By Robert Daws
Rating: 5 Stars *****
I am absolutely honoured to be reviewing for the Morecambe and Vice blog tour. Thanks to Sarah Hardy who had noticed I had attended the Morecambe and Vice Festival last year and for inviting me to join the Morecambe and Vice blog tour. I am also looking forward to attending the festival this year too. I am very pleased to be able to review for Robert Daws and his book Killing Rock.
About the Author
Robert trained at RADA.
His many television credits include: Dr Gordon Ormerod in eight series of The Royal, Sam Mountjoy in three series of John Sullivan’s Roger Roger and Tuppy Glossop in four series of Jeeves and Wooster. Also, Roger Dervish in the award- winning Outside Edge. (Nominated Best Actor-British Comedy Awards) Most recently he played Ernie Raynor in the Only Fools and Horses prequel trilogy, Rock and Chips and made guest appearances in New Tricks and Doc Martin. He has also played Jack Whitehall’s father Michael in Little Cracker – Daddy’s Little Princess for Sky and Will Tudor-Bass in Holby. He also plays the town curmudgeon, Dr. Thomas Choake in the BBC’s hugely successful Poldark – currently filming series four – and has recently completed filming Father Brown, Death In Paradise, a return to Midsomer Murders and the films An Unkind Word and Swimming With Men. He also plays ‘Shank’ Shankovitz in Sky’s new comedy series, Sick Note.
Other leading roles include hospital manager Simon Eastman in Casualty, Major Hound in Channel Four’s Sword of Honour, Dick Thompson in the BBC’s Take A Girl Like You, Simon Snell in You Can Choose Your Friends, Oscar Beatty in The Mystery of Men plus countless guest performances in programmes such as Midsomer Murders, The Missing Postman, The Bill, Game Set and Match, Lovejoy, Birds of a Feather, Pie in the Sky, The Paul Merton Show, Lovejoy, Embassy, The Dirty Dozen et al and so on. One of his personal favourites was to be a guest on the last ever episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, for which he played the Last Post on a trumpet. His own one.
Films include Prof. Philip Chessman in the supernatural thriller The Unfolding – recently selected for a Leicester Square premiere as part of FrightFest. The new British comedy, Swimming With Men, directed by Oliver Parker. Arthur’s Dyke, Land of the Blind, According to Colin, The Great Escape Two and Richard Ordinary.
Recent theatre work includes Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s hit comedy, How The Other Half Loves, playing Frank Foster. Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes at the Duchess Theatre, and Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property at the Trafalgar Studios and Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister at the same theatre. Also Charles Pooter in Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Northampton and the National Tour of Blackbird by David Harrower, for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He also played the frantic taxi driving bigamist, John Smith, in Ray Cooney’s hit comedy farce Caught in the Net, at the Vaudeville Theatre. Robert regularly performs Summoned by Betjeman by Christopher Matthew, in which he portrays the late Poet Laureate and ‘Teddy bear to the nation’, John Betjeman. He is currently playing P.G. Wodehouse in William Humble’s Wodehouse In Wonderland as a performed reading for literary festivals. It will also be produced as a full theatre production in 2019.
A regular contributor on radio as actor and broadcaster, Robert has read biographies of both P.G Wodehouse and John Betjeman for Radio 4 and co-created the long running radio series, with writer Brian B Thompson, Trueman and Riley, in which he plays D.I Trueman. He also played Prof. David Poll in the comedy series Higher by Joyce Bryant and Arthur Lowe in Roy Smiles, Dear Arthur, Love John. Also, Goodnight From Him, in which he plays Ronnnie Barker in the story of the Two Ronnies and Arthur Box-Bender in Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh, adapted into six parts by Jeremy Front. Most recently he has recorded Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front and The Erpingham Camp by Joe Orton, the BBC’s anniversary tribute to the playwrite. He has also happily recorded audios for Dr Who and Torchwood for Big Finish.
His first crime novella, The Rock, was published in 2012 and made the top of the Amazon Bestseller list five times.
His second Sullivan and Broderick murder mystery, The Poisoned Rock, was published in Sept 2016. His third in the series, Killing Rock, will be available in 2019. His ghost story, Tunnel Vision – also set in Gibraltar, recently became an Amazon No 1 bestseller.
Robert has three children, Ben, Betsy and May and is married to the actress Amy Robbins.
A chance encounter on the Sunset Strip leads to a teenage obsession.
Costa de la Luz, 2006
A lone woman walks ten kilometers to the sea. Her life is in danger and she must escape.
The Rock of Gibraltar, The present.
D.S. Ttamara Sullivan is about to start a month’s break from police work and begin a holiday in Spain. When she returns to the Rock, she will take up a full time position with the Royal Gibraltar Police. She’s been involved in two major murder investigations in as many months. But murder brings her back to Gibraltar sooner thhan she things, and her main suspect is someone close to her. Someone far too close for comfort.
Is Sillivan and Broderick’s most frightening case to date. Testing their trust in the truth and throwing their proessional and personal relationships into a spiral of peril.
Robert Daws has successfully written another great novel that balances crime, setting and characterisation very well. I have a feeling that if I ever get a chance to visit Gibraltar I will be able to instantly recognise the places he describes, to the finer directional detail. The fact that this book still has an excellent pace for its genre is within the skill of the writing. The book acts, like the previous 2 as both stand-alone and as part of the series. It is complete within itself and there is enough detail within this one for anyone who has not read the previous two books – The Rock and Poisonous Rock ( which I also reviewed earlier in the year and will re-publish), to grasp an understanding of the characters and the relationship between them all and why Tamara Sullivan is in Gibraltar.
The book begins in 1969, California with Donna and Von in a club. I have read the previous books by Robert Daws and he is very good at setting the background and scene. With the background set, the book quickly moves to Spain, 2006 before chapter 1 takes readers to Gibraltar in the present day, where readers of his previous books will be reunited by Broderick and Sullivan, or introduced to them if you have not yet met them.
It doesn’t take long for there to be a murder case to solve and before long it is discovered there, somewhere in the Costas in Spain, is perhaps a serial killer. This isn’t just about solving a case however, the characters have emotions and lives to lead too within this story too, outwith their work. Robert Daws is very good at is creating atmosphere, and giving his characters feelings, and in reminding readers they are not just police officers. The characters are believable and it is fascinating to see further insight into how they have developed in their working relationships.
The story takes some dark turns and characters, especially Max, are taken to the darkest of places. There are ghosts of the past in this story and the case plunges readers into a very intriguing investigation. The story has depth to it and the historical time-lining all has purpose to the present day events. This is not to say the book jumps about a lot. About half-way through or so, readers are taken back to 1969, but this works very well in giving even greater insight of what was happening in this period.
When there is an investigation going on with a main character, it is even more compelling to read further to see what happens next as these are characters that are easy to care about.
The book has an excellent conclusion. I do enjoy Robert Daws writing and his passion for Gibraltar, which really shows. I highly recommend this book and indeed the entire series so far.
I thank Sarah Hardy for inviting me and I thank Robert Daws for sending a signed book and postcard.
Please note that this is an unbiased review