More Trueman And Riley by Brian B. Thompson, @brianbthompson Starring @RobertDaws and #DuncanPreston #Audible #CrimeFiction #TruemanRiley

Trueman and Riley
By Brian B.Thompson
Starring Robert Daws and Duncan Preston
Rated: 5 stars *****

Written by BAFTA-Winning dramatist Brian B. Thompson, who brought us Byker Grove amongst other great series and Robert Daws, who co-created this series, this is a very enjoyable series that mixes crime and humour to great effect.
I started to listen to Trueman and Riley, nearer the start of lockdown because I enjoy the the creator’s work (Brian B. Thompson and Robert Daws) and the acting skills of Robert Daws and Duncan Preston. I have, as regulars around my blog will see, been very busy with books. Today however I’ve had a bit of time to return to this wonderful BBC radio play that can now be found on Audible. I have reviewed the first 5 episodes previously and have a link here. In this latest post, I have quick reviews on episodes 6-10.
The series continues to be a wonderful mix of wit and hard-hitting subjects with a good amount of intrigue and twists. It’s a terrific series to listen to. There are 18 episodes, each self-contained, in the series. I fully intend to listen and write a review on the rest.
Here is a link to my review on the first 5 episodes Episodes 1- 5 review and below are episodes 6-10 and a bit about the main actors involved.

Trueman

Chapter 6

Anna Douglas, ages 25, a journalist for Real News.com in Story, has been discovered by Trueman and Riley and is critical after a “fall” from a considerable height from a building. Trueman and Riley have to get to the truth of whether she accidentally fell or was pushed.

Trueman and Riley trying to find their way around how to deal with the press is funny.
This may have been created a number of years ago, but it throws up very modern attitudes and how everything seems to be filmed these days, incuding, in this case, Anna Douglas in her hospital bed without knowing whether she will live or die.

Trueman and Riley are on the case to discover motive and who would want to see Anna out the way.

Chapter 7

There’s a stolen ring worth £1000s, a James Bond convention all at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Bond. It’s all a Bond Villain theme. With quick-witted lines and Bond references aplenty, a “Who’s Who” of name-dropping, who played in Bond, this is enjoyable and great for any Bond fans. It’s all a bit of fun!

After much humour, a mysterious person shows up on CCTV, creating the intrigue…

Chapter 8

In Speed, Riley is in a huff over his own misdemeanor over his driving habits, over which he has to attend an awareness course, much to his frustration. He manages to do some networking and use it to his advantage to gain info, amongst someone talking about being on the job of road traffic, which Riley finds anything but riveting.

There’s a company ran by Frank Butters who Riley ran into at the course, that may or may not be rather dubious, it’s up for debate between Trueman and Riley and then also investigation. There’s some hard-hitting parts within it, wrapped up in how “Dust and Polish” works.

The story unfolds well with its humour and twists and turns.

Chapter 9

The Road to Nowhere – Riley is concerned about their careers as they find themselves at Woodhouse police station. Trueman is a bit more positive. They’re seen as “legends”, but Riley is being “eaten up” by frustration, which begins to  cause tension between the two.
They are needed to look into crime amongst students at Leeds University.  There’s a video-cast being done to raise awareness of crime. Items have been nicked and there’s the mystery of who is Chic-Lit 33 on E-bay.
There are some twists in this tale of crime and deception.

Chapter 10

The Three Degrees finds Trueman and Riley still part of the Student Crime Prevention Team and an attempted drowning.
The debate between going to and not going to university between Trueman and Riley throws up some fascinating points.
Through the mist on the CCTV throws some light on the situation at the side of the canal.

Jane is a GP married to Paul, who is a lecturer in economics and Nick who is a children’s and radio writer. There’s a get together where past students stay in their old student houses and hang out around their old haunts.
There are secrets and twists being held in this particular student house from when these now past students were there during 1982/83.

About the Actors

Robert Daws

Robert trained at RADA. He is an actor on stage, screen and radio. He is also an author.
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). He has also appeared in Father Brown, Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks, Doc Martin, Casualty, The Bill, Lovejoy, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and many more… He has also appeared in films – An Unkind Word and Swimming With Men to name but a few…

Theatre work includes Most recently Alan Ayckboun’s Ten Times Table, Michael Frayn’s  Alarms and Excursions and Sir Alan Ayckbourn’s hit comedy, How The Other Half Loves. Other plays include Sherlock Holmes, Yes Prime Minister, Diary Of A Nobody at the Theatre Royal, Blackbird  for which Robert was nominated for Best Actor in the Manchester Evening News Drama Awards. He has also appeared in Summoned by Betjeman.

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, Incredible Women by Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front and others… He has also happily recorded audios for Dr Who and Torchwood for Big Finish.

Books – 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, His ghost story, Tunnel Vision – also set in Gibraltar, is Amazon No 1 bestseller.

The books are now being republished by a different publisher, which is exciting. I have also been informed by the publisher there is a new book on the way too. Please do look out for publicity on all of the books. They are great reads and I’ll also be involved in reviews for them, so please do also look out for those.

Duncan Preston 

He has had many appearances in television productions written by Victoria Wood including his roles of Clifford in the soap opera parody sketches Acorn Antiques, including Acorn Antiques the musical. He also appeared as Stan in the sitcom Dinner Ladies.His other television roles include appearing in EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. He played Jonathan Haslam in the sitcom Surgical Spirit. He has also appeared in The Royal, The New Statesman, Press Gang, Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe, My Family and more.

In theatre, he has appeared in many Shakespearean productions, including MacBeth and has also been in other plays such as – To Kill a Mockingbird.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Bradford for his contributions as an actor.

The Descent by Matt Brolly @MattBrollyUK will keep you guessing #CrimeFiction #Mystery #Thriller #Review

The Descent
By Matt Brolly
Rated: 4 stars ****

Bestselling author – Matt Brolly, writes two series – The DCI Lambert Series and The Detective Louise Blackwell series. The Descent is part of The Detective Louise Blackwell series.

The Descent is set in the lovely seaside location of Weston-Super-Mare and gives the impression of a somewhat idyllic town, before throwing readers into something more sinister that turns it all upside down.

I thank Matt Brolly and Thomas & Mercer for allowing me to review as I’d been hoping to get a chance to review from one of the series for awhile.
Discover the blurb, review and about the author below, including website and Twitter links.

The Descent cover

Blurb

Were they pushed to the edge—or over it?

In the quiet coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, a body is discovered at the foot of a cliff just months after a near-identical tragedy—and Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell can’t believe it could be a coincidence.

Next to the body, she discovers a note that echoes one found beside the first: Death is not the end. Louise is certain that behind these desperate acts someone is pulling the strings, but how many more will plunge to their demise before she can find out who—and why?

Struggling to stay focused under the strain of her troubled brother’s disappearance with his young daughter, Louise hits a much-needed breakthrough when a third tragedy points to the involvement of a charismatic cult leader. The suspect is within her sights, but he knows she’s on to him…

Short on proof and with the body count rising, can Louise intercept his deadly mission—or has she taken on an unbeatable foe?

Review

The book asks, did she jump, did she not? What are the strange notes? 

The book is well-crafted as there is time to get to know the area, the characters and the story feels really well developed.

The prologue gives a great feel to Weston-Super-Mare, the setting of this book. So, even, if you haven’t physically travelled there before, you certainly can with ease with this book.

Amy Carlisle is one of the main characters , who is also within a group with Jay and Megan. Megan has been sleeping rough in Bristol (perfectly reasonable to travel from Bristol to Weston-Super-Mare).
Jay, Megan and Amy belong to a group to talk about their experiences of homelessness over tea that is not your normal breakfast tea and has unusual, interesting effects. It’s a great beginning to set the scene and introduce the chararcters before, in chapter one, readers meet, DI Louise Blackwell and her niece – Emily and within this family there’s domestic strife as all isn’t as harmonious as it could be.

The unfolding story is emotional and is well-written as it throws up social issues and also the crime itself, all intertwined to paint a picture of what’s really going on in terms of the mystery and today’s society.

There’s a body of a young woman discovered, presumed suicide by jumping, since a note is left. The crime scene on the backdrop of the sea and sand of Weston-Supermare creates a good setting and pace, which  makes it a book that you can sit back and relax with. The characters are ones that it was a pleasure to get to know and there’s a nice building up of the town and the areas where the book is set. There are also little bits about issues, such as the run-down high street that is thought-provoking of some human activity as it shows it used to be busy but hardly anyone uses it anymore, so it became shabby and many shops closed.
As the story moves on, so does the body count and the notes as the intrigue builds to whether notes that have also appeared before are connected or not. Matt Brolly is good at creating the mood and really humanising his characters with emotion and natural worry in case mistakes were made and wraps them all up well amongst the case itself.

The writing is well-rounded and done well, with characters to really get into and there’s enough to keep people guessing. It does feel between police procedural and thriller in some ways in its detailing, but all the same, it is a book that readers can really get into and makes the writing well rounded. It also means you can really get to know the surroundings, the issues and the people that make up this story in Weston-Super-Mare.

About the Author

@MattBrollyUK

www.mattbrolly.co.uk

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky, Dead Embers and Dead Time. A prequel, Dead Water, will be released by Oblong Books in July 2019. In addition he is the author of the acclaimed near future crime novel, Zero.

May 2019 saw the release of a new thriller, The Controller, and in 2020 the first of a new crime series set in the West Country of the UK will be released by Thomas and Mercer(Amazon Publishing)

Matt also writes children’s books as M.J. Brolly. His first children’s book, The Sleeping Bug, is released by Oblong Books in December 2018.

Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #Review #NewBook #Thriller

The Big Chill
By Doug Johnstone
Rated: 5 stars *****

I hadn’t read any of Doug Johnstone’s books before, but I am very glad I have had the opportunity to read and review now. It turns out he’s very good in what he writes and I can see why he’s so critically accalimed. The Big Chill is a very good thriller that has depth of character and plot to it.
Discover more about this Edinburgh based author, the blurb and my review.
I also thank Orenda Books for supplying me with a book and Anne for inviting me on the blog tour.

About the Author

Doug Johnstone Author PicMcIlvanney-shortlisted Doug Johnstone’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed A Dark Matter, which introduced three generations of women from the Skelf family, who run both a funeral home and a private investigation business.
Doug Johnstone is the author of more ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

The Big Chill Cover

Blurb

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver ’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.
But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief.

The Big Chill Cover

Review

Meet Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. They each have a chapter that rotates as the story goes along.

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the writing is well-plotted and enthralling, throughout. The Big Chill is interesting, intriguing and tightly written. I like the chapters alternating between each of the people mentioned above. Their parts that create the bigger picture of the story, are all interwoven well.
There are some cleverly placed film references in the book, which is enjoyable and quite different.

Dorothy and Jenny like being surrounded by dead people. Work takes them between the funeral parlour and being a Private Investagator.
Jenny is hired to find evidence of Orla, Liam’s wife, having an affair with the gardener.

Hannah on the other-hand is getting therapy because of something that happened to her dad.

There’s a fabulous energy through the main characters, fuelled by their anger of what happened to Hannah’s dad. It’s just very realistically written and allows readers to feel their anger and feel compassion for them.

It’s an interesting subject to write about – death in the way this book is written. There’s death, but there’s also a person with a psychological condition that is under control, but has made him believe he was dead.

The story looks a bit into what goes on in a funeral parlour, which is fairly different and how different people have died, which is fascinatingly written into this fictional book.

There’s deaths, including a murder, a case to be solved once as there is a suspect and at the heart of it all is Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah. I enjoyed both the thriller element and how their lives are revealed.

I also like the tones within it and that whole pussy-footing around trying not to say the word “dead” to Hannah and her saying that it is okay to say “dead” to her is so realistically done. There is also the sadness, but also the compelling nature of this thriller, with a little bit of humour mixed in, that makes each page so enticing to read.

The Big Chill BT Poster.png

 

 

 

 

 

#Review of the gritty – Snatched From Home by Graham Smith @GrahamSmith1972 @NightsBooks @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #blogtour

Snatched From Home
By Graham Smith
Rated: 4 stars ****

A kidnapping that leads to blackmail and the first case for DI John Campbell to solve before time runs out is the crux of this gripping case.
Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me and for her and Graham Smith and Caffeine Nights Publishing for sending me a copy of the book.
Discover the blurb and review and a bit about this crime fiction author in Scotland, below.

Snatched From Home

Blurb

DI Harry Evans – Book 1

What would you do to save your children?

Middle-class parents Victoria and Nicholas Foulkes are distraught when their children are kidnapped against Nicholas’ gambling debts. Penniless and desperate the couple turn to crime as a way to raise the ransom.

Hot on their heels is recently bereaved DI Harry Evans and his Major Crimes team. Evans is fighting against enforced retirement and his replacement – DI John Campbell – is foisted upon him along with other cases. If he must leave the police then he wants one last big case before he goes.

In a race against time Victoria and Nicholas must evade the police while continuing to add to the ransom fund. If they don’t pay up on time the kidnappers have threatened to amputate their children’s limbs with an oxy-acetylene torch.

Can they save their children before time runs out?

Review

From page one, the action begins and spirals into any parent’s worst nightmare of a child being abducted in this gritty, fast-paced crime book. The setting is Carlisle, around the Lake District and the Scottish borders.

Victoria is left in tears but with a grit and determination to get her children, Samantha and Kyle back. It wasn’t a chance kidnapping either. It was all planned to force her into repaying debts that her husband – Nicholas, has and it takes a toll on the family.

DCI Peter Grantham and DI Campbell and DI Harry Evans are the detectives on the case. There’s no “pussy-footing” around with these guys and they certainly don’t “mince” their words. DI Campbell got the transfer he wanted out of Glasgow to Cumbria. Apart from dealing with crimes, there’s the more sociable side to them too, like talk of ‘pop-culture’. They’re definitely not a fan of the ‘pen-pushers’. They’re pretty rough and ready.

Every so often, in a manner that flows well, the book goes back to the children and their captives.

The characters that are created are engaging and pretty hard-hitting and no-nonsense. There are degrees of tension that ascends throughout.

About the Author

graham-smith-author-photo- (1)Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder. His ‘Lakes’ series which has three novels featuring DC Beth Young has received much critical acclaim.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Graham can be found at:

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor
Twitter
https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
Website
http://www.grahamsmithauthor.com

snatched-from-home-bt-poster-

#Review of What Lies Beneath By Adam Croft @AdamCroft #CrimeFiction #NewBook #NewSeries

What Lies Beneath
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

I have been very much enjoying reading and reviewing Adam Croft’s books. Regular followers of my blog will know I’ve reviewed a few now. What Lies Beneath is yet another triumph! I had been given an advanced copy, although very kindly could review before or after publication. Today, this is now after publication date and it has been selling fast. I can totally see why. It is an incredibly good start to this new series.
Discover the blurb and my review of the book and then a bit more about this very successful author below…

Blurb

The first in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

A peaceful Sunday morning in Rutland is shattered when a dead body is discovered on the rocks at Normanton Church.

The victim has been laid out in a crucifixion pose, facing the altar. DI Caroline Hills is certain there’s a religious connection — one which threatens the tranquility of life in the area.

The killer has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the symbolism clear. And the deaths will continue until Caroline and DS Dexter Antoine uncover the truth behind the dark secret — and what lies beneath.

Praise for Adam Croft:        
‘Incredible’ — BBC News          ‘A sensation’ — The Guardian

What Lies Beneath

Review

Set in Rutland, in the East Midlands, England, What Lies Beneath is a marvellous book to settle into and provides wonderful escapism for a while. There are murders, lives put in jeopardy and not always in the ways you might think…

The pace that is taken on means that readers really get to know the characters both at work and domestically as it sets things up well for this to expand into its series.

Even if you’ve not been to Rutland before (which I haven’t, there are maps provided), through Adam Croft’s book, readers will find their way through as they get to know it.

Bob Tranter has a perfect sounding Sunday all planned out at the Rutland Water Fishing with Geoff…
Then a body is discovered!

The book may be between police procedural and almost cosy crime, but it’s as modern as it gets as it reflects what’s happening in the world, such as Caroline Hills and Mark’s 2 sons – Josh, aged 10 and Archie aged 6, who are obsessed with console games such as Fortnite. It’s the age old modern day issue when parents wish their children would get out a bit more. There are also reasons why the family moved from London to Rutland.
They also had a lovely Sunday planned…
Until Dexter Antoine calls Caroline, who is the Detective Inspector of Rutland Police to inform her of a murder over at Normanton.

Operation Forelock commences and they get an identity on the body fairly quickly. As the investigation unfolds and more suspects come to light, the intrigue and tension also grows as to what the motive could be and if more than one person was involved. The locations and the cruifixtion positions of the victims moves Rutland away from the peace and tranquility first described and leaves it shaken up.

There is also the perfect mix of crime and seeing the dynamics between the characters unfold. The main characters have their own challenges and burdens to live through that are far from straight forward. In this series, readers will be treated to seeing lives in and out of work, which also adds a great deal of substance and has some emotional inducing scenes and comes with other twists, adding to those already there at the crime scene.

This is the first book in the series. It is worth looking out for this and for when the second comes. It is already shaping up to be an incredible series that could well have good longevity in it. I am now very much looking forward to the second book to see how this continues…

About the Author

With almost two million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, having sold books in over 120 different countries. In February 2017, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings briefly placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world at that moment in time, with J.K. Rowling in second place. Adam is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on independent publishing and has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets . In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his services to literature. Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast Partners in Crime with fellow bestselling author and television actor Robert Daws.

#Review of the gritty Dance With the Reaper by Wes Markin @MarkinWes @CazVinBooks #NewBook #CrimeFiction #blogtour

Dance With The Reaper
By Wes Markin
Rated: 5 stars *****

I have been reading and reviewing Wes Markin’s books since the second one. This is now his 5th (discover after the review. They are gritty, gripping, fast-paced crime fiction/police procedural books that have readers follow DCI Michael Yorke. The suspects are very intriguing and attention grabbing.
I thought the previous one was his best yet, but perhaps it could even be this one. They are all so well-crafted and especially this one. It was again, a pleasure to be invited by Caroline Vincent to review, this time – Dance With The Reaper, so I thank her and Wes Markin for providing a copy of the book to review from.

Find the blurb and review and then Wes Markin’s social media links below.

About the Author

Wes Markin Author Image (2)Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.

Having finished the fifth instalment in the DCI Yorke series, Dance with the Reaper, Wes is now working on the sixth instalment of DCI Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.

Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

Blurb

How do you stop a perfect killer?

After the terrible events of the past year, DCI Yorke’s team are on the verge of finding peace. But after a terrifying act of violence shatters their equilibrium, they are forced to dance with a skilled assassin who knows no equal.

After it becomes clear that this hitman is connected to the most shadowy of criminal organisations, Yorke is forced to dive into his own past, and face a future in which he is either alone, or dead.

Can Yorke and those he holds dearest survive the Reaper? Or will this be one dance too many?

Dance with the Reaper - book cover

Review

This is the latest of the DCI Michael Yorke gritty and gripping series. There’s a mix of the literal and the non-literal within this book. Murder and music are mixed, all atuned together to create the essence of this story; there’s also the dance. The dance in the literal sense, relates to a ballet and Ukrainian and Russian syndicates.
The dance isn’t, however all in the literal sense. It’s the dance of life and death, the dance that the police are led on to follow and try and capture the victim’s murderer. In a sense, there’s the dance that readers are led on with all the different music that is ‘played’ that is weaved in and out of the story as you inadvertently also ‘Dance With The Reaper‘.

There’s some fun banter between him and his wife – Patricia as The Rolling Stones are on in the background on the radio – Radio Exodus. The lyrics that Wes Markin has picked out are cleverly apt for the book and its title. It always amazes me when people can do that.

The book shows the effects death can have on a 14 year old, even with all the support from Michael and Patricia Yorke who adopted him. It is however quite a small part of the story, but it nicely shows their life together when they aren’t at work. It’s a nice thing to see their lives at home too.

There is something else brewing as there’s obvious distress from the radio presenter Michael and Patricia are listening to and the action that ensues. The distress is for good reason. Anyone in her position would be as her life is in imminent danger. The book becomes suddenly tense.

There had been a question asked on the radio where the answer relates to the title of this book, almost…  The tension builds so well as this one question will determine on if she lives or dies.

Cozy Mystery writer – Matthew Peacock is a curious man, chancing his luck that the police will tell him everything. He may or may not be a suspect.

Herbert Wheelhouse (‘Reaper’ Wheelhouse)is in a downgraded prison now from a category A prison and is 70 years old. There’s a good insight as to what someone working in the police may feel about the different types of prisons, at least from DCI Yorke’s point of view. Herbert is definitely a most evil character. It’s written with believability about how both DCI Yorke, who keeps his professionalism and his colleague – Jake feel about seeing him and questioning him in prison about Janice Edwards, and also The Youngs, a particularly evil group who have mastered torture.

The book touches on things that have been reported on the news, such as County Lines. It’s added into the story very well and makes it so current, with the issues with drugs that are going on within the UK. It’s a gritty, contemporary book!

There are unexpected connections to Patricia with a criminal – Douglas Firth, who may or may not have something to do with a murder. It’s something that may make you sit up right! Both prisoners are also chilling down the spine. There is also Borya Turgenev who is wanted for crimes, who the police want to capture, who is a ballet dancer. An impressive one at that, by all accounts, but doesn’t act like your usual dancer at all. He has a secret that he has in his room. It’s one that wouldn’t be expected. It’s one that goes against the grace of his ballet steps.

Although this can be a somewhat gruesome series, it is incredibly well-conceived and written as crime and office politics and relationships all weave together, with their twists, so it is one that I recommend.

The books can be read as stand-alone books or as part of the series. There are: One Last Prayer for the Rays, The Repenting Serpent, The Silence of Severance, Rise of the Rays and the latest is – Dance With the Reaper

Wes Markin on Social Media

Twitter                                     twitter.com/MarkinWes
Facebook Author Page           http://www.facebook.com/WesMarkinAuthor
Goodreads Author Page         bit.ly/GRtoWesMarkin
Amazon Author Page             author.to/WesMarkin

Dance with the Reaper Blog Tour Poster