brock’s voice to bring the drama to life. Brock is called to Ham Common one early Sunday morning to a murder scene. Far from being an ordinary murder scene, the victim is found stabbed to death, and locked inside wooden box, which had been set alight on the Common. Wit this unusual premise, it is a great delight to watch Ison unfold the complicated story as Brock, assisted by DS Dave Poole, tries to unravel the murder.

The two journey through London’s deep underworld, through gangs, porn actresses and East End villains, exploring the criminals who populate this world.

Ison has created a very real and amusing character in Brock, who is currently enjoying a relationship with actress Gail Sutton in this story. By using first person, the reader is privy to Brock’s amusing and often deprecating personal thoughts, even as his DCI presents a most professional face to the outside world.

A quick and amusing read for fans of British crime.