#Guest #Author #MarkEllis @MarkEllis15 Author of the #DCIFrankMerlin series @midaspr

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? Or have you had any other jobs?

ME: I studied law, became a barrister, corporate executive then with a partner started a computer services company. I had always wanted to write and when my computer company was sold in the early 2000s decided to give it a shot.

JW: Where did the inspiration for the Dead in The Water come from?

ME: I usually get inspiration for my book plots when doing my research. In the case of Dead In The Water, my reading about the chosen period, Summer 1942, opened my mind to various strands of history. These included the impact in Britain of the arrival of the American forces in that year, the theft of art from Jewish owners in the run-up to the war, and the continuing espionage intrigues of the various combatants.  My plot emerged from these strands.

JW: How much research was involved in Dead in the Water, as it is set during 1942 and WW2?

ME: I do a great deal of research before every book. I go to libraries, go online, read my own collection of wartime books, read new books etc.  I usually spend around 3 months researching before starting each book.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of DCI Frank Merlin, if Dead In The Water is turned into a TV Show/Film?

ME: I always find this a difficult one. Spending much of my time as I do in the 1940s, the names that immediately spring to mind are actors of that vintage eg Ray Milland, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant. As they are all dead this is not much use! Of people who are alive there is a Welsh actor called Luke Evans who might fit the bill. Also maybe Christian Bale.

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?

ME: I was both an avid reader and TV watcher. As regards books I loved The Wind In The Willows, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord Of The Rings and many others. I was a rather precocious reader. I remember reading and enjoying The Pickwick Papers when I was around 9 or 10. As for TV, I watched everything which was pretty easy then as there were only two channels. Champion the Wonder Horse was one favourite. Robin Hood and Ivanhoe were others.

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

ME: Kolymsky Heights, a classic thriller by Lionel Davidson. I’ve also read a few very enjoyable books by Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson. I’m currently in the middle of the book I was most looking forward to this year, which is Don Winslow’s latest, City of Fire.

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

ME: I am Welsh and a keen rugby fan. Meeting Sir Gareth Edwards was good. Many years ago I spent a lot of time in California. I was once invited to a vintage Hollywood party. Among the people I met were Ginger Rogers, Rosalind Russell and Sophia Loren. I’m not sure I’d call them heroes of mine but I was certainly starstruck.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

ME: My children.

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

ME: The first choice would have to be The London Blitz (from a safe vantage point!). The second would be something in Ancient Rome. Cicero giving one of his famous speeches perhaps. Or the assassination of Julius Caesar.

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

ME: Reading. Watching rugby and cricket. Listening to music. Travel.

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

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

ME: Churchill, Dickens, Mozart, Van Morrison. Churchill was a flawed but great man and looms very large in what I write about. Dickens because he was such a fantastic writer. Mozart and Van because I love their music so much. Not sure how well this group would get on though!

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

ME: To be persistent in whatever you do, whether in business, writing or life in general. Very little is achieved without sticking at it.  ‘Keep buggering on’ in the words of Winston Churchill.

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

ME: Currently researching Frank Merlin 6. No title as yet. Will be set in Spring 1943.

You can BUY Mark Ellis’s Books HERE

You can find Mark Ellis’s website HERE

You can follow Mark Ellis on TWITTER INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

#BlogTour #BloodLines by #LinLeVersha @linleversha published by @HobeckBooks 10.04.2022 

Eighteen year-old Darcy Woodard appears to have it all – intelligence, good looks and artistic gifts. His teachers adore him, as does former policewoman Steph Grant, who is now the receptionist at Darcy’s college. 

But beneath the surface – all is not as it seems. Darcy is convinced he doesn’t fit in. He tries to ignore their online taunts. There’s Darcy’s dysfunctional mother Esther who is trapped in a literary time warp. Then there’s his sister Marianne, who Darcy desperately wants to protect from the dark forces that surround her. 

​Then tragedy rocks Darcy’s life when a drugs gang forces its way into his life and all the people he cares for. 

​What can Steph and her former boss DI Hale do to protect the local community? And can they really trust Darcy to help them defeat the county lines gang? 

Thank you so much to Hobeck books for my copy of Blood Lines and for inviting me to the Blog Tour.

So this is the second in the now retired from the Police Steph Grant mysteries and after the brilliant Blood Notes, I couldn’t wait to dive in!

And in typical Lin Le Versha style the first few pages set the scene with a pretty gruesome scenario! And it doesnt end there ( if youre a bit of a lightweight you may gag!), some spic descriptions of gore start the reader on a path of exceptional writing in Blood Lines.

Steph Grant is happy with her simple life with Derek the dog and her ex Boss now boyfriend DI Hale, and loves her receptionists job at the local college.

But when drugs seem to be infiltrating college life involing one family and a tragic death, Steph gets drawn into a web of lies, dangerous people and drugs involving County lines drug running. She is enlisted to go undercover as a Civilian Detective to help fibnd out what is happening.

We are then led on an intense journey until the climactic finale, (I’m not giving any spoilers away!).

Another fabulous easy, quick and enthralling read by Lin le Versha, choc full of a great cast of characters old and new, for anyone who likes cosy mysteries with an edge the Steph Grant series is a must.

A highly excellent read and worthy of 4 stars.

Lin Le Versha has drawn on her extensive experience in London and Surrey schools and colleges as the inspiration for her debut crime novel which Hobeck are thrilled to be publishing later this year. In addition to crime writing, she has written over twenty plays exploring the issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work with Anne Fine on The Granny Project, she created the English and drama lesson activities for students aged 11 to 14.
 
Creative writing courses at the Arvon Foundation and ‘Ways with Words’ in Italy, encouraged Lin to enrol at the UEA MA in Creative Writing (Crime) and her debut novel was submitted as the final assessment for this excellent course.
 
Lin is the Director of the Southwold Arts Festival, comprising over thirty events in an eight-day celebration of the Arts.

To buy Blood Lines click HERE

You can follow Lin Le Versha on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM

#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

#Guest #Author #TinaOrrMunro @TinaOrrMunro Author of @BreakneckPoint published by @HQstories

Thank you so much Tina 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? And where did the idea of Breakneck Point come from?

TOM: Yes, I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first ‘book’ at 14 which was a terrible plagiarised version of a novel I’d just read! Until I wrote Breakneck Point, I had always seen myself as a potential YA novelist. It was a friend who got me thinking when they asked me that as someone who’d been a CSI and then a police and crime journalist for twenty odd years, why had I never written a crime novel?

JW: Did you base Ally Dymond, the lead character in Breakneck Point on anyone?

TOM: No, she isn’t based on anyone, but I would say she shares a few qualities with one of my sisters including that strong sense of pursuing something because it is the right thing to do even though it could cost you.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the part of Ally Dymond if Breakneck Point was turned into a TV series or movie?

TOM: I think Eve Myles would make a great Ally Dymond.

Eve Myles

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?

TOM: I grew up in rural Devon in the 70s when television wasn’t on 24 hours a day and children’s programmes took up a small part of the schedule, so television was far less significant than it is now. Both my parents were huge readers and passed their love of books onto their children. I would look forward to the weekly mobile library visit with far more anticipation than any television programme. I loved Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2022, has been your favourite?

TOM: I’ve read some great debuts this year, but the one that stands out for me is The Storytellers by Caron McKinlay (out in May) which I had early sight of. It’s a grab-you by-the-scruff-of-the-neck-and-not-let-you-go-kind-of-book about three women who find themselves in the afterlife where they must face the reckoning of the relationships they had when they were alive. It is a bold, dark, witty tale.

JW: Who do you most admire?

TOM: My grandmother. She was orphaned as a baby during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. She faced enormous hardship in her early life, but she survived it all and went on to create a family that she adored and meant the world to her. She had a steely spirit, but she was incredibly warm and generous, and she loved to laugh.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

TOM: My children, although it’s an ongoing project!

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

TOM: I’d like to visit The Globe on the opening night of A Midsummers Night’s Dream. I love Shakespeare and I’ve seen several versions of this play, but I’d love to see how it was originally produced and to experience the atmosphere of an Elizabethan theatre.

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

TOM: Greece. I spend a lot of time there and just love it.

JW: If you could invite 4 people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

TOM: Robin Williams who I first saw in Mork and Mindy and just thought he was the funniest person I’d ever come across. A brilliantly inventive comedian, he’d keep us entertained, but he always struck me as a nice guy too. Charles Dickens because I’m endlessly fascinated by the era he was writing in and would want to know more about that thin veneer of Victorian prosperity and propriety that masked incredible poverty and deprivation. Elvis because I love live music and go as often as I can, but I was too young to see Elvis. I would ask him very nicely to sing Only Fools Fall in Love. Gerald Durrell because I adored My Family and Other Animals and he’d regale me with brilliant tales of growing up on Corfu which I first visited and fell in love with when I was ten years old.

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

TOM: The best piece of advice I was ever given is “that it is better to do something than to regret not doing it.”

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

TOM: I’m currently writing book 2 in the CSI Ally Dymond series. I’m also working on my grandmother’s memoir.

Breakneck Point introduces the character of Ally Dymond, a tough, but flawed Crime Scene Investigator (or Scenes of Crime Officer) consigned to minor crimes in a North Devon backwater after blowing the whistle on corruption. I hadn’t read many novels that had a CSI as their main protagonist and as I used to be a SOCO many years ago (long enough ago that it was more Sherlock Holmes than CSI Miami!) I decided I would write one.
I am a massive fan of urban crime, but I specifically wanted to set Breakneck Point in North Devon. North Devon is area that is very close to my heart. I grew up there in the 70s and had what I call an ‘Enid Blyton’ upbringing in a tiny village called Wembworthy. I now live in Barnstaple with my own family. It is as beautiful as the postcards show you, but I wanted to write crime a novel that shows the reality for many, of living in a rural area, a reality that is often at odds with those stunning views. I hope Breakneck Point will be the first of many novels featuring Ally Dymond that I’ll be adding to my author page. Thank you for reading.
I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter @Tinaorrmunro or Instagram @tinaorrmunro I also run a blog called Cocktails With My Characters (www.cocktailswithmycharacters.com) where authors drop by the imaginary Tequila Mockingbird Cocktail Bar to give us the inside line on one of their characters. You can also find us on Twitter @cocktails_my and instagram @cocktails_with_my_characters. Join us for a Gin Eyre (sorry!) and chat.

You can buy Breakneck Point HERE

You can follow Tina 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

#Guest #Author #DeonMeyer @MeyerDeon #Bestselling author of #TheDarkTide his latest novel @HodderBooks

JW: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Benny Griessel novels come from?

DM: Growing up in the blue-collar neighbourhood of a gold mining town on the African highveld, it never occurred to me that becoming a writer was even possible. I wrote, as a teenager, because I was in love with stories. Then, life happened, and I only got back to writing in my thirties when, as a single parent and sole breadwinner, I hoped to earn a little extra by selling short stories to magazines.

It was never my intention to write a series based on one character. As a matter of fact, in the early part of my career, I was adamant that it wouldn’t happen. I wanted the freedom (and pleasure) of creating new characters for every book. I firmly believed that the story should always be paramount and should determine the characters.

And then came Benny Griessel. By accident. He was a minor character in an early novel (Dead Before Dying), created for a single, important scene in which I needed a drunk, alcoholic cop. He was supposed to come and go in a few pages. I created him on the fly, named him after the son of one of my favourite teachers at high school, and thought that was it.

The problem was, that he made things happen on the page. I liked writing to him! He did not want to go away. And by the end of that book, I know I had to bring him back again. Two novels later, Benny got his own book.

After that, he just kept coming back.

JW: Having only just read your latest novel The Dark Flood (although I have bought the previous 6 Benny Griessel novels to read during May!), one of the main things that stood out for me was your obvious love of your home Country. With such a chequered past, do you think it’s important to write about REAL South Africa?

DM: That’s a great question. I don’t think any writer is smart enough to paint the full picture of this wonderful country in all its multi-faceted complexity. For instance, what is real to me, would be far removed from what is real to someone living in a township in a remote area of KwaZulu-Natal or the Limpopo province.

What I try to do, is to see my country through the eyes of my characters (an enriching experience) and allow as much of their reality as the story and the conventions of crime fiction allow.

Furthermore, South Africans are the first readers of my books. My hope and aim is to write with an honesty about our country that they would find credible.

JW: Who would you like to see playing the parts of Benny Griessel & Vaughn Cupido if The Dark Flood were to be turned into a TV series? (I could SO see this happening!)

DM: It just so happens that there might be a casting call in the next few months (I’m not at liberty to divulge more at the moment). So, voicing my preferences at this time would be unfair.

However, when TRACKERS and DEAD BEFORE DYING were adapted for television, I learnt how the awesome talent of actors to make a character come to life very quickly put paid to personal preconceptions. So, I have no doubt that whoever gets the job, Bennie and Vaughn will be perfectly cast.

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?

DM: I was a voracious reader from a very young age. (The Apartheid regime was terrified of the power of television, so we grew up without it. And when we finally got it – when I was seventeen – the content was strictly controlled.)

There are so many favourite childhood books, many of them in my mother tongue of Afrikaans. One author I’m sure most Britons of my age will know, Is Enid Blyton. I still believe her Famous Five and Secret Seven series laid the foundation for my love of crime fiction.

JW: Which book, that you read in 2021, has been your favourite?

DM: I relished Bill Buford’s brilliant Dirt. Exceptional writing about one of my favourite subjects (food) in one of my favourite cities (Lyon).

JW: Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

DM: The late, great Ed McBain remains my favourite of all time. His Ten Plus One is the perfect crime novel, I think.

JW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Convincing Marianne to marry me. Being a dependable parent to all our children. Writing the last sentence of every novel. Mastering a dual-purpose motorcycle in the soft sand. And finally sort of coming to grips with the intricacies of the golf swing.

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

DM: Being in London on May 8, 1945, to witness VE Day.

VE Day May 8th 1945 London Uk

The Second World War has fascinated me from a very young age, perhaps because it was so influential in the lives of my parents. I’ve read all the great works about the war, including everything by Anthony Beevor. In my teens, I read and reread the escape stories of Richard Pape and Paul Brickhill. It inspired me to major in history at university. The war shaped my world, more than any other event.

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

DM: Marianne and I would love to invite Nelson Mandela, because he is the greatest South African of my lifetime, and he was a wonderful storyteller. Ed McBain, to ask advice from. My late father, was the best raconteur I ever knew. I still miss him every day. And Stellenbosch chef Bertus Basson, to make sure the food is sublime.

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

DM: My father said: “Find something you really love, and then work very, very hard at it.”

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

DM: My family (including my grandson Matteo!). Mountain biking, golf, travel, cooking, Springbok rugby, reading, movies …

The Springbok’s

JW: Are you currently writing another book?

DM: I have started a new Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido novel. I’m still looking for the right title, though.

JW: Many Thanks must go to Deon Meyer for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

Deon Meyer is a South African crime fiction author and screenwriter.
A former journalist, advertising copywriter, Internet manager and brand strategist, Deon has published thirteen novels and two short story collections. His books have been published in 28 languages in more than 40 countries worldwide.
He has also written several series for television, and four screenplays for feature films. Deon has also 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, 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.

You can buy The Dark Flood HERE

You can follow Deon on Twitter Facebook Instagram

Deon Meyer’s Official website HERE

My #Review of #TheRabbitFactor by #AnttiTuomainen @antti_tuomainen  @Orendabooks #Blogtour   #NotTheEasterBunny  

Just one spreadsheet away from chaos…

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

Thanks as always must go to Anne Cater for inviting me to my first Orenda Books Blog Tour, for which I’m super honoured and thankful.

This was my first read of a book by Antti Tuomainen and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The opening chapter was amazing and had me immediately reeled in, from then on I stayed awake most of the night reading! A fabulous story of Henri a straight-laced Insurance Actuary who lives by mathematics and order, but inherits an adventure park from his dead Brother with the promise to keep it running – enter Henri into a chaotic world!

An amazingly uplifting story of love, crime and friendships… we see Henri thrown into a world of chaos in the YouAndMe Adventure park full of sticky children who leave ‘suprises’ in the tunnels and I don’t mean nice surprises! He has to negotiate criminal’s who are insistent in trying to kill him, plus the staff at the adventure park who all have a quirky edge and then the lovely Laura who changes Henri in SO many ways.

I don’t want to give any more of the storyline away but it is absolutely superb, it took me 2 days to complete I couldn’t put The Rabbit Factor Down! Some utterly hilarious moments made me laugh out loud, a lot of dark humour which I love. The ending is wonderful and to find out that this will be part of a trilogy is THE best news ever!

As always I must praise the translation into English by David Hackston, without these wonderful translators we would miss out on SO many good books!

And finally, praise as always for Orenda Books and the authors they publish, I’ve never read a duff book from their stock, one of THE best publishers in the UK.

I look forward to reading more of Antti’s work and also seeing The Rabbit Factor movie!

A 5 Star Read⭐🔥

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland was an immense success, with Marcel Berlins (The Times) calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’. Little Siberia (2020), was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, the Amazon Publishing/Capital Crime Awards and the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award, and won the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The Rabbit Factor (2021), the first book in Antti’s first ever series,is in production by Amazon Studios with Steve Carell starring.The Moose Paradox, book two in the series is out in 2022.

You can BUY The Rabbit Factor HERE

Follow Annti Tuomainen on Instagram Twitter Facebook

#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

My turn on the #FatalHate by #BrianPrice @crimewritersci #BlogTour published by @HobeckBooks OUT NOW!

DC Mel Cotton is back with a new case to solve, the murder of Duncan Bennett, an unassuming worker at a local confectionary warehouse.

As Mel’s team investigate, one key question remains… who would want ‘boring’ Duncan dead? And the case soon becomes far more complex and dangerous than expected, threatening to overwhelm Mexton’s small police force.

With terrorists, a paedophile network and a hitman in town, Mel and her colleagues face their greatest challenge yet. Mel’s own courage will be tested to the limits and no-one is safe. Who is stirring up hatred and violence in the area?

And can Mel prevent herself from becoming too involved and putting her life in severe jeopardy?

Thank you to Hobeck Books for inviting me on to the #FatalHate #BlogTour and sending me both books Fatal Trade and Fatal Hate.

I read Fatal Trade in a few days so I was looking forward to getting started on DC Mel Cotton’s next case, Fatal Hate by author Brian Price.

I was not disappointed at all, Brian Price is a talented writer of Police Procedural/Thrilling Crime Fiction books. We follow DC Mel Cotton and her team whilst they try to solve a murder of a somewhat unliked and dull victim, the twists and turns are excellent, and I didn’t see them coming which is always fabulous! I love the way Brian injects humour ( Cops always have dark humour, it helps cope ) into Fatal Hate and considering the themes involved, it really works and makes for a gritty and gripping read.

I love the cast of characters and how each event interacts with them and leads us through the twisty turning plot to its thrilling conclusion. And Mel Cotton is like a cat with 9 lives, getting into situations and luckily coming out safely!

A really solid read, and with each book you feel the author is really getting into his stride with the characters and DC Mel Cotton. I look forward to book 3 in the series!

A 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star read.

Brian Price is a writer living in the South West of England. A scientist by training, he worked for the Environment Agency for twelve years and has also worked as an environmental consultant, a pharmacy technician and, for 26 years, as an Open University tutor.

Fatal Trade is his first full-length novel but he has contributed a number of short stories to a local writing group’s anthology, called Cuckoo. He is the author of Crime Writing: How to write the science, a guide for authors on the scientific aspects of crime. He has a website on this topic (www.crimewriterscience.co.uk) and advises crime writers on how to avoid scientific mistakes in their books. Brian also has a website about his writing (www.brianpriceauthor.com).

Brian reads a wide range of crime fiction himself and also enjoys Terry Pratchett, Genevieve Cogman and Philip Pullman. He may sometimes be found listening to rock, folk and 1960s psychedelic music. He is married and has four grown-up children.

You can BUY Fatal Hate HERE

You can follow Brian Price on TWITTER