Review: Murder the Boys (Detective Kate Power Mystery Book 1) by by Judith Cutler


Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: Joffe Books (June 3, 2020)

Introducing Birmingham Detective Sergeant Kate Power, exiled from London's Metropolitan Police by personal tragedy and making a new start in the distant outpost of Birmingham CID. Many of her new colleagues are good men but some won’t leave their new female colleague alone long enough to get on with her job. Kate is anxious to lose herself in her work, and before too long a case comes along that will consume her in a way she could never have imagined.

Boys are being abducted, abused, and murdered on her patch, and Kate feels intense personal and professional pressure to catch those responsible. Are her colleagues being deliberately obstructive or simply dragging their feet? Who is behind the vile crimes?


Set in the late 90s in England’s second city, this is the first in a series of compulsively readable crime thrillers.

My Rating: 1 star out of 5

I don't know what part of this story I had more trouble with - the blatant sexual harassment and bullying from her colleagues or the overwhelming stupidity of DS Powers. 

To begin with, I understand that this book takes place in the late 90s and that things weren't exactly as they are nowadays when it comes to females in the workplace (especially when said workplace is predominantly male) - however purposely unplugging her laptop in an effort to make it crash so she loses the work she's been doing for a case? Sending her on a 300 mile trip for no purpose? Or how about her first day when someone bends her forcefully over a desk, pinches her nose and mouth shut and humps her rear end? And just the way one of her commanding officers spoke to her (or about her) in general had me seeing red. Both at them for doing it, and for her as she chose time and again not to report it (even after decided to gather evidence to prove what was going on). 

And can I ask just what the heck was up with Harvey's wife? The poor man is so completely under her thumb that not only does he have to warn DS Powers if she calls him (about the case they are investigating) that she needs to not only block her number before she does so, but when they hang up, if her phone immediately rings again she shouldn't answer it as it will most likely be his wife? To the point where he gets MAD at her when she can't reach him any other way (AGAIN ABOUT THE CASE THEY ARE WORKING ON) and she leaves him a message on his answering machine. Talk about going overboard. 

Although I can't say I blame his wife considering DS Powers seems to be something of a homewrecker. And speaking of dear DS Powers....


Are you seriously telling me that a police office investigating crimes committed by a pedophile does not find anything even mildly suspicious about someone wanting to video boys under the age of shirtless playing soccer? Or the fact that his niece has nightmares? Or what about the fact that his nephew is obviously uneasy around him especially when the man tries to pull said nephew into his lap? And it did not dawn on her immediately that something might be wrong?

Not only that, but this same woman, in the middle of this same investigation is shown a photograph thought to have been left at her home depicting a man and young boy together and instead of immediately returning to the station to report it, or at the very least call it in, she proceeds to have tea with the man doing the renovations on her house? 

Get the heck out of here.

I can see there are two more books that have been published in this series, and perhaps one day I will pick another one up to see if they have gotten any better. Just not anytime soon. 

                                                    Murder the Boys is available from
                                                     (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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