My #Review of #ThePainTourist by @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks out 10.11.22

A young man wakes from a coma to find himself targeted by the men who killed his parents, while someone is impersonating a notorious New Zealand serial killer … the latest chilling, nerve-shredding, twisty thriller from the author of The Quiet People

How do you catch a killer…
When the only evidence is a dream?

James Garrett was critically injured when he was shot following his parents’ execution, and no one expected him to waken from a deep, traumatic coma. When he does, nine years later, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kent is tasked with closing the case that her now retired colleague, Theodore Tate, failed to solve all those years ago.

But between that, and hunting for Copy Joe – a murderer on a spree, who’s imitating Christchurch’s most notorious serial killer – she’s going to need Tate’s help. Especially when they learn that James has lived out another life in his nine-year coma, and there are things he couldn’t possibly know, including the fact that Copy Joe isn’t the only serial killer in town…

Firstly huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my review copy of The Pain Tourist, you are the best!

This is the second book I’ve read by Paul Cleave, the first being The Quiet people which I loved, so I have been looking forward to The Pain Tourist.

From the opening chapter, I was absolutely gipped by The Pain Tourist. And I was struck by how utterly unique this novel really is. The opening chapter is brutal and frankly quite terrifying, I really don’t want to spoil anything but let’s just say that the way Paul Cleave describes the first events in this book made me feel on edge and not knowing what would happen next.

The Pain Tourist then evolves into a brilliantly written crime thriller, how Paul Cleave comes up with these ideas I will never know, but the way he describes things from such an unusual perspective is superb. James Garrett, one of the lead characters in a coma, and how the mind works during that time are the beginnings of a frankly amazing and credible hunt for a killer. I mean how do you even write about someone in a coma?? You’d think well that would be boring …. er no not with Paul Cleave! Again I SO dont want to give anything away but it’s truly a work of art the way this book is written and how the characters interact and have an impact on each other.

I loved the characters in The Pain Tourist, James Garrett is such a well-written character and very likable, as are his sister hazel, detective Rebecca Kent and retired Detective Theodore Tate. I just loved the way that the hunt for a killer also links into another called Copy Joe, this is a truly intricate plot but it isn’t hard to follow. the writing flows and is so easy to follow the storyline. And it’s so gripping and had my palms sweating at times it’s so realistic and visceral. Paul Cleave really is a master crime fiction writer and has an amazing way of writing humans from so many points of view, dare I say it a genius!

The story doesn’t slack at all, it builds and builds and keeps going right to the climatic ending (which had me saying things out loud!) totally brilliant and a really breathtaking bookbanger!

As always orenda books seem to publish the most superb books, if you fancy looking for excellent fiction then you could do no worse than heading to the Orenda website…every book is a winner!

So my rating….. another 5-star read from Paul Cleave, if you thought the Quiet People was a cracking read then you will be blown away by the Pain Tourist. Follow the link below and buy it now!

Paul Cleave is currently dividing his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where all of his novels are set, and Europe, where none of his novels are set. His novels have been translated into over twenty languages. He has won the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year in France, has been shortlisted for the Ned Kelly award, the Edgar Award, and the Barry Award, and has won the Ngaio Marsh award for NZ crime fiction three times.

The New Zealand Listener said that Cleave writes with ‘an energy that conventional crime novels lack’, and he has been called ‘the next Stephen King’, a rising star of the genre’, and a writer to watch. Publishers Weekly has said ‘a pulse-pounding serial killer thriller. The city of Christchurch becomes a modern equivalent of James Ellroy’s Los Angeles of the 1950s, a discordant symphony of violence and human weakness… the book’s real power lies in the complexity of its characters,’, and

Cleave numbers among his fans top crime and thriller writers such as Mark Billingham, who wrote: ‘Most people come back from New Zealand talking about the breathtaking scenery and the amazing experiences. I came back raving about Paul Cleave.’ John Connolly called Blood Men ‘dark, bloody, and gripping . . . classic noir fiction’, and said that in Paul Cleave ‘Jim Thompson has another worthy heir to his throne’. The Lab’s John Heath calls Cleave’s writing ‘uncompromising, unpredictable, and enthralling’, adding, ‘Made me vomit — seriously, it’s that good.’ Simon Kernick said ‘Cleave writes the kind of dark, intense thrillers that I never like to finish. Do yourself a favor and check him out,’ and S.J Watson said ‘An intense adrenalin rush from start to finish. It’ll have you up all night. Fantastic!’ Lee Child lists him as an ‘automatic must-read’.

You can follow Paul Cleave on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Paul Cleave’s website HERE

You can buy The Pain Tourist HERE

My #Review of #TheStoning by #PeterPapathanasiou @peteplastic @maclehosepress

A small town in outback Australia wakes to an appalling crime.

A local schoolteacher is found taped to a tree and stoned to death. Suspicion instantly falls on the refugees at the new detention center on Cobb’s northern outskirts. Tensions are high, between whites and the local indigenous community, and between immigrants and the townies.

Still mourning the recent death of his father, Detective Sergeant George Manolis returns to his childhood hometown to investigate. Within minutes of his arrival, it’s clear that Cobb is not the same place he left. Once it thrived, but now it’s a poor and derelict dusthole, with the local police chief it deserves. And as Manolis negotiates his new colleagues’ antagonism, and the simmering anger of a community destroyed by alcohol and drugs, the ghosts of his past begin to flicker to life.

Vivid, pacy and almost dangerously atmospheric, The Stoning is the first in a new series of outback noir featuring DS Manolis, himself an outsider, and a good man in a world gone to hell.

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou had been on my bookshelf for quite a while, but I finally managed to pick it up last week and make a start.

As a huge lover of Australian Crime Fiction Noir (think Chris Hammer or Jane Harper), I was eager to see what Mr. Papathanaious could bring to the table.

Well, he really hits it out of the park with The Stoning, it’s a sumptuously described novel set in the tiny hamlet of Cobb, in the outback of Australia, once a fine thriving town, now a dead-end place full of dustballs, kangaroos and drunks, and druggies plus The Immigration Centre, a stark square building plonked in the middle of nowhere. that’s a political time bomb within the community.

And this is what our novel revolves around, a woman is found apparently Stoned to death, and this has a huge impact on the fractured society of Cobb. We follow Detective George Manolis, and his quest to find the truth amongst rumors, racism, hate, bigotry, and the simmering anger of the inhabitants of Cobb.

The story was bloody gripping and I instantly loved several of the characters including George Manolis and Andrew Sparrow a local Gay Aboriginal Copper. The language is authentic, the descriptions of the setting are utterly engaging and on fire, and you can feel the heat and the flies. The dialogue between the characters is just stunning, it reads like a movie it is so vivid and gritty.

It’s a tense, medium-paced thriller that is dark and littered with Political references that make it an outstanding debut.

I look forward to the follow-up once it arrives, suffice to say this is a 5-star read, and Peter Papathanaious is on my favorite author’s list!

Peter Papathanasiou was born in northern Greece in 1974 and adopted as a baby to an Australian family. His debut book, a memoir, was published in 2019 as “Son of Mine” by Salt Publishing (UK) and “Little One” by Allen & Unwin (Australia). His debut novel, a work of crime fiction, was published in 2021 as “The Stoning” by MacLehose Press (UK) and Transit Lounge (Australia), and in 2022 by Polar Verlag (Germany). Peter’s writing has otherwise been published by The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Times, The Guardian UK, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Good Weekend, ABC and SBS. He holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from City, University of London; a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences from The Australian National University (ANU); and a Bachelor of Laws from ANU specializing in criminal law.

You can follow Peter Papathanasiou on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can BUY Peter’s books HERE

My #reviews of #TheCrossingPlaces & #TheJanusStone by @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or are the bones much older?

DCI Harry Nelson refuses to give up the hunt for the missing girl. Since she vanished, someone has been sending him bizarre anonymous notes about ritual sacrifice, quoting Shakespeare and the Bible. He knows that Ruth’s expertise and experience could help him finally to put this case to rest.

But when a second child goes missing, Ruth finds herself in danger from a killer who knows she’s getting ever closer to the truth…

It amazes me how sometimes we, as readers, miss some amazingly good book series, and the Dr. Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths is one of those for me.

I had seen the books on social media and years ago when I used to use a library but had never read them, then finally at the beginning of the year I saw a set of the first 9 books and I thought I must buy them to read, well they’ve been sat looking lovey in my bookshelf ever since! (I’m sure we are all guilty of this!)

So I started the first book with an open mind, and The Crossing Places did not disappoint.

It’s a fabulous opener to the series which I now know is loved by fans all over the world. Dr. Ruth Galloway is a slightly overweight Forensic archaeologist who loves nothing more than to find bones and search out what happened to the person they were, she also loves Bruce Springsteen and her cottage on The Saltmarsh. In the first book, we follow her on a hunt to find out whether the bones discovered on the site of a pre-historic henge are those of a missing local girl.

We meet the excellent cast of characters that surround Ruth in the series, the huge and intense DCI Harry Nelson, the slightly odd but lovely Cathbad, a druid and laboratory assistant at The University of Norfolk, (Ruth works here as a Lecturer), and Shona, Ruth’s better looking, lover of married men girlfriend.

The story is brilliant with a huge input of historical fact, folklore, and suspense. I loved the way the story climbs to a climactic ending and was really gripped all the way thru.

As an opening book to a series, it’s fabulous and I suspect the series and stories surrounding Dr. Ruth Galloway will get even better as I binge-read the books in order!

A Great 4 star read.

Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.

The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.

When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…

My Collection of Dr Ruth Galloway books

I was really ready to find out what would be happening in Dr. Ruth Galloway’s life after reading the first book.

In the Janus Stone, we find out lots more about Ruth and her life ( I’m not going to give anything away here!), enough that her storyline is keeping me gripped alongside the latest case of old bones that are found in an ex children’s home.

The usual cast of characters is here and they are now starting to evolve which I just adore!

The storyline and plot are gripping and I raced through The Janus Stone, the plot builds to a brilliant ending and I thought it was really well written.

I find Elly Griffith’s style of writing really easy to read and almost dare I say it cozy ( I’m not a great lover of cozy crime I prefer gritty), but I think the skill involved in writing the great cast of characters and involving a good Police procedural around Ruth’ life is really clever.

Again I was not at all disappointed, indeed it took me 2 days to read! A 5-star read.

 Elly Griffiths is the author of the Dr. Ruth Galloway books and the Brighton Mysteries. Last year I also published a stand-alone, The Stranger Diaries, and a children’s book, A Girl Called Justice. I have previously written books under my real name, Domenica de Rosa (I know it sounds made up).

The Ruth books are set in Norfolk, a place I know well since childhood. It was a chance remark of my husband’s that gave me the idea for the first in the series, The Crossing Places. We were crossing Titchwell Marsh in North Norfolk when Andy (an archaeologist) mentioned that prehistoric people thought that marshland was sacred ground. Because it’s neither land nor sea, but something in-between, they saw it as a bridge to the afterlife; neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. In that moment, I saw Dr. Ruth Galloway walking towards me out of the mist…

I live near Brighton with Andy. We have two grown-up children. I write in a garden shed accompanied by my cat, Gus.

You can follow Elly Griffiths on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Elly Griffiths’s website is HERE

You can BUY all of Ruth Griffiths’s books HERE

#BlogTour #Review of #BadForGood by #GrahamBartlett @gbpoliceadvisor @RichardsonHelen published by @AllisonandBusby 23.06.2022

How far would you go?

The murder of a promising footballer, son of Brighton’s highest-ranking police officer, means Detective Superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. The situation becomes yet more desperate following devastating blackmail threats.

Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on a knife-edge of vigilante action and a police force riven with corruption.

“This is the real deal. A thoroughly absorbing crime novel with characters and events that will stay with you for a long time.” Elly Griffiths

“As an ex-cop, Graham Bartlett knows what he’s talking about and he certainly knows how to tell a good story. Bad For Good is a cracking debut.” Mark Billingham

“Bad For Good has everything you want in a crime novel: compelling protagonists, chilling villains and an engaging, well-constructed plot…One of the most confident debuts I’ve ever read” M. W. Craven

“A taut, visceral thriller that reveals the seamy underbelly of modern-day policing, rife with authentic detail. If you liked Line of Duty, you’ll love Bad for Good ” JP Delaney

Huge thanks to Allison & Busby for sending me a proof copy of Bad For Good.

For those that don’t know Graham Bartlett is an Ex-Police Chief Constable and had an illustrious career including being involved in the so-called Babes In The Wood Murders. I read his book on this subject (written with Peter James) and it was gripping and very well written…. then I saw that Graham was writing his Debut crime fiction novel, and I just knew i would need to read it!

With an absolutely chilling and realistic take on Police Procedures, Bad For Good did not disappoint. The plot is pretty unique and revolves around the consequences of what can happen when a family member is murdered (Harry) and the lengths to which his father – Brighton’s Chief Superintendant Phil Cooke is pushed to by a deathbed promise to his wife!

I’ve read a massive amount of crime fiction (it is my favourite genre) some written badly, some mediocre and some like Graham Bartletts, written with exquisite attention to detail and frightening reality (the lack of Police Officers on the ground!) This makes Bad For Good a simply stunning debut novel, and I hope one in the first of a series of many!

There is a huge cast of characters, but all are easy to follow and are full of authenticity… but our main focus is on DS Jo Howe and we follow her fight to solve the murder of Harry Cooke against all the odds and setbacks (I cannot say more as I really do not want to give anything away!). I loved Jo Howe’s character, she is a no-nonsense, tough, methodical and sassy heroine, in amongst a story littered with brutish vigilantes and gangland criminals who will kill anyone that gets in their way!

I couldn’t put Bad For Good down, it is a veritable feast of realism and such a cleverly written novel. In amongst such a huge genre of crime fiction, there are some that truly stand out from the crowd and Bad For Good is one of those! I commend Graham on taking his Police experience and knowledge and putting that into a brilliant debut novel! Take a bow, Sir!!

I urge any fans of police procedurals and crime fiction to get Bad For Good on order and set aside some time to binge read it when it arrives!

If Bad For Good doesnt scoop any awards in 2022, then I will eat my hat!!

A fantastic 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read.

About Graham Bartlett
I am a best-selling author and crime and police procedural advisor to fiction and TV writers.
I was a police officer for thirty years and mainly policed the city of Brighton and Hove, rising to become a Chief Superintendent and its police commander. I started writing when I left the police in 2013 and, almost by accident, became a police procedural and crime advisor, helping scores of authors and TV writers (including Peter James, Mark Billingham, Elly Griffiths, Anthony Horowitz, Ruth Ware, Claire McGowan and Dorothy Koomson) achieve authenticity in their drama.
I run online crime writing workshops and courses with the Professional Writing Academy and deliver inputs to Masters programmes at the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia as well as at the Crime Writing Certificate programme at West Dean College.
I live in Sussex with my wife Julie and variously my 24yr old triplets!
My debut crime novel, Bad for Good is now on pre-sale on Amazon. It asks the question:
How far would you go

You can Pre Order Bad For Good HERE

You can find Grahm Bartlett’s website HERE

You can follow Graham Bartlett on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #Review of #YesIKilledHer by @HFwritesCrime published 17.05.2022 by @HobeckBooks

For fans of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Chris Brookmyre, Yes, I Killed Her is Harry Fisher’s audacious follow-up crime thriller, starring Edinburgh detective Mel Cooper. She takes no crap, not even from the bad guys.

In the 21st century, is the perfect murder remotely possible?

Edwin Fuller is convinced it is. He’s cunning, calculating and chilling. He makes a plan. He carries it out. And he kills his wife.

His plan has worked; he’s got away with murder. Case closed.

Until he makes a big mistake.

This is the 3rd book I’ve read by Harry Fisher, and book 2 in the DI Mel Cooper series, and I was really looking forward to reading Yes I Killed Her.

From the start of page 1, Yes I Killed Her had me grabbed around the neck like serial killer’s grip!

An absolutely gripping story of a cat and mouse chase to catch a killer… who thinks he is so much cleverer than the Police. But luckily for us readers who want the bad guys caught, the perpetrator had come up against DI Mel Cooper and her team of smart young Detectives, and frankly, he never stood a chance of getting away with it!

This is an intelligently written thriller, with a phenomenal eye for Police Procedures and laws in Scotland, that I found totally enthralling. You can tell that Harry Fisher has done a lot of homework on Yes I Killed Her, it really shows and makes this his best book yet.

The plot is extremely clever and revealed slowly as the team of Detectives pursue a cocky arrogant killer, in particular, DI Mel Cooper who gets the bit between her teeth and never let’s go. She is smart, Tenacious and a ball breaker! I loved the storyline in Yes I Killed Her, it really was an enthralling read, and I would suggest fans of Steve Kavanagh and Val McDermid will love this book.

I must commend Harry on his writing because it really is fabulous and it’s lovely to see an author starting to flourish. This is Harry’s best novel so far and I urge you all to buy it, a gripping read with wit and humour and attention to detail on Police and Legal matters, and a great build-up to a satisfying ending.

A 5 star read from me!

I’m Harry Fisher, I write crime thrillers. They are:
Way Beyond A Lie – published Autumn 2021
Be Sure Your Sins – published Autumn 2021
Yes, I Killed Her – will be published 17 May 2022.
I live in Aberdeen with my wife, Shiona and our dog, Harry. And there it is – the lie exposed. Harry Fisher (the writer) is a pseudonym and here’s why. Despite the fact that in my entire life I’ve never met anyone with the same name as me, when I came to self-publish Way Beyond A Lie I discovered a namesake down south who writes crime thrillers. Honestly, what are the chances? (Mutter mutter.)
 
I’m a native of Edinburgh and that’s where Way Beyond A Lie is (partly) set. Write about what you know, and all that. It’s also set in Prague. We went there for a long weekend in 2000 so you can see a theme developing. We’ve been to Ballachulish a couple of times too but I couldn’t fit it into the story. Sorry about that, folks.
My second book – Be Sure Your Sins – involves six events, suffered by six people, leaving six lives destroyed. It’s not a sequel but Way Beyond A Lie readers said two of the police characters were strong enough to lead in their own series. So DS Mel Cooper is the central character in Be Sure Your Sins, and DC Andrew Young is her sidekick.  It was published in Oct 2021. Here’s the first sentence:
“When Celia Fraser, who only had one arm, had left her Edinburgh home that morning with her granddaughter and her dog, she could never have imagined that only one of the three would return home safely.”
My third book, Yes, I Killed Her, is the next in the DS Mel Cooper series. Here’s the first sentence:
“Philip Walker reckoned he had less than twenty-four hours before the police came to tell him they’d discovered his wife’s body hanging upside down in a dense tangle of undergrowth: better get a move on, he thought.”
Things I’m into apart from walking the canine Harry every day: travel, outdoor stuff, wine and food, and if all four can be combined then so much the better.
If you’d like to keep in touch, my contact details are below.
All the best,
Harry

You can BUY Yes I Killed Her Here

You can Follow Harry Fisher on TWITTER FACEBOOK

Sign up to HOBECK BOOKS NEWSLETTER HERE

#Guest #Author #GrahamBartlett @gbpoliceadvisor author of his #Debut #Novel #BadForGood #published 23.06.2022 by @AllisonandBusby

Graham Bartlett after signing 1500 Limited Edition copies of Bad For Good at Goldsboro Books London

JW: Thank you so much Graham for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour! 

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? In those days of fighting crime, did you think about writing a fiction novel then?

GB: I’m so unlike many authors in that I had no thoughts of being a writer until I was in my later 40s. As with most things in my life, it all happened by accident. Peter James had been a friend for a few years and saw a blog I wrote. He called me up and said he liked my writing style, describing it as ‘not quite of a commercial standard but workable.’ He followed that up with a suggestion that we write a non-fiction of the stories that inspired the Roy Grace novels. So, the Best Seller, Death Comes Knocking was born. I did most of the writing and he tidied it up, but I got the bug and am now so proud I’m going to be a solo published author.

JW: Where did the inspiration for Bad For Good come from, it is a quite unique and realistic plot!

GB: It all started with me getting angry with the swinging cuts the police were suffering. I imagined what would happen if it got much worse. Would vigilantism take over as the crime control method of choice? And what if that was sponsored by corrupt officials? That was the birth of Bad of Good and I weaved it into a world I was very familiar with so, hopefully, that’s where the terrifying authenticity comes from.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DS Jo Howe, if /when Bad For Good is made into a TV series?

GB; Keeley Hawes! She wasn’t in mind when I wrote Jo but I know she’d play such a complex, driven yet vulnerable character perfectly.

Keeley Hawes

JW: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

GB: When I was very young, I loved the Narnia stories as the worlds and adventures they took me on were spellbinding. I remember then picking up When the Lion Feeds, by Wilbur Smith and similarly lost myself in this time a real, yet far away, world. His storytelling just drew me in and that started my love of books. In terms of the TV, it has to be The Professionals. I loved it so much that I remember my police -officer uncle, no doubt prompted by my dad, sitting me down to check that I knew the force I’d set my sights on joining wasn’t actually like that!

JW: As we’re now in May, which book that you’ve read this year has been your favourite? OR which are you most looking forward to?

GB: Wow, there are so so many! I think I’ll plump for Truth be Told by Kia Abdullah. The themes she fearlessly explores around class, privilege, race and religion are so powerfully woven into a gripping race to the truth, it left me quite breathless.

I can’t wait for The Murder Book by Mark Billingham. His Thorne stories, and the standalone, are utterly addictive and so brilliantly written it makes me sick! He’s a friend so I can say that!

JW: Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your heroes in real life?

GB: I love Gregg Hurwitz’s Orphan X books. The whole concept of an orphan who escapes a black ops programme to go around helping desperate people, in the most violent ways you could imagine, is stunning. But it’s his writing which really brings it alive. There is not a wasted syllable, and his descriptive powers and similes are inspired. In 2018, I’d had a few beers at Harrogate Crime Festival when someone, out of the blue, introduced him to me. Well, I fawned over him, quoting brilliant lines I remembered. I could tell he was bored, despite smiling nicely. Thankfully someone ushered me away before I made a complete fool of myself!

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

GB: No hesitation – bringing up triplets to become the wonderful young adults they are now. My wife, Julie, and I always put them first. She gave up her job and I did what I could not to get unnecessarily sucked into work so we could be there for them. Now we have a police officer (who’s also a high-level football referee), a nurse and an astrophysics PhD (don’t ask!) We couldn’t be more proud of Conall, Niamh and Deaglan.

JW: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

GB: The 1966 World Cup final. I love football and it would have been great to see what would become a once in a lifetime victory for England. The young, poorly paid, un-pampered men who brought the country the pride we so needed, probably wasn’t as appreciated as it would have been if they’d known what footballing failures we’d become and how mollycoddled today’s players are.

JW: What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?

GB: It might sound corny, but my family. I still adore spending time with the ‘kids’ (I watch Conall being abused by players and crowds alike most Saturdays at Football) and just enjoying their company as funny, intelligent grown-ups. I love it that two still live at home, and they’re 25 in July!

JW: Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)

GB: One of many bookshelves in my home.

JW: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

GB: Wilbur Smith – to suck up every ounce of his advice and hopefully learn that he suffered from imposter syndrome too.

Alexander Hamilton – I’m fascinated with his story (borne from the musical, I’ll admit) but would love to know how it felt to build a nation amongst such hostility.

Doreen Lawrence – To say sorry on behalf of the police service (although I had nothing to do with the Metropolitan Police then or now) and to hear how a mother could show such dignity in the wake of such tragedy and injustice.

Oscar Wilde – He’d just be fascinating, but I’d love to hear how it was to suffer the horrors of being punished just for being who you were.

JW: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

GB: Be kind and if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

JW: What’s next? What are you currently working on??

GB: As well as advising dozens of authors and TV writers, I’m editing the second in the Jo Howe series and writing Book 3. I’m really putting her through it by the way!

You can find Graham Bartlett’s website HERE

You can follow Graham on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

You can BUY Bad For Good HERE

My #Review of #TheDeathOfRemembrance the 10th #DCIDaley novel by #DenzilMeyrick @Lochlomonden published by @PolygonBooks on 02.06.2022

CELEBRATING TEN YEARS OF D.C.I DALEY WITH A REAL CORKER OF A NEW BOOK…

It’s 1983, and a beat constable walks away from a bar where he knows a crime is about to be committed.

In the present, an old fisherman is found dead by the shoreline and a stranger with a mission moves into a shabby Kinloch flat.

Meanwhile, D.C.I. Jim Daley is trying to help Brian Scott stay sober, and the good people of Kinloch are still mourning the death of one of their own.

As past and present collide, Daley finds himself face to face with old friends and foes. Memories can only last as long as those who keep them, and ghosts will not be silenced.

Firstly thank you so much to Denzil Meyrick for organising a proof copy of The Death of Remembrance for me, with his publicist Jan.

Reading the DCI Daley series has been such a pleasure for me over the last couple of years when I came across them, and with every book I eagerly await it and try to let it sit without being read for a while, as I know, once read I will be in a deep depression, as I never want them to end!

This the 10th in the series is an epic, gritty, realistic book, the storyline moves from the 1980′ s to the present and utterly brilliantly for me, my favourite ever sidekick DS Brian Scott is featured heavily in The Death of Remembrance.

You all know, I read a lot, but every time I read a Denzil Meyrick novel, I’m amazed at how easy they are to read, I’m sure this is not the case in writing them, but I really think Denzil is one of THE best crime fiction authors of my time.

Not only are the descriptions of the fictional Kinloch utterly believable and sublime, but the tangible feeling of actually being there whilst reading the book is also fabulous, I could almost feel the misty, cool air whilst reading!

The other thing that I adore about the DCI Jim Daley series is the wealth of locals, it’s almost like putting on a favourite warm jumper, all the characters just wrap me up into the storyline. From the frosty Liz (Jim Daley’s Wife) to the strong, quick-witted Ella (Brian Scott,s Wide), and Hamish the all-seeing old Fisherman, the cast of characters never loses its way. We meet some old ones in The Death of Remembrance, in surprising ways, but I welcomed them!

The plot is easy to follow and draws on the vast past of Jim Daley and Brians Scott’s lives, with the main storyline involving my favourite ever written character DS Brian Scott who is having some issues with the drink, the descriptions of him fighting his demons are really wonderfully observed. And the reason Brian is my favourite is because he is such an old school copper, with a razor-sharp wit and a penchant for getting the wrong end of the stick with hilarious consequences when talking to Jim Daley or any of his superiors! I really LOVE him, I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a fictional character! The banter between him and Jim Daley and their working relationship is amazing, a force to be reckoned with and such a realistic description of what the Police family is like, and in The Death of Remembrance, there is much to laugh about at as well as tension!

Another triumphant novel in the DCI Jim Daley series, enthralling, spellbinding, gripping, hilarious, tense, witty, sharp and the epitome of Tartan Noir.

I saw something the other day that said ‘Which Author would you give eternal life to?” Well, it would have to be Denzil Meyrick for me!

Another superb 5 Star read.

Now I’m off to sit and weep in a dark corner whilst I await book 11!!

About Denzil Meyrick
Denzil Meyrick was born in Glasgow and brought up in Campbeltown. After studying politics, he pursued a varied career including time spent as a police officer, freelance journalist, and director of several companies.
Beginning with Whisky from Small Glasses, then The Last Witness, Dark Suits and Sad Songs, The Rat Stone Serenade, and Well of the Winds, the DCI Daley series have all become Scottish Crime bestsellers. Whisky from Small Glasses reached #2 in the UK Kindle store in 2016.
An anthology of short stories, One Last Dram was published in late 2017.
The Daley series to date have all been number one bestselling UK audiobooks on Audible. DCI Daley #6 The Relentless Tide and #7 A Breath on Dying Embers one of the Scotsman newspaper’s books of 2018 and 2019. A Breath On Dying Embers was longlisted for the 2019 McIlvanney Prize.

You can pre-order Death of Remembrance HERE

You can follow Denzil Meyrick on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

My #Review of #TheDark by #SharonBolton @AuthorSJBolton the new #LaceyFlint #Thriller published by @orionbooks on 26.05.2022

When a baby is snatched from its pram and cast into the river Thames, off-duty police officer Lacey Flint is there to prevent disaster. But who would want to hurt a child?

DCI Mark Joesbury has been expecting this. Monitoring a complex network of dark websites, Joesbury and his team have spotted a new terrorist threat from the extremist, women-hating, group known as ‘incels’ or ‘involuntary celibates.’ Joesbury’s team are trying to infiltrate the ring of power at its core, but the dark web is built for anonymity, and the incel army is vast.

Pressure builds when the team learn the snatched child was just the first in a series of violent attacks designed to terrorise women. Worse, the leaders of the movement seem to have singled out Lacey as the embodiment of everything they hate, placing her in terrible danger...

Firstly thank you to Orion Publishing for my print proofs of The Dark.

Secondly! I’ve no idea how, but the Lacey Flint series by Sharon Bolton had gone under my radar…so before I read The Dark, I binge read the 4 previous novels….and oh my God, they were amazing, I’m shook, after finally finishing the Dark today! If you’ve not read the series, here are the books in order….

I was absolutely gripped from book one , they are all brilliantly written….but this is Sharon Bolton we are talking about!

So onto my review of The Dark. I loved this book, I adore the characters in the story, Lacey Flint, Mark Joesbury, Dana Tulloch and her partner Helen, all are real and tangible and their flaws are laid bare in every book, but especially in The Dark. I don’t want to give too much away but the storyline is shockingly real, and actually gave me anxiety as I know it’s based on some facts! At the heart of The Dark is a plot involving The Mets finest Police Officers, a group of misogynistic criminals, who think violence against women is justified and the dark web…..it all becomes clear and very very real the further you start to read!

I couldn’t put The Dark down, the plot is bloody electric and the revealing of the perpetrators had me fooled, up until that point! I think this is Lacey Flint’s finest novel as it’s is slap bang up to date and her own secrets are there for us, the reader to see and worry about (I don’t care what Lacey’s done I love her!!)

I’m hoping that Sharon will write more in the Lacey Flint series, as I know she’s got more novels in her….I’m actually begging you to write more Sharon!!

If you enjoy British crime fiction with epic characters and totally believable storylines and plots then The Dark is going to be the book for you! And if you’ve not come across Lacey Flint…..where have you been!!

A smashing and relevant 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read!

Sharon (formerly SJ) Bolton grew up in a cotton-mill town in Lancashire and had an eclectic early career which she is now rather embarrassed about. She gave it all up to become a mother and a writer.
Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon.uk, whilst her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark award. In 2014, Lost, (UK title, Like This, For Ever) was named RT Magazine’s Best Contemporary Thriller in the US, and in France, Now You See Me won the Plume de Bronze. That same year, Sharon was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library, for her entire body of work.

You can find Sharon Bolton’s website HERE

You can follow Sharon Bolton on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK GOODREADS YOUTUBE SHARON’S BOOK CLUB

#BlogTour #TheDarkFlood by #DeonMeyer @MeyerDeon @soph_ransompr published by @HodderBooks on sale now!

One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.

One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.

For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher. 

For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.

Taut with intrigue, murder and suspense, exploding with action and excitement, The Dark Flood is a masterpiece from the author of Trackers and The Last Hunt.

SAPS HQ in Stellenbosch

Thanks must go to Hodder & Stoughton for very kindly sending me a copy of The Dark Flood.

This is the 7th in a series of novels, The Benny Greisall Series by Deon Meyer ( I didn’t know this when I wanted to read The Dark Flood) …. However it works well as a standalone. BUT I will say after finishing it I immediately went and ordered the 6 preceding books as I LOVED The Dark Flood so much!

The storyline starts with a cracking opening chapter and really from that point on it is a gripping, explosive and frankly edge of your seat thriller!

I adored the writing style of Mr Meyer, smooth but so descriptive, I haven’t read any books based in South Africa, and I was totally invested by the fabulous descriptions of real life places in South Africa and also the authors invented places, it had me straight on The Google! You can tell that this is an author that cares very deeply for his Country, which considering the history, is actually lovely, I believe it comes through strongly in his writing that he loves his Country and all its people. I loved that there are words in Afrikaans in the book (there is a handy dictionary at the back!) …. It made it really easy to ‘hear’ the words being spoken.

The storyline is fantastic, I’m not giving anything away but let’s just say it had me gripped…the undercurrent of anxiety totally kept me reading! The ending was also gasp making! It also had moments of humour which had me laughing out loud….for instance….

“Griessel and Cupido watched Sandra Steenberg drive away in the EcoSport.

“Benna she’s so hot, she gives me heat rash. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well I thought you have Desiree already and so …”

Partner, I’m a one woman man. I’m just saying. I feel like phoning the fire brigade about that hotness…” This had me laughing SO hard!

So in conclusion I would say if you like gripping, crime fiction, Thrillers and you haven’t discovered Deon Meyer yet, then you NEED to go out and buy his books now, and outstandingly great, award winning author! And one I’m hooked on! Bravo Sir!

Church Street, Stellenbosch
A former journalist, advertising copywriter, Internet manager and brand strategist, Deon has published fifteen novels and three short story collections. His books have been published in more than 40 countries world-wide. Two of his books — Dead Before Dying (as Cape Town) and Trackers) — were turned into international TV series.
He has also written two series for television, and four screenplays for feature films, and has produced and directed movies in his native Afrikaans.
Accolades for his books include Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (2003) and Le prix Mystère de la critique (2004) from France, the Deutsche Krimi Preis (2006, 2009), the Swedish Martin Beck Award (2010), the ATKV Prose Prize (2000, 2003, and 2004), the ATKV Suspense Fiction Prize (2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2019), the M-Net Award for Most Filmic Novel (2009, 2012), and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in the USA (2010).
Deon was born in Paarl in 1958 and matriculated in Klerksdorp in 1976. He studied at the Universities of Northwest, Free State and Stellenbosch, and holds a Masters’ Degree in Creative Writing.
He lives in Stellenbosch with his wife Marianne, and is passionate about South Africa, Mozart, mountain biking, cooking, photography, and Free State Cheetahs and Springbok rugby.

Deon Meyer on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

Deon Meyer WEBSITE

#GuestAuthor #LewisHastings @istheauthor author of #TheChemist @hobeckbooks release date UK 22.02.22

J; Thank you so much Lewis for being a guest on my blog

LH; My pleasure!

 J; I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea for The Seventh Wave Trilogy come from?

LH; I fell in love with writing in the 1970s, when my English teacher, the brilliantly named Theodora Bruton told me I had a gift for​storytelling. My parents felt that this meant I daydreamed or told lies! Needless to say, Theo Bruton was right. I so wish she was alive now to read my work. (Of possible interest my old school approached me and asked me to be a writing ambassador for the current generation – I was thrilled!)

 The Seventh Wave Trilogy was a real-life event. I was the duty officer at an international airport when a mysterious Bulgarian female asked to see an Interpol officer. I was the nearest we had. Over six hours she told me her story. That story formed the Seventh Wave (Terribly, as she was telling me, I couldn’t help but see a movie series…)  I tracked her for a week then lost all trace of her somewhere in Thailand as contrary to what we knew she’d managed to get hold of a false passport and slipped off the radar. I have no idea where she is now but I hope she’s OK…she was the woman behind Niko Petrova.

J; How much research did you need to do before writing The Chemist?

LH; Very little. Again, the characters are all very real or based upon real people I have either worked with, followed, or taken into custody. A lot of the chemistry/toxin work was self-researched, but the more complex stuff is down to two men; Mr Brian Price, a fellow Hobeck author who has far more knowledge in the forensic space and a dear friend, Jeremy Batchelor, one of the most gifted organic chemists I’ve ever met. What he doesn’t know about making things explode isn’t worth knowing!

J; Constantin Nicolescu is probably THE most fucked up criminal in any book I’ve read, where did the original ideas for his murders come from? 

LH; Thank you. I think…I’m smiling nonetheless. Constantin was mentioned by Nikolina, (she’s the mysterious Bulgarian woman), as being the cruellest man that she’d ever met. From there I just let my mind inhabit his and considered what I’d most like to do to the few enemies I have in the world. The centrepiece in the old music hall (again a very real place, you can find it on Google maps if you know where to look!) was purely my imagination.

J; Who would you like to see playing the parts of Nicolescu, Jason Roberts, Jack Cade and Carrie O’Shea ( or any other of your great characters) if The Chemist was made into a movie (I hope it is!)

LH; Ah the eternal question. Here goes, and this may surprise you. I would LOVE someone to make them into films, I am told repeatedly that the books are cinematographic which is humbling – to be told that they drew a colourful picture in the mind of a reader who has aphantasia (Google it..) was possibly my greatest achievement.

Jack. he’s the difficult one. Possibly an unknown like Daniel Craig was relatively speaking when he became Bond. Someone like a Rupert Penry-Jones with a rougher edge.

Nicolescu the same. An unknown, or someone who can really get into a character. Who knows perhaps Michael Sheen – he’s yet to put a foot wrong!

Michael Sheen

Jason Roberts – I’m smiling but you need to know the real Jason. I’d possibly go a little off-piste and choose Eddie Izzard.

Eddie Izzard

Carrie. Easy. Vicky McClure (sultry, sexy, but with attitude.) I’ve thought about this. I just need Adrian from Hobeck to bribe Jed Mercurio…

Vicky McClure

Bridie would be someone like Jessica Raine.

Jessica Raine

Colin Firth would make a good JD.

Colin Firth

J; As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

LH; Famous Five, Secret Seven that sort of thing. Adventures, for the young mind! TV was very much BBC oriented, so Blue Peter rather than Magpie and Swap Shop instead of TISWAS…

J; What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

LH; The Body – Bill Bryson. I love his style and research – humour meets science head-on. 10/10.

J; Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

LH; I love Peter James’ books – he was my early inspiration and we stay in touch now. He wrote back to me whilst in Jamaica doing some research (him, not me…) and even offered to have Seventh my first novel read by the real Roy Grace. It meant a lot. (‘Roy’ loved it..)

That said, my favourite books of all time are probably Papillon (Henri Charriere) and Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks).

J; If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why? 

LH; Christmas Eve 1914. To witness the truce. To stand and watch my dear grandfather as a young man and to listen to him tell the tales of the Great War. I was never allowed to ask later in life when as a boy I was fascinated by his bravery. It was never mentioned again. He was one of the most highly decorated members of the Royal Tank Corps as a 26-year-old Corporal on the Western Front.

    “The night wore on to dawn – a night made easier by songs from the German trenches, the pipings of piccolos and from our broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a shot was fired.”

J;  If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why? 

LH; My grandfather to finally listen to those tales. My Dad. I flew 10,000 miles to read my autobiography to him in a hospice in Kent (this may sound familiar if you have read The Angel of Whitehall) just so I could tell him I’d made it as an author! Something still so powerful that even typing that sentence brings a tear to my eye. For selfish reasons, Kate Beckinsale and for cinematic reasons Vicky McClure to discuss her role as Carrie. And I’d pay for my family to sit on the next table as they’ve all endured my endless book conversations…

J; If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

LH; I’ve been lucky to have travelled very well with work and privately. Cape Cod appeals. I flew over it after enduring a hurricane off the coast of Newfoundland once, and we nearly had to divert there. Looking down it really appealed. Or Bora Bora with Kate Beckinsale.

J; What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

LH; Never go back!

J; Do you have a hidden talent? 

LH; Many. I can’t play the guitar in any key. And I’m a mimic, having turned down a fair amount of voice-over work.

J; Are you currently writing another book?

LH;  I am, yes. It’s the sixth in the Jack Cade series and features three places with the same name. I have a seventh in development already which may be a standalone and will introduce a new character which I think will be a first in literature.

Then I have another which is like nothing else I’ve ever written. A love story like no other set initially in sixties London among the publishing world and the British Army. Hobeck might not find a place for it, but like all my books, it will have a twist.

In closing, I’d like to thank you for what you do for people like me Jude, for supporting me and above all reading my books. They are subjective, like people, that you enjoyed them means more than you could ever imagine.

Lewis Hastings is a pseudonym. His real name is far more, real.

Born as a product of the long, harsh and miserable winter of the early nineteen sixties in southern England he soon shot to fame for his child acting, embellishment and love of justice and propensity for injury. His catalogue of injuries and their research has actually proven to be of use, particularly when describing some of the medical events within the book. The sensation of pain, often clinically described, is based upon real-world events and countless hours in Accident and Emergency Wards. His relationships with the many nurses, doctors and specialists is acknowledged.

Above all Lewis is a passionate and caring soul who always puts the needs of others before his own, a career in law enforcement was, therefore, a logical path, having drifted helplessly on a sinking rudderless ship that saw him involved in many diverse occupations, including but not limited to selling, border security, exotic dancing, prostitution and people trafficking*.

He joined the British Police in April 1990 and was posted to an upmarket suburb of Nottingham where he learned the art of policing; investigation, intelligence and communication. Along the way, he dabbled in many varied branches of policing and worked for seven years in one of the toughest inner-city areas in Britain. Some of the key events and people are brought back to life in the early segments of the story that are set in Nottingham, again, to protect those still serving their names have been changed.

Having spent his formative years both living and working in the United Kingdom he was offered what for many would be the chance of a lifetime. Clutching his worldly goods, his family and his reputation he took the leap of faith and now lives on the other side of the world in a house, with the same wife and a lake-loving Labrador.

Having headed across the world, his law enforcement career – not unlike Jack Cade’s – would take an unexpected turn and soon he found himself building a capable and worthy team at an international border. The thirteen years that followed saw him carve out a reputation as a subject matter expert in port security, document fraud and international border intelligence, particularly the influence of travelling European criminals.

He now acts as a government liaison officer – connecting law enforcement units throughout the Five Eyes community. He hopes for the chance to meet another “Theodora”  – tired, afraid but agenda-driven and with her own unique story to tell to someone prepared to listen.

He has two amazing children, one adorable granddaughter, an equally adorable grandson and a long-suffering, incredibly patient wife who meets all of the cliched aspects of a redhead.

You can find Lewis Hasting’s Website HERE Twitter HERE

Instagram HERE Facebook HERE