A blade and dudgeon gouts of blood… It is the bloody business

‘Bad Blood’ by Heather Atkinson

Also featuring on ‘Bad Blood’ on their blogs today are Donna’s Book Blog and Baker’s Not So Secret Blog

If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust…?

Glasgow gangster Jamie Gray and his fellow Blood Brothers rule the Gallowburn Estate with an iron fist. No one messes around on their turf without consequences. 

But when Jamie’s erstwhile dad, Jason Gray, reappears after many years away – some of them spent behind bars – the Blood Brothers are drawn into the murky and dangerous world of the toughest gangster of them all – The Queen of Glasgow, Toni McVay.  

Toni is the head of the most powerful organised crime family in Scotland and, as the psychotic leader enjoys scooping out the eyeballs of those who displease her, Jamie has no option but to do her bidding.
 
With the love of his life Allegra still missing, his enemies closing in, and his family’s safety at risk, Jamie Gray faces the battle of his life.  But with his father’s bad blood running through his veins, and the bravery and brains he has inherited from his mother Jackie, Jamie has all the tools he needs to survive.

When I wrote about Heather Atkinson’s first instalment in the Gallowburn series, ‘Blood Brothers’, last year, I pointed out that Scotland is “a country of contrasts.”

I felt that Atkinson displayed “an unpatronising affection for her street level protagonists. The characters are rendered as fully rounded humans with clear motivations and driving ambitions.”

It is my contention that these strengths continue in the sequel, ‘Bad Blood’. Here, from the opening assault of the first page – literally for some unruly locals, metaphorically for the reader – this is a visceral Scotland, with knee cappings, chains to the face and screwdriver-wielding toughs.

In fact, so tough is the environment, I kept expecting them to break out in Macbeth quotes, “But I am faint, my gashes cry for help,” said the ned as Jamie told the interlopers to fuck off.

“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/Clean from my hand?” said Logan as he paused to scoop up the baseball bat studded with nails.

“Out, damned spot! Out, I say! . . . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him,” said Digger as he wrestled with his conscience before returning to mock Jamie for being in love with a vicar.

Now, there’s a mash up I’d love to see!

Until then I shall continue to the enjoy the safe pair of hands which is Heather Atkinson with her fast paced plotting, exciting action sequences and realistically rendered locations.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3bT43dH

Author Bio:

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre.  Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.   Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow began with Blood Brothers in December 2020.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/booksofheatheratkinson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeatherAtkinso1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heathercrimeauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up Link: http://bit.ly/HeatherAtkinsonNewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-atkinson

And Then There Were Five Trapped on a Creepy Island

‘Buried For Good’ by Alex Coombs

On a remote island, everyone is a suspect…

When Private Investigator Hanlon is hired to protect famous yoga instructor Camille Anderson on her Scottish island retreat, she thinks this may be her simplest job yet.


But when an attack on Camille’s life goes wrong, it soon becomes clear that there is a murderer on the island – and Hanlon will stop at nothing to track them down.

With only a small group of guests the suspects are clear, but as the body count rises Hanlon must step up to find out who the killer is before it’s too late…

A tense, atmospheric page-turner from Alex Coombs. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Lisa Regan.

Last year, I wrote that Alex Coombs’ first outing in the Hanlon series, ‘Missing for Good’ was “a rattling good read, sprinting along with enjoyable gusto and building to a satisfying crescendo.”

I liked the eye for detail that Coombs displayed and those tensions between areas – Hanlon’s Argyll base contrasting with the pretentions of Edinburgh’s art world and Glasgow’s rougher edges.

In ‘Buried for Good’ Hanlon is back in fine form. Some of the clunkier aspects of the dialogue are absent here (although all writers should immediately exorcise the phrase “as you know” from their work forthwith – you hear me Mercurio?)

Here Hanlon is on a mission to protect a yoga teacher-cum-social media influencer who has been receiving threatening messages and our fearless detective must join a retreat on a remote Scottish island.

So far, so Agatha Christie – remote, cut off location? Check. Limited cast of characters, to whom bad things are going to happen? Check. Storm clouds – literal and metaphorical – gathering? Check and double check.

It is not a sophisticated formula, but it is certainly an effective one. Coombs is a writer who moves things along making the readers cheer on our emotionally fragile heroine as she scraps away at the darker sides of life.

This is another fast, paced engaging read from a seriously talented storyteller. Once the elements are all lined up, Coombs lets the spiralling mayhem rip in accomplished fashion. Another highly recommended outing for Hanlon, PI.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3jQVGBS

Author Bio –

Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He is the author of the highly acclaimed DCI Hanlon series.

Social Media Links –

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/AlexCoombsNewsletter

Website – http://www.alexcoombs.co.uk/

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlexCoombsCrime

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlexCoombsCrime

Stormy Weather – Placid Read

‘After The Storm‘ by Isabella Muir

See what others made of ‘After the Storm’ today in Louise’s Reading Corner http://louisesreadingcorner.com/

When a violent storm blasts England’s south coast, it’s up to retired Italian detective Giuseppe Bianchi to sift through the devastation and piece together the tragic events left behind in the storm’s wake.

Giuseppe Bianchi’s brief visit to Bexhill-on-Sea has become an extended stay. He is loath to return to his home in Rome because of the haunting images that made him leave in the first place.

During his morning walks along the seafront with Beagle, Max, he meets Edward Swain, who becomes Giuseppe’s walking companion. They form a friendship of sorts and find they have a similar outlook on life.

But the devastating events of a single night lead Giuseppe to question the truth about Edward Swain. Teaming up with young journalist, Christina Rossi – his cousin’s daughter – Giuseppe learns about the brutal reality lurking behind the day-to-day life of families in the local community. And as the story unravels Giuseppe is reminded how anger and revenge can lead to the most dreadful of crimes.

‘After the Storm’ is the second novel in the Giuseppe Bianchi mystery series – the much awaited sequel to Crossing the Line.

Grab your copy today and enjoy the intrigue of traditional English mystery, cleverly combined with a continental twist.

I’m beginning to think of Isabella Muir as some sort of old friend. I have previously reviewed both The Invisible Case, set in fictional Sussex town, Tamarisk Bay, https://pajnewman.com/2021/02/09/aunty-and-niece-on-the-case/ as well as Crossing the Line, the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, a novel I enjoyed even more than the doings of young librarian sleuth Janie Juke. https://pajnewman.com/2021/03/08/the-line-is-a-dot-to-you/

Here Bianchi is still in Sussex and now investigating the dark hearts of Sussex’s inhabitants, all the while that a brutal storm surges across the South Coast.

Muirhas a lovely protagonist in Bianchi. A conflicted man with a troubled past, his uneasy relationship with his brother, the charming interaction with his reporter niece all make him a charming companion as he works through his latest investigation.

Isabella Muir conjures the period setting of Sussex and it’s movement towards modernity with clarity and poise and – for anyone who likes Dorothy L Sawyer and Agatha Christie – or even more modern writers such as Donna Leon – they will not be disappointed.

Purchase Links

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/After-Storm-Giuseppe-Bianchi-mystery-ebook/dp/B08P534Y2K 

US –  https://www.amazon.com/After-Storm-Giuseppe-Bianchi-mystery-ebook/dp/B08P534Y2K

Author Bio –

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, After the Storm, is the second novel in a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Social Media Links

https://isabellamuir.com

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor

Blood Loss is the Reader’s Gain

Blood Loss by Kerena Swan

See what others think about ‘Blood Loss’ over at http://www.bforbookreview.worpress.com and https://www.instagram.com/karenandherbooks

Sarah

With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…

… and now the fuel tank is empty.

DI Paton

When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.

Jenna

With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.

Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…

… and he’s getting closer.

Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.

Kerena Swan’s novel, ‘Blood Loss’ is something of a strange beast. To be honest, it sort of shouldn’t work.

It has a narrative split between Sarah, a woman from a difficult background fleeing a traumatic incident, Jenna, a trustafarian with a ghastly sister and DI Paton, a man who has more on his plate than most – a son with Downs Syndrome, a wife with cripplingly depression rendering her a ghost-like figure and an extreme aversion to blood which would make Inspector Morse blush.

That narrative is further fragmented as it jumps in time as well as perspective – the sort of trick which can make reviewers gnash their teeth – you have to have a bloody good reason to ask a reader to want to leap between people, place and time as it can leave your head spinning.

Also, Swan does not do the usual crime writer thing of making the place a character. She has a detective based in Perth – a heartbreakingly pretty, oft-overlooked gem of a small city – and doesn’t really describe the location surrounding it at all: except to say it’s in the highlands. Which it isn’t.

Another writer might have had fun contrasting this semi-rural gem with one of the other locations which is also famous for how it looks… Milton Keynes. Swan does not.

But, do you know what? In a novel as well written as this, it just doesn’t matter. Swan’s goal is to sweep you along and make you want to find out more – how will the murder be solved? Can the relationship between the sisters be healed? Will Sarah be able to make different choices from her Mum rather than be doomed to repeat the cycle?

All of which she does with aplomb. Crime fiction can be leaden with poor dialogue and this is a noteable exception. The characters have individual voices, clear motivations and emotionally resonant wants and needs.

‘Blood Loss’ is a pacey read, skilfully handled by a writer of real breadth, ambition and talent and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Loss-Paton-Investigates-Book-ebook/dp/B08ZLPV615/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Loss-Paton-Investigates-Book-ebook/dp/B08ZLPV615/

Blood Loss will be just  99p for a limited time only!

About Kerena Swan

We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See YouScared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.

Social Media Links

Website: https://kerenaswan.wordpress.com/   

 Twitter: @kerenaswan

Facebook : @kerenaswan  · Author

Some Vivid Colours and Intriguing New Cases

Old Cases, New Colours (A Dudley Green Investigation) by Madalyn Morgan

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.

Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.

While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.

A lovely little novel for anyone interested in the murky world of London before it began to swing, Madalyn Morgan’s Old Cases, New Colours is positively rooted in its setting.

London here is greys and browns and people not delivering the new office furniture in time. It is a city where people keep petty cash in biscuit tins under the sink and have to cash in both their money and their husband’s to open a detective agency.

Morgan peppers her cast with the sort of bounders, dolly girls and loyal young men from GCHQ which one might expect in a novel of this sort and the plot bounces along pleasingly.

If you were a fan of Channel 4’s television programme Traitors, you like your crime on the hard edged side of cozy and a nice soupcon of espionage mixed into the broth, then you should definitely be uncovering some Old Cases, New Colours.

Purchase Links

UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/

Author Bio

I was bought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.

      In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.

    In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book – Christmas Applause – and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.

Social Media Links –

Madalyn Morgan’s books- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Blog – https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/ActScribblerDJ

Pinterest – www.pinterest.co.uk/madalynmorgan

Instagram – www.instagram.co.uk/madalynmorgan1

No Sleep for the Frantic Nighthawks

‘Nighthawks’ by Lambert Nagle

When art, money and power collide…
A Mafia boss addicted to beautiful art. A Catholic priest who knows too much. A modern-day Jay Gatsby. And a woman on the run.


Disgraced London detective Stephen Connor is given an ultimatum: take a transfer to Rome or kiss his career goodbye.
With his love life in tatters and his confidence at an all-time low, can Stephen find the world’s most valuable painting before it disappears forever?

You know, the only hybrid writing partnership I am aware of having read up to now are the stellar Swedish series of detective novels featuring glum policeman Martin Beck by Maj Sjöwall and ‎Per Wahlöö.

However, based upon ‘Nighthawks’ by Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt this is a model not to be discounted.

A country hopping, international thriller in the style of Daniel Silva, Nagle continent hop from Australia to Rome to… Well, you get the idea.

Cinematic in scope, ambition and execution, ‘Nighthawks’ zips along at a breakneck pace. This is a novel for those who like their action packed and their scenery ever changing.

Purchase Link

https://books2read.com/u/4NXA1W

Author Bio –

Lambert Nagle is the pen-name for Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt, co-writers of international thrillers, mystery and crime. Alison is a former television production executive who worked for Walt Disney and the BBC before pivoting to become a multi-genre author and screenwriter. Her short film drama Waves (with Maciek Pisarek) won the Special Jury Prize, Worldfest, Houston. Sean’s day job is Professor of Film and Television, University of Melbourne, Australia. He writes about film and media for leading academic publishers.

Other titles by Lambert Nagle include Revolution Earth (featuring detective Stephen Connor) and Contained in Capital Crimes, a short story collection from members of ITW (International Thriller Writers) with a foreword by Peter James.

With six passports between them, they set their books in the far-away places they live and work.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://www.lambertnagle.com

Author: Instagram:@alisonripleycubitt

Author page Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alisonripleycubittwriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lambertnagle

The Line is a Dot to You

‘Crossing The Line’ by Isabella Muir

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.

National news reports of a missing 12-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase “stranger-danger” filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.

As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?

‘Crossing the Line’ is the perfect listen for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavour. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favourites set in the 1960s – ‘Endeavour’, George Gently, and ‘Call the Midwife’. 

Purchase Link  – http://viewbook.at/CrossingtheLineaudio

I only came across the work of Isabella Muir fairly recently. I wrote positively of the third Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. https://pajnewman.com/2021/02/09/aunty-and-niece-on-the-case

However, I have to say, that I think I enjoy this departure, Crossing the Line, the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, even more than the doings of young Janie Juke.

It may be because I used to live in Hastings and, therefore, know Bexhill-on-Sea quite well. Never discount nostalgia as a reason for liking something (although the sixties had been over for a while before I moved there).

It maybe because Charles Johnston does such a fine job narrating this twisty audiobook, imbuing encounters with a quiet menace and capturing that Agatha Christie-like undercurrents that Isabella Muir writes so well.

Or it might be because, in Giuseppe Bianchi, Muir has created a well-intentioned, quietly dignified and rather charming detective who carries his heavy emotional burden while investigating the shocking death on the seafront.

It might be all three. Whatever, Muir has created a scenario to test her fish out of water detective to the core and this taut tale will engage all readers who like historical fiction, the Golden Age writers and fans of the south east.

I’m already looking forward to the second instalment.

Author Bio

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor

Jumping for Jailbirds

Jailbird by Caro Savage

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan has been out of the undercover game since her last job went horribly wrong, leaving her with scars inside and out.
When her colleague Alice is found dead whilst working deep cover in a women’s prison, Bailey steps in to replace her.
Working alone, Bailey embarks on a dangerous journey through the murky underbelly of the prison and soon discovers that Alice’s death was part of a spate of brutal murders.

Surrounded by prison officers, criminals and lowlifes, the slightest mistake could cost Bailey her life.
Illicit drug trafficking, prison gangs and corruption are just some of the things she’s up against… and behind it all lurks a sinister and terrifying secret that will truly test her survival instincts.
Heart-stopping and gripping. Perfect for the fans of hit TV shows such as Line of Duty, Orange is the New Black and Bad Girls.

I’ve said it before and I’ve got to say it again, Boldwood Books are producing some top quality work. If you like your crime fiction on the gritty side – with splashes of gangster glamour and the grit in the oyster of, often, quite extreme violence, Boldwood is for you.

This novel is a little strange for me as I come to it having reviewed Caro Savage’s (still the best name in crime fiction, eat your heart out Karin Slaughter!) sequel to this novel, ‘Villain’.

This debut instalment sees DC Bailey Morgan returning to undercover work by tracking the killer of a fellow officer in a dilapidated women’s prison.

Whilst the character of Morgan is well drawn by Savage – she is already dealing with her scars both mental and emotional – for me, ‘Villain’ is the superior novel. That shell-shocked lingering horror and consequences of violence which was such an important part of ‘Villain’ is only at its beginning here and so packs less of a punch.

What does not lack punch are the vibrantly written scenes of violence and the characters in the women exuding menace. Some of these are terrifying and some of them – Bailey’s cellmate, for instance – memorably irritating. Savage has an eye for the telling detail in her characterisation and we long for Bailey to make it out as safely as possible.

A very decent crime novel from a writer of crunching action, punchy dialogue and characters you want to investigate with. Make sure you follow her in her further adventures – it is well worth it.

Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/JailbirdAudible

Author Bio –

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing.

Social Media Links –

Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/CaroSavageStory

https://www.instagram.com/carosavage/

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/CaroSavageNewsletter

Dark Hearts and Trauma

‘Gordon Square’ by Tracey Martin-Summers

On a cold blustery November night, Detective Sergeant Mike Brugge and his partner Detective Constable Mel Bailey come across a girl, age unknown, in the parkland in Gordon Square. She was frail, malnourished, dirty and covered in excrement.

What had happened to this girl?  Why was she covering down, shielding her eyes from the light, with a look of horror on her face? She appeared to be non-coherent, totally unengaged and would not speak to anyone. Nothing could penetrate the world where her soul had taken solace.

Mike and Mel set out to find out where she had come from and what had been per plight.  Revealing hypnosis sessions allow them to glimpse some of her pain suffering.  Follow their story deep into the horrors that unfold, causing chaos and turmoil among their own lives.

The detectives are about to discover a horrific, gut-wrenching story, that spanned over four decades. But will it end?

Secrets, lies and the dark side of humanity abound in Tracey Martin-Summers’ debut crime novel, ‘Gordon Square’.

The location of Gordon Square is never explicitly geographically placed, but Martin-Summers’ plot driven, atmospheric writing allows the reader to be swept along into the dark lands of the worst of human nature.

This is a dark and terrifying world where traumatised people are often at the mercy of their own worst instincts and misery is handed on, generation to generation. It has the unhappy ring of verisimilitude to it as well, which is sad.

Martin-Summers’ style is one of dialogue-driven plot propulsion using the characters to examine the impact of cruelty and prolonged suffering on people and the evil that we do to each other.

A punchy, well-crafted crime story heavy on atmospherics and the dark heart of human nature at its worst, alleviated by the power of love – especially between friends – which raises a potentially grim milieu to be a satisfying read.

Debut author Tracey Martin-Summers

Author Bio – Tracy was born in Harrow Weald, Middlesex in 1964, growing up in a loving family home. She married her first husband in 1990, has two grown up children and a granddaughter.

She studied a variety of topics via module learning, embarking on City and Guilds and NVQ courses, ranging from a brief spell in hairdressing to administration and now works for a utility company in North West London.

Tracy has numerous hobbies consisting of landscape painting to landscape gardening and always likes to paint the scene, even if it’s changing the colour scheme, yet again, within her home.

Tracy has always enjoyed writing and used to write short stories for her own children’s amusement but it has only been in the last few years that she has taken this more seriously and has gone on to write her debut crime detective novel, ‘Gordon Square’.

Tracy Married her second husband in 2014 and now lives in Bedfordshire in a sleepy hamlet where she writes whenever she gets a spare moment.

www.tracymartinsummers.co.uk

www.tracymartinsummers.com

Purchase Linkhttp://getbook.at/GSQ 

Aunty (and niece) on the Case

The cover of ‘The Invisible Case’ by Isabella Muir

‘The Invisible Case’ by Isabella Muir

Narrator: Bridget Eaton

Heartbreaking tragedy or cold-blooded murder…?

An Italian stranger arrives in Tamarisk Bay and brings with him mystery and intrigue….

It’s Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and some quality time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?

As Luigi’s story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.

If you love Agatha Christie style twists and turns, or are a fan of Call the Midwife, Endeavour, Inspector George Gently and all those great 60s characters, then you will love this Sussex Crime series.

The third of Isabella Muir’s Janie Juke mysteries is ‘The Invisible Case’. Set in the fictional Sussex seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, this novel begins with the return from Italy of Janie’s aunt, Jessica, with her young Italian travelling companion, Luigi.

Janie Juke is a charming protagonist. A part time librarian and full time busy body, Janie is building up a reputation in Tamarisk Bay as the go-to person when people need a little help.

Ably supported by her lovely young husban1d, her blind father and, this time, her aunt, Janie has a supportive home environment for sniffing out clues and plenty of time to indulge her hero worship of Hercule Poirot.

So far so good. For me, however, the biggest plus of the novel is Jessica. The free spirited aunty who helped raise Janie, her return from nearly a decade travelling offers another element to the story and is a live wire character who Janie can investigate alongside and spark off.

The biggest negative of the novel is Luigi. Whilst it is always interesting to have an unsympathetic character, Luigi is such a whiny, despicable man/child that you not only don’t care if Janie clears his name, you absolutely long for her to have him go to the gallows – abolition of hanging not withstanding.

‘The Invisible Case’ is a quick read, cheerful in aspect and faithful to its cosy crime heritage and wearing its love for Agatha Christie and Golden Age of crime fiction lightly.  

Purchase Link –

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Case-Heartbreaking-Tragedy-Coldblooded/dp/B08NXYBLTF

US – https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Case-Heartbreaking-Tragedy-Coldblooded/dp/B08NY2JNHR

Author Isabella Muir

Author Bio –

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then has gone to publish five novels, two novellas and a short story collection.

The Invisible Case is the third book in her Sussex Crime Mystery series, featuring young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot – using all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. All three novels are now available as audiobooks.

As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who arrives in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to find a dead body on the beach and so the story begins…

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Social Media Links

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