A nicely episodic tale introducing the characters of author Philip Catshill’s Mike Newman Mysteries, For All Eternity has its feet firmly planted in the England of my youth and reminds me of a cross between Dixon of Dock Green and the original (English version of) Life on Mars.
Mike’s marriage isn’t perfect. His friends aren’t always loyal or good. Society’s dregs have stories to tell, and the cops might not be willing to listen. As the world of the 1980s absorbs the changes and values of modernity, policeman Mike Newman hopes to stem the tide of corruption by trying for a long-deserved promotion. Meanwhile his partner Sandra entertains illicit dreams, his friend wants help that definitely crosses old-fashioned moral boundaries, his wife despises him, and nothing’s ever simple.
Taking Sandra to meet the people she’ll serve, Mike shows sympathy for those his fellow policemen scorn, and listens to their tales. It’s time for change, he knows, but he just wasn’t planning quite so many changes all at once. And Sandra wasn't planning quite the change she finds.
I enjoyed the episodic feel of this tale, meeting new characters, waiting to learn more, pleased to have met them and curious to see if their tales will be expanded as the mysteries proceed. The author writes convincingly from different points of view and creates an all too real corner of England filled with genuine people and genuine needs. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking new mystery series to read, this is definitely a good place to start.
Disclosure: I bought a free ecopy of this book at the author’s recommendation.