What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?
It’s Spring 2013. For the past two years, Captain Garth Hutt’s mission in Kabul has been to seek out rogue Afghan police officers wanted for green on blue murders.
After killing twenty rogue policemen in less than two years, he is sent back to England to his former unit in York and told to have three months off, before resuming his position as second-in-command of the York and Catterick Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police.
Back in York, he spends time recuperating with an old friend, Maikel – Sergeant Malo Maikelekelevesi, a Fijian paratrooper with the Special Forces Support Group – who is staying at his flat, on leave whilst recovering after being shot in the arm.
One evening they have an unexpected visitor – Siân Matthews, a former lover of Hutt, who appears at the door, bedraggled and ill.
She’s been struggling with drug addiction, having been plied with coke and mistreated by the infamous Leeds drug baron Mick Bell.
Having tried to escape Bell and his posse’s clutches, Siân has run into big trouble and her brother Calum has been targeted as a warning.
Hutt offers to help Siân and ward off Bell and his gang.
At the same time, Hutt receives a phone call from DS Alex Lawson, CID, based at the Central Area Command Unit in York.
The gruff Lawson wants him to help as a consultant and investigate a murder of a young lance corporal, found naked and shot in the head in Bishop Wood near Selby.
The only evidence they can find is a size seven footprint near the crime scene.
It emerges that the murder is similar to that of a young private in 2009 near Colchester, another soldier, Keogh, in Germany, and further similar unsolved murders. Linking the crimes together, Lawson fears there there’s a serial killer at large in the Army.
The main suspects are all members of the military: Colour Sergeant Vaughan, Captain Charles Bavister, and the alluring Captain Theresa Cowan – an Olympic medal winner.
When her grandfather, the retired Colonel David Adamson-Woods, is shot dead with a shotgun on his doorstep, questions are raised about his past, including links to his time in Northern Ireland, whilst sinister ghosts emerge linking him to paedophile crimes.
Hutt draws on his army training and what Siân calls his ‘suicidal heroism’ to try to hunt down and stop the drugs cartel from reaching her, and at the same time help Lawson to track down the Army killer before another soldier is murdered.
Hutt races against time through North and West Yorkshire, down to Norfolk, and back to York, as the net tightens.
However, emotional entanglements threaten to blur his sharp judgement of the situation and unwittingly he finds himself next in the firing line…
A tense and sophisticated thriller, BLOODY RECKONING gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the military police force, as well as taking the reader on a nail-biting quest for justice and redemption.
Rafe McGregor is the author of nine books, including Bloody Reckoning, and two hundred articles, essays, and reviews.