The Crime Warp - Writers' and Readers' Perspectives | A blog..
We are a group of avid crime readers and aspiring crime fiction writers. We met at Harrogate Crime Writers' Festival and decided to work together to share our enthusiasm for the genre in the form of book reviews, author interviews, quizzes & trivia and of course some samples of our own writing.
For me one of the most anticipated events of the festival is always Val McDermid's New Blood panel. Over the years, I've discovered many New blood authors who have gone on to become firm favourites on my bookshelves. From Abir Mukherjee who writes about colonial India to David Mark who trails us round the strees of Hull and from Jane Harper's atmospheric Autralian novels to SJ Watson's haunting psychological thriller, I am always amazed at both the versatility and the originality of the new authors. Can't wait to find out more about this years four New Blood panellists and their books, but here's a sneaky little peek.
Gytha Lodge is a multi-award winning playwright who studied creative writing at UEA. Her debut, She Lies in Wait, is dubbed as the biggest debut of 2019.
Val McDermid says 'An atmospheric thriller that takes the idea of six friends with a dark place in their past and gives it a series of fresh, chilling twists. A novel that literally makes you hold your breath then gasp out loud'
Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?
Seven friends went down to the woods, but one of them never came home.
30 years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens already knows what's waiting for him - Aurora Jackson, found at last.
They all claim to be innocent, but one of them must be lying.
Because she was found somewhere only they knew about.
Investigative journalist, Holly Watt, with her first novel To the Lions received acclaim as a ‘breathholding rollercoaster of a read’.
Clare Mackintosh says 'Sensational! I loved it. Superbly plotted, and what a brilliant series lead!'
A journalist must follow the clues, no matter how far that takes her.
Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives and exposed the lies of countless politicians and power players. Using her network of contacts, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, no matter what cost emotionally.
Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man, whose death has left his fiancée and family devastated.
Casey's determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St-Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.
From Down Under, Scrublands is the powerful compulsive thriller from journalist and foreign correspondent, Chris Hammer.
Val McDermid says 'Shimmers ... A tortured tale of blood and loss'
In an isolated country town ravaged by drought, a charismatic young priest opens fire on his congregation, killing five men before being shot dead himself.
A year later, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals don't fit with the accepted version of events.
Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking discovery rocks the town. The bodies of two backpackers - missing since the time of the massacre - are found in the scrublands. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is the one in the spotlight.
Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to uncover a truth that becomes more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town's secrets stay buried.
Freelance writer and editor, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut, My Sister the Serial Killer, mixes crime, sisterly love and murder, hailed by the New York Times as ‘pulpy, peppery and sinister.’
New York Times says'A bombshell of a book... Sharp, explosive, hilarious'
When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede's long been in love with him, and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other...
Robert Norris. An eighteen-year old petty criminal is brutally tortured and left in a farmer’s field to die.
DCI Jack Lambert, and his team, think they have it all figured out. It’s a robbery gone wrong. Suspicion immediately falls on the man who called it in.
What Jack doesn’t realise is that this is just the beginning.
An escaped prisoner, an attempted hit, and a seemingly unending trail of violence and retribution follows.
As the mystery unfolds, Jack begins to suspect the existence of a secret, but powerful, syndicate operating on the very edges of the North East’s criminal underworld.
With the situation spiralling out of control, Jack finds himself at a crossroads—one which could lead him back into the kind of life he has spent a career running away from.
Time is running out and this case might not only cost Lambert his job, but also his life…
A.M. Peacock grew up in the North East of England before leaving to study for a degree in music technology at the University of Hull. A subsequent return to his hometown of South Shields saw him spend seven years as a teacher in a local college before changing careers to become a trade union official.
Having always been an avid reader, he took to writing after being encouraged to do so by his PGCE tutor. He has since gone on to produce a number of short stories, winning the Writers’ Forum Magazine competition on two occasions, as well as producing articles for both the local press and a university magazine.
A.M. Peacock’s debut novel, Open Grave, featuring DCI Jack Lambert, was published in September 2018. Grave Intent is the second in this series, with more to come!
Away from writing, A.M. Peacock enjoys watching films, playing guitar and can often be found pavement pounding in preparation for the odd half marathon.
His breaths came in sharp, panicked gasps as he ran from the farmhouse. The rain was pounding down now, making it hard for him to see exactly where he was going. Stinging his face, as if scolding him for being out in such weather. His feet slipped in the muddy earth, nearly causing him to fall. He glanced over his shoulder, his eyes wide and fearful. He had to keep running. He just had to...
He hadn’t expected anyone to be home. The wheat field had provided good cover and he’d been told that the farmer wouldn’t be there.
‘Wait until well after dark, approach from the east, and stay low,’ they’d told him. ‘Three scarecrows and you’re there.’
He hadn’t banked on a light turning on as he opened the door, nor the shrieking of rusted hinges announcing his presence. Such was his shock that, at first, he hadn’t even seen the man with the shotgun sitting in the corner of the room.
That was when the growling had started.
The dog had lunged at him first, before the man had stood and cocked his gun.
He’d turned in sheer terror, feeling the warm trickle of blood moving down his leg as the Alsatian’s jaws locked in place. He’d gouged at the animal’s eyes and managed to wriggle free. He’d slammed the door behind him, and slipped on the wooden patio, smashing his chin against the damp wood.
And, so, he’d ran.
Cursing his luck, he moaned and carried on, dragging his injured leg away from the house in the pouring rain. He couldn’t see him, but he knew the man was not far behind.
The barking grew in volume.
Each time his right foot made contact with the ground his injured leg screamed at him. ‘Come on!’ he urged himself, fishing out his mobile with shaky fingers.
Rain smeared across the phone screen as he typed in the wrong pin. He swore as the dog clamped its jaws over his leg, once again, dropping the device as he lashed out into the night. The dog whimpered and hurtled back towards the confines of the house.
He continued past the first scarecrow as a shot rang up around him.
The sound of screeching birds evacuating their nests rose above the noise of the retreating dog’s barks. Allowing himself a stifled sob, he carried on past the second scarecrow .
‘I’m coming for you, boy!’ the farmer’s gruff voice bellowed from behind him.
I love a good Stuart MacBride ... I especially love a good Stuart MacBride when there's a long suffering Logan McRae and a bad (oh so very bad ... and decidedly naughty) Roberta Steele in the mix. The dynamics between the characters is fresh despite the fact we're into double figures now with this series and with each new book it seems that MacBride always manages to create distinct voices for his characters. So ... what's All That's Dead about? Well, here's the blurb ...
There’s a darkness in the heart of Scotland…
The stunning new Logan McRae thriller from No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller Stuart MacBride.
Scream all you want, no one can hear…
Inspector Logan McRae is looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. But the powers-that-be have other ideas…
The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.
Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.
All That's Dead kicks off with a dramatic, almost cinematic, horror type, first chapter ... it was one of those where I was very nearly on the edge of my seat ready to screech. In true MacBride style he builds the tension to a crescendo, that was almost so acute it was like scraping fingernails across a blackboard ... then the plot thickens.
Talking of plot ... brilliant ... links and subplots and interlinks are woven so tightly, you can't see the seams. From supects to targets to police... the clues are all there, leading to a very satisfying climax.
I love the way he links current agendas with past ones and the introduction of domestic terrorism, not focusing on Muslims, is a refreshing change. But, as ever with MacBride, it is the characterisation that draws me in. I love Tufty ... love the linguistic idiosyncracies, love the way he jumps off the page as a very real, lovable character... the epilogue was pure genius! But more than that ... it's the human element that is so intriguing in MacBride's body of work. The little observations that pique your interest, the little comments that build the characters into unique entities, the kindness hidden under veneers of selfishness (I'll let you work out which character each of the above relates to) that are so compelling.
MacBride's usual mix of humour and darkness never fails to impress me and it is that balance that keeps the characters human. As usual, family life and relationships are threaded beautifully through the drama of the ongoing police investigation. Poor Logan, still working in Professional Standards, could well do without being dragged into this investigation, yet he just gets on with it.
I loved this and I don't think anyone would be disappointed with it. 5*'s from me.
Today on The Crime Warp we have reviews of not one, but FOUR, Young Adult crime fiction novels. All four of these are fantastic reads and I would highly recommend them. We have:
My Whole Truth by Mischa Thrace, a brilliant story about privilege to rival 13 Reasons Why. The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown, a coming of age story with a criminal edge to it, exploring manipulation and peer control. Fated by Teri terry, a n all too realistic portrayal of a society gone wrong. Sea Change by Sylvia Hehier, a haunting coming of age of a grieving boy caught up in a murder investigation. My Whole Truth by Mischa Thrace
Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, she never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know
how effectively a mallet could destroy someone's head.
But the universe doesn't care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn't care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can't bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she's arrested for murder.
What I think
As if being a seventeen year old isn't difficult enough ... factor in being attacked by a much older boy, keeping a secret from your best friends and family, grieving for your dad and then being catapulted into the spotlight of a murder trial when all you've done is try to defend yourself. My Whole Truth explores the frailty and magic of deep seated friendships and contrasts that with the entitlement of the rich to pervert justice and bully the underdog. If you enjoyed 13 Reasons Why, you will enjoy this nuanced portrayal of teen life when tragedy and trauma strike in one fail swoop. I read this in one sitting. I loved the fact that the charcaters were flawed and vulnerable. I loved the different ways their strengths were shown and most of all I loved the message ... Anyone can be a hero!
Sydney's dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around in their small Ohio town.
He is also unexpectedly dead.
Sydney believes the crash was anything but an accident. And when the threatening texts begin, and June Copeland - homecoming queen and golden child - appears at his funeral out of nowhere, she's sure of it.
But through Sydney's newfound relationship with June, she's given a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief and the chance, just maybe, of a fresh start.
Until it's clear that the secrets won't go away, and the truth might bring everything crashing down...
Imperfect friendships, the shadow of grief and the sweet pain of romance - this is a poetic, thrilling ode to being human
What I think This novel is poignant, creepy and brilliantly scribed. Not only does it explore bereavement, but it weaves in other plotlines too. I liked the quirkiness of the characters and the organic underlying romance that was a slow but appealing burner. Sydney is such a plausible character. Her overpowering grief and her struggle to move on and proces it had me near to tears very often. At one point when she discovers the book about grief processes, highlighted by her mother, I just wanted to pick her up and hold her till she was stronger. The ongoing mystery surrounding her father's death and his relationship with her friend June is tantalisingly dangled just out of reach, keeping me hooked till the end. This is, despite the subject matter, both uplifting and informative. Highly recommended.
Sam's cosy life as daughter of the Deputy Prime Minister is about to end. These are turbulent times. Borders have closed and protests are turning violent. The government blames the country's youth, and is cracking down hard. Mobile phones are blocked, gatherings are banned and dissent is brutally crushed.
Sam is torn between family loyalty and doing what is right. When she meets Ava and Lucas her mind is made up.
One girl, one choice. She can make a difference: she must. Even if her life - and her heart - are on the line ...
A red-hot thriller packed with secrets and revelations that shines a new light on the award-winning SLATED trilogy.
What I Think
Fated is a chilling and all too believable dystopian thriller. Unfortunately the dysyopia portrayed in the novel rarely feels too far-fetched. This is thought provoking, shocking in places and compulsive. The exploration of just how far people will go in the name of what they percieve to be right resonates strongly in today's political climate. Alongside that it is a coming of age storygrounded in harsh reality. It is also a tender love story between two very different characters.
I await with bated breath the sequel to this one ... it had me hooked from early on and hats off to Terry for having the guts to take it as far as it needed to go. This is a no holds barred account of what could happen. Strongly written, beutifully characterised and very, very current. A 5* Young Adult read from me!
Struggling to look after his grieving mother, sixteen-year-old Alex wants nothing more than to leave school. All right, he made some poor decisions during the summer holiday, not least of which was getting involved with Chuck, a stranger hiding out in this remote part of the Scottish Highlands. Chuck was exciting, challenging Alex to take ever-increasing risks. But Chuck wasn't supposed to turn up dead next to Alex's fishing boat. With the bills mounting, Alex has to accept that he is struggling to cope. But things get even worse when his best friend goes missing.
What I Think
The beautiful settings, the rustic coastline, the moors and wilderness juxtaposed with a small Scottish town a stone's throw away from Perth made this book for me. The coastal scenes and boating and fishing references were delicately painted. Alex as a young lad struggling with many aspects of teen life, as well as his own grief, puts his grieving mother first. This is a haunting protrayal of a young boy, coping on his own in the best way he can, whilst many of the adults around him let him down. He's a bit of a misfit among his peers and finds solace in his fishing and cooking. This story is about friendships, bad decisions, mistakes and the complexity of life. I would have liked to have learned in a little more detail about Alex's poor decisions, perhaps through flashback. A strong debut novel, dealing with sensitive issues respectfully and with attention to detail.
Don’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case you’d be alright – I like the cover and what’s inside too. It’s about a woman who was married to a gangster, a premise that took me back to my youth. I once was friendly with a woman who’d just divorced a Mafiosi. They remained on relatively friendly terms, for the sake of their children, no doubt, and when her birthday rolled around, he rang her. ‘I’ve got a birthday present for you … but I’d like to show it to you in person…’ Turns out he’d bought his ex a cemetery plot with a gravestone in place, with a photo of her as a child on it. All that was missing was the date of her death. He showed her the view from the plot and how close it was to a water source so they could keep any flowers planted watered. She hadn’t planned on causing him any trouble, she had her kids to think of after all, but he wanted to be certain. And it worked.
The protagonist of Red Hot Front, gangster widow Tatiana Goodwin, has a lot to consider when she inherits her husband’s criminal empire. She’s never been comfortable with her husband’s line of work and would rather be out than in. But life’s never that simple and she gradually gets sucked into a whirlpool of violence and danger, besides, you discover new talents when you need them, even if it means becoming matriarch to a criminal organisation. Now Zach, her son, has no trouble wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps. How can she keep her family safe and alive, when there are all sorts of enemies out there looking for easy pickings?
I’ve never been to Great Yarmouth, where this book is set, but my husband’s grandfather used to go there annually to fish and his grandmother followed the fleet down from Scotland to do filleting and salting or whatever the fishing quinies did. I can well imagine that crime grew as the fishing industry declined. Times have been hard on many East Coast sea ports and the climate is hardly like in Madeira.
In a genre that often follows fashion and many books published at the same time have a similar premise or theme, this one is refreshingly different. Well written, with believable characters and a gritty setting, I can recommend this series. Tatty is a character you will want to get to know.
Harry Brett is the pseudonym for Henry Sutton, the author of nine novels and senior lecturer of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
This second in the Goodwin Series was first published May 2018 by Corsair in hardback (£18.99).
Really pleased to announce that Leeds Trinity University, my alma mater, is hosting the fantastic Dorothy Koomson who will be talking about and reading from her new novel, Tell Me Your Secret, which was released just a few days ago. Last year, when my daughter graduated from Leeds Trinity, I was privileged to see Dorothy receive her Honorary Fellowship from the University. This was particularly poignant as Dorothy is also an alumna from the university. A week or so later, I bumped into Dorothy at Harrogate Crime Writer's festival , so although she no longer resides in Yorkshire, it's clear where her roots lie. Dorothy hs always been an author who handles difficult issues and whose wrting is inspirational in its use of expansive narratives. I look forward to reading Tell Me Your Secret and I can't wait for this talk which should be truly inspirtional with Dorothy talking about her writing process, her publishng journey and offering tips to the prospective writer ... It would be lovely to se some of you there. In the meantime her's a little more about Dorothy and her most recent novel.
Early bird tickets are on offer for £8 until 31 May 2019. Its £10 after that and £12 on the door. Staff and students can attend for free.
Tickets include entry to the Trinity Talk, a drink on arrival and buffet dinner, and the opportunity to meet Dorothy at a book signing following the talk.
Order of events
6.00pm Arrival, light buffet and refreshments
7.00pm Trinity Talk 8.00pm Question and Answer session 8.30pm Book signing 9.00pm Finish
Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author whose novels include Sunday Times bestsellers: The Ice Cream Girls, My Best Friend’s Girl and The Brighton Mermaid. Dorothy’s books are powerful, thought-provoking and compelling emotional thrillers. They have been translated into more than 30 languages and sales in the UK alone exceed two million copies. Her latest novel, Tell Me Your Secret, is released on 25 June 2019. Passionate about the importance of reading and literacy, Dorothy is a regular speaker in libraries and at festivals and supports the work of the National Literacy Trust, an independent charity that transforms lives through literacy. Dorothy is an alumna and Honorary Fellow of Leeds Trinity University and her Trinity Talk Telling Secrets will feature readings from Tell Me Your Secret as well as insight into her personal publishing journey and putting together a story. Everyone welcome.
Pieta has a secret. Ten years ago, Pieta was kidnapped by a man calling himself The Blindfolder who said he wouldn't kill her if she kept her eyes closed for 48 hours. She never told anyone what happened to her, vowing to move on with her life. But when The Blindfolder starts hunting down his past victims, Pieta realises she may finally be forced to tell her deepest secret to stay alive . . .
Jody has a secret. Fifteen years ago, policewoman Jody made a terrible mistake that resulted in a serial killer known as The Blindfolder escaping justice. When Jody discovers journalist Pieta survived an attack by him, she realises she may finally have found a way to catch him. But that would mean endangering at least two innocent people . . .
They kept quiet to protect themselves. Will telling all save or sacrifice each other?
The wood in which human bones are unearthed by a bunch of kids, introducing readers to DI Jimmy Bliss for the first time in Bad to the Bone, is neither dense nor particularly eerie, but it is ancient with narrow pathways spider-webbing its outer edges. This case also saw the first appearance of the Bone Woman, who at the time was working at one of Peterborough’s most visited attractions, the Flag Fen Bronze-Age site.
When Bliss was first transferred from the Met to Peterborough, he was less than impressed with the city. A significant number of housing and business estates are the kind of bland and featureless late 70s design that leaves no lasting impression on the casual visitor, and seemed to offer few endearing features for the city’s inhabitants. The Thorpe Wood police station where Bliss works is a prime example of this architectural malaise, and the poor bloke has to see it every day.
Over time, however, Bliss has come to realise that there is more to Peterborough than meets the eye. The Ferry Meadows parkland is situated just a few minutes away from Bliss’s home, and when readers first encounter him it’s the place where he walks his two dogs, Bonnie and Clyde, every single day. With lakes, a sailing area, cafes, children’s’ play areas, nature trails and interesting tree carvings, Jimmy came to love the place. Within the boundaries of the wider parkland close to the mere on the river Nene, Jimmy even decided to moor his small boat, The Mourinho, which he bought on a whim shortly after moving to the city.
Of course, when you live and work in the same area, there is an inevitable crossover. When Jimmy returned to the city following a twelve year absence, he was summoned to the scene of a grisly murder at Ferry Meadows, in the car park close to the boating lake. This was Bliss’s introduction to The Scent of Guilt case.
So even if the park lost some of its lustre in his eyes due to that particular murder scene, Bliss came to see virtue in other parts of the city, in and around the old brick pits, the cathedral, and the smaller villages lurking in many sections of Peterborough which retain their essential natural order. Indeed, his favourite pub is in one of those older parts of the city around which newer housing estates have been developed.
For many years, a regular sound heard by city residents was the heavy drone of aircraft flying out of and returning to nearby RAF Wittering, once the main home of the Harrier but most often utilised as part of the supply chain during various wars. Bliss became familiar with the base during the If Fear Wins case, in which he investigated the brutal slaying of an RAF logistics airman.
The main bridge traversing the Nene is an ancient route across the river, once commonly used by those travelling from London into Lincolnshire, and it is here that we find a block of apartments, one of which is home to Penny Chandler. It was as Jimmy sat in her kitchen looking down at the river that he found inspiration for solving a major puzzle in The Reach of Shadows.
Now that Bliss has made the city his home – though in truth London will always be his real home – he has taken more of an interest in its long history. From a Roman way station known as Durobrivae, to being named Medeshamstede, before becoming St Peters Burgh or Burgh St Peter when the settlement was first walled, to Peterborough as it is now. It’s a diverse city, which became home not only to many Italians after the war and a significant Muslim population in the early 70s, but also a huge influx of Londoners in the latter part of that same decade, and in more recent times to eastern Europeans.
Jimmy’s work for the Major Crimes team at Peterborough has taken him to York, Essex, London, and even across the pond to California. In the forthcoming The Death of Justice, Bliss and the team spend more time out of the city than in it, working as part of a task force in the Lincolnshire Fenlands as a cold case erupts into a spate of unimaginable violence. He may always consider himself a Londoner at heart, but Peterborough is now the place Bliss will find difficult to leave.
Jim Napier, author of Legacy (Friesen Press, 2017)
There were three legacies in Sally Beck’s brief life. The first was her grandmother’s bequest, which allowed Sally to attend an elite girls’ school. That was followed by the second, a life-changing event she experienced while a student there. The final legacy was due to Sally’s chance encounter, years later, with someone from her past which set in motion a chain of violence no one could have foreseen.
When a young woman killed in London traffic is found to be carrying no identification, Detective Inspector Colin McDermott is assigned to figure out who she is and to track down her family so they can be notified. Soon he discovers she had not one but two identities, which concealed a very private life. When the trail leads back to McDermott’s alma mater, the detective is faced with the possibility that the young woman was murdered—and whether an old friend and mentor is involved.
The decision to pick contemporaryLondon as the setting for my police-procedural series was an easy one. I didn’t want to over-work the Cozy English Village theme, which already features so many murders that any such town would be the crime capital of Europe, if not the world! And I wanted to explore specific settings, such as universities and large corporate business firms that just don’t exist in smaller communities. For example, my first novel in the Colin McDermott series is largely set within a university: the fictional St. Gregory’s College, which is located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Much of the action takes place in the university college, or in the area nearby: Regent Park Crescent for example, or on the streets themselves, where a young woman dies in London traffic (see the cover!). But I also venture a bit north, to McDermott’s flat on Warrington Crescent in Camden Town, and also south of the Thames, to the home of the victim’s parents, on the modest and thus incongruously-named Hope Street, in Clapham. So London, with it’s varied districts, and containing a diverse ethnic and cultural population, provides a rich setting, able to satisfy all my creative whims. That said, the next book in the series, Ridley’s War, will take the reader north to Yorkshire, and then to southern Italy, before returning to London!
Jessica Ripley didn’t kill her ex-husband. But everyone thinks she did. After serving twelve years for his murder, it’s time to get her own back on those who put her inside.
During those twelve years, Jessy’s son, Michael, has turned against her. Whatever mercy Jessy had for her intended victims, just blew away.
CSI Eddie Collins is having a hard time watching his father enjoying life. He’s also having it tough in the form of two new recruits to his office. One is off his tree on drugs and the other wants his job.
And then the murders begin.
Can Eddie trust the evidence, or is someone twisting it, desperate to get even?
And who did kill Jessy’s ex?
Author biography – Andrew Barrett
Andrew Barrett has been a CSI since 1996, and one way or another, Andrew’s life has revolved around crime ever since.
In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 150,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.
Today, Andrew still produces authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post and interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.
He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals, and administers justice. Eddie’s series is five books and three novellas in length, and there’s still more to come.
Andrew has recently discovered the delights of writing stand-alones, with one under his belt another under way.
Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.
Jessica Ripley escaped abuse once, only for the man behind it to come back and inflict upon her something much worse than she’d ever experienced before.
Twelve years later, they let Jessica out of prison after wrongly accusing her of killing him, and straight into the ‘care’ of a power-crazy parole officer and a cloud of bitterness she is unable to shake off.
That bitterness, and the influence of an old friend, conspires to set Jessica’s hatred free, and it isn’t long before she learns what it’s like to really murder someone. She’s becoming whole again, incrementally rebuilding herself by stealing the lives of those she blames for stealing hers.
Her son, now a teenager, is repulsed by her, and it’s losing him more than losing her freedom, that provides her motivation.
But things aren’t always how they appear; sometimes old friends aren’t friends at all. Sometimes, it’s just business.
It’s time for her take control of a life that was polluted by greed and duplicity. It’s time to take action.
My new novel, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman Thriller) is the first in a series starring New York Police Department Homicide detective Mike Stoneman. The first book is set in New York City (as will be most of the rest of the series, with a few road trips). I lived in New York for 13 years and although there are many books and movies set in NYC, few of them get it right. That’s what I love about writing these books – I have the chance to really capture New York for an audience that’s mostly not from there. One of my favorite reviews said: “What I particularly appreciate as a native Manhattanite is that the author gets all the New York details exactly right, not only geographically (although that is certainly a big plus), but also the energy and pace and feel of the city.”
Detective Mike Stoneman lives in an apartment on the Upper West Side, 68thstreet, to be
exact. He “lives” in the building where my wife and I lived for 9 years. The surrounding city streets, Central Park, and even the 94thstreet police precinct building, are places I’m recreating – and trying to be both honest to the facts and also honest to the spirit of New York and New Yorkers. The sidewalk scenes, the stroll through Central Park, stopping at a push-cart for a bagel on his way to work in the morning – these are all the heartbeat of New York. Forget about having a scene where the killer chases the cop up the Empire State Building – give me a scene in the little hole-in-the-wall dim sum restaurant on a hidden side street in Chinatown.
For Mike, and his partner, Jason Dickson, New York is home, and the assault on New Yorkers is like an attack on the family. New Yorkers should be able to go out for a steak without worrying if they will get murdered. Even if the dead victim was a real scum-bag, New Yorkers want the killer captured (or killed) because it’s just wrong to murder a man while he’s
The Chrysler Building
eating his dinner. That kind of New York attitude is what my characters have, and it makes me smile to think about it. If you want to experience the real New York, read Righteous Assassin.
The book cover for Righteous Assassin fits in with this theme. It’s New York, but there are no obvious landmarks. You just have to know that this street scene could not be anywhere else. (I’ve attached the original photo, as well as the way it came out on the book cover.)
If you want to chat about New York, or the characters in my books, come join me at my website at www.KevinGChapman.com or visit the Righteous Assassin Facebook Page
The story follows NYPD Homicide detective Mike Stoneman as he and his partner, Jason
Dickson, track a serial killer who is knocking off New Yorkers whom the killer has deemed to be guilty of crimes for which the self-styled Angel of Death will exact divine justice.
The victims share no similar traits, have no connections to each other, have no common enemies, and were each killed in very different ways. Stoneman and Dickson pick up the trail based on the coincidental timing of the unsolved murders – each of which occurred on the last Saturday of the month. Could these assassinations really be the work of a single serial killer? Why would a single killer choose such strange and disparate methods? Why spread your victims across all of New York? And most importantly, how do you track down someone with no discernable pattern?
Each new murder adds a piece to the killer’s jigsaw puzzle, but even unravelling the clues and finding the killer’s pattern may not be enough to catch him. Mike and Jason bring in help from FBI profiler Angela Manning, and together they start to close in. But will they be able to stop the elusive killer
before he completes his decathlon of death? Each month is a race against the calendar. On the last Saturday of the month, there will be blood.
As a special bonus, included with Righteous Assassin readers will get the award-winning short story, Fool Me Twice, the very first episode in the Mike Stoneman saga.
I hope that you enjoy my new crime thriller, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman
Thriller). I am truly proud of this book, my third novel. It is a fast-paced serial killer chase, but within the obvious plot there are complex relationships and (I hope) compelling characters. The early reviews have been terrific!
I am an attorney, and while my whole professional life involves writing briefs and argumentative position statements, my novel-writing career has been a long and slow process. I wrote my first novel in 1991, after being laid off from my law firm job. I had time on my hands and a story in my head – a private investigator mystery – which I finished a year or so later (after I was back working). But, Identity Crisis: A Rick LaBlonde Mystery, was not published until 2003 when my wife paid for the self-publication through Xlibris as an anniversary present to me. From there, beginning in about 2004, I set out to write the Great American Novel, and over the next ten years or so I did just that, finally self-publishing A Legacy of One in 2016 through Amazon’s Create Space self-publishing arm. A Legacy of One is a serious work of literary fiction, about identity, self-determination, morality, and the consequences of our decisions, all set within a political drama. The book was a short-list finalist for the Somerset award for literary fiction (Chanticleer International Book Awards). The journey to finally publish my second novel, combined with my children growing up and
The Brooklyn Bridge
going off to college and their own careers, left me with an itch to keep writing, and enough free time to do it.
I have written a few screenplay drafts and some short stories, but I set out to write my third novel in 2017 and went back to the detective-mystery-thriller genre, which is frankly more fun (as well as more likely to get read) than serious literary fiction. My latest novel is, I think, my best effort to date and a truly good read. The characters are well-developed and have deep back-stories, the interrelationships make a good sub-story to go along with the main plot, and the final plot developments provide a solid basis for the continuation of the characters’ stories into the next book(s). I’m hoping that enough readers find Righteous Assassin that there will be interest in the next Mike Stoneman thriller.
Please enjoy this book and pass the word along to your friends.