Review: The Mayfly by James Hazel


4 stars


It’s happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.

A murderous plan conceived in the past.

A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer.

Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge. Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War.

Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment. With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted.

As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?


There was something about The Mayfly that attracted me, even though it doesn’t really fit in with my tastes. I don’t like books where the main character is “ex-police turned lawyer/journalist/PI” etc, but the fact that this was to do with a secret society and it drew in links back from history made me too intrigued to not request it.

Charlie Priest is our main character, he’s a successful lawyer, after being a successful Detective Inspector and he’s troubled (like they always are). Priest’s brother is a serial killer and he has dissociative disorder, but despite this, he’s stellar at his job and he’s a bit of a laugh. Priest certainly is an interesting and likable character, so no doubt I will check out the next in this series, just to revisit his character.

In terms of the plot, you can tell this was really well researched. The plot, as a whole, is pretty unique, and the ties to WWII and the Nazis was definitely theย reason I picked this one up, so I felt a little let down that there weren’t that many flashbacks to that era and there wasn’t an awful lot of explanation as to how and why the secret society was born. Don’t me wrong, it doesn’t just leave you up in the air, it does explain, but it could have been developed and done better.

There is no doubt that this book is fast paced and keeps you on your toes. The first half of the novel, I flew through. The second half of the book then pulls in some romance and things begin to get a little cheesy. From the feelings felt by the characters, to conversations, there were a couple of eye-roll moments, but it wasn’t all that bad.

While I thought the plot, the crimes, the victims and all the rest, was good, it did get a little confusing at times. There were so many paths being drawn into this one investigation that I got a little lost at some points, and for this reason, guessing the “bad guy” can be tricky… but really, it’s very easy.

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. If the romance parts were removed, this could have been a 5 star read for me, because that would have taken away all the cheese. This is a good 4 star read for me, and like I said, I will definitely look into the next book in this series.

Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository

Thanks to Reader’s First & Bonnier Zaffre for sending me an ARC copy of this book. And also to Netgalley for my eARC copy.

8 Replies to “Review: The Mayfly by James Hazel”

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