Review & Giveaway: Deadly Virtues by Jo Bannister

Title: Deadly Virtues

Author: Jo Bannister

Published: Bello: Pan MacmillanUK August 2013

Status: Read from August 13 to 15, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Part police procedural, part cozy mystery, Deadly Virtues is an engaging crime fiction novel from prolific British author Jo Bannister.

When Jerome Cardy dies in police custody, brutally beaten to death by his cellmate, the incident seems likely to be written up as an unfortunate accident. But the law student’s last panicked words referencing Othello, nags at Gabriel Ash with whom the young man briefly shared a cell. Rookie cop Hazel Best is inclined to dismiss the word of the man known as ‘Rambles with Dog’ but when Ash is the subject of an attempted kidnapping, and then a journalist curious about the case is killed in a fatal hit and run, Hazel is forced to consider that Jerome’s death was not an accident at all.

There aren’t too many surprises in this tale of murder and corruption but it is an engaging, well plotted mystery. The small English town of Norbold boasts one of the country’s lowest crime rates attributed to Chief Superintendent John Fountain’s zero tolerance policy but Gabriel Ash and new recruit, Constable Hazel Best soon discover that all is not as it seems.

I particularly liked the well developed main protagonists of Deadly Virtues. Gabriel Ash is considered the town’s ‘crazy’ due to his mumbled conversations with an adopted stray Lurcher, hence the label ‘Rambles with Dog’. But four years ago Ash was a government official whose diligent work in counter terrorism resulted in tragedy and subsequently an emotional break down. Ash is a sympathetic and intriguing character and I really enjoyed the way in which he evolved through out the story.
Hazel Best is an idealistic new constable who is torn between honour and duty. Doing the right thing is important to her but when the cost may be her career, and even her life, Hazel is faced with some difficult decisions. Though I find it hard to believe Hazel could be quite as naive as she seems to be at times, I felt her internal conflict was believable and admired her strength of character.

I thought the issues that were posed with the denouement of the story were interesting and gave the story additional depth. Nothing is ever as black and white, or as simple as it seems – even the truth.

Deadly Virtues is an entertaining and satisfying mystery with appealing characters and I expect dog lovers will find it hard to resist Ash’s faithful hound, Patience. Though written as a stand alone, there is potential for Bannister to revive these characters and I would certainly be interested in seeing Gabriel, with the help of Hazel, find answers regarding the fate of his family.

Available to Purchase From

Bello I AmazonUK I BookDepository


Thanks to Bello/Pan Macmillan

I have

1 x print edition and

5 x e-editions

of Deadly Virtues to give away.

Open worldwide excluding US/Canada


Closes September 1st 2013.

Drawn via


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. miki
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 18:49:07

    Thank you a lot!



  2. bernadetteinoz
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 18:51:01

    Oh I just finished this one – I liked it a lot – you’re right that there really aren’t any big surprises but the characters are so wonderful and the writing itself is a treat. I often think characters are more naive than they should be about the awful things that people will do…but then I realise they probably don’t read as much crime fiction as I do 🙂



  3. brendat59
    Aug 16, 2013 @ 21:34:53

    Great review Shelleyrae. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂



  4. Marianne Vincent
    Aug 17, 2013 @ 13:30:36

    Great review, Shellyrae, I have entered as I’d love to read this one too.



  5. Mary Preston
    Aug 17, 2013 @ 20:07:37

    DEADLY VIRTUES sounds like a great read. I haven’t read any works by Jo Bannister yet.



  6. Trackback: Review: DEADLY VIRTUES by Jo Bannister | Reactions to Reading
  7. Rita Myhomeofbooks
    Aug 27, 2013 @ 02:14:56

    Thanks for the chance–sounds like my type of reading!



  8. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out

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