The Rock by Robert Daws – book review


The Rock. Gibraltar. 1966.

In a fading colonial house overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. The steel handle of a knife protrudes from her chest, its sharpened tip buried deep within her heart.

The Rock. Present day.

Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on The Rock on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones and she braces herself for a tedious and wasteful twelve weeks in the sun.

After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed sovereignty of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.

It is a talent she shares with her new boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He’s an old-fashioned cop who regards his new colleague with mild disdain.

But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit.

Amazon UK

Urbane Publications


I received this book yesterday morning as part of the Urbane Publications Book Club, and thought I’d give the first couple of chapters a go to see if I’d enjoy it – 150 pages later I’d finished it and had thoroughly enjoyed this sharp, crime novella and am itching to start on book two of the series – The Poisoned Rock!

Set on Gibraltar, we follow Tamara Sullivan who is a detective sent over from London for 3 months and we get a glimpse of what went wrong in London, and how she is thrown straight into the deep end with intriguing cases of what appear to be suicides and they  affect those very closely in the police department. The team she is working with all have great interaction with each other and that really adds to the books appeal.

This book had a great pace about it and also fantastic touches of humour that you could understand that those in the police force need on a daily basis to see them through some of the tougher sights that they witness.  I also enjoyed the way the threads tied in well without being forced or feeling too manufactured.  There was genuine mystery and intrigue trying to work out where the story would end up and I loved the twists and turns!  

Another touch I liked was the imprint of fingerprints on each page! Really added to the enjoyment of reading!

So I made the right decision in picking up this book and love how sometimes something that you don’t expect to grab you does!!  Will definitely be reading The Poisoned Rock next!!