Hunter’s Chase – The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries by Val Penny @valeriepenny #LoveBooksGroupTours #Crime #Edinburgh #NewBook

The Hunter’s Chase
By Val Penny
Excerpt

Today I am pleased to be part of the Love Books Group Tour presenting “Hunter’s Chase” by Val Penny who has also gained accolades on this book such as “up there with Ian Rankin”.

Hunter's Chase book cover (1)

Blurb

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

 DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.

Synopsis

 Hunter’s Chase is a police procedural crime novel. It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in November 2012. It is character driven. The central character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. He must discover why three people in his city have been killed and who is responsible for those three deaths.

The first body has been dead for a few days before it is discovered. The cause of death and the identity of the victim (Mary-Ann Johnson) are both unknown. Hunter sees the second murder take place, when the victim is mown down by a car in a car park. Hunter knows the victim (Billy Hope) but cannot identify the killer and cannot recall crucial details correctly. The third victim’s attack is also witnessed by neighbours but everybody seems to have seen different things. The victim (Annie Johnson) is not carrying any means of identification.

Central to Hunter’s investigations are three young men and their fathers: DC Tim Myerscough and former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough, petty thief Jamie Thomson and Ian Thomson who is presently incarcerated, and lastly loved up Frankie Hope and loan shark former councillor and Billy Hope.

The reader first meets Jamie Thomson who is carrying on his family business and breaking into a house in fine areas of the city. On this occasion he breaks into the house of Sir Peter Myerscough. Sir Peter is now the Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government. Sir Peter gives chase and catches Jamie after he trips over a corpse in the grounds of a local golf course. Sir Peter calls the police and the team is led by DI Hunter Wilson.

The next characters introduced are Annie Johnson, her parents, Mary-Ann Johnson and Joe Johnson and her boyfriend, Frankie Hope. Annie is a pretty girl who is pregnant by Frankie, a gentle young man. Annie’s mother knows about the pregnancy and has undertaken to tell Joe. It is clear, Mary-Ann has a secret that she had to confess to Joe. Mary-Ann had an affair with Frankie’s father, Billy Hope. Annie and Frankie are half siblings. Frankie’s mother Edna Hope is Jamie’s aunt.

Edna meets with Arjun Mansoor, the man who is running Ian Johnson’s car showroom while he is in jail. They argue. Hunter learns Arjun is found to be importing cocaine in luxury imported cars. Sir Peter Myercough is amongst his cocaine customers. He has been black-mailed and made fraudulent insurance claims to pay.

At first there is no apparent connection between the three attacks which find Mary-Ann dead, see Billy killed in a Tesco car park and Annie fatally injured in a leafy Edinburgh suburb. Annie is kept alive by the hospital trying to save the twins she is carrying. When the pathologist Meera Sharma confirm that Mary-Ann was also hit by a car, before her body was dumped, Hunter’s team believe they have a serial killer.

The victims have all been attacked with cars. One of the cars reported as stolen by Arjun Mansoor, the other belongs to Ian Thomson. Hunter’s main suspects are Joe Johnson, and Arjun Mansoor.

Annie dies after the delivery of her twins. Frankie and Joe attend the hospital and Joe confirms to Frankie that Annie was his half-sister. Frankie names the twins Kylie and Dannii after the Minogue sisters.

Tim is attacked by the car driver after Sir Peter tells his son where he is likely to find Ian Thomson’s car. Tim survives and sees the driver, Edna Hope. His testimony and DNA found in the cars allow Hunter to link her to each of the three deaths. Arjun and Sir Peter are convicted for their crimes.

Hunter's Chase banner (2)

Excerpt

“Fucking thief! Stop thief! Fuck! Fucking stop!” Sir Peter bellowed into the darkness.

“Yeah, that’ll work,” thought Jamie, as he jumped the wall and tore round the corner. He kept on running, but soon heard puffing behind him and realised his victim was giving chase. He was quick for an old one, Jamie thought, but no real match for Jamie, even in his tight shoes. But Sir Peter was clearly one angry man and wasn’t going to give up that easily. That was bad luck.

Jamie vaulted another fence and legged it across the street. He heard some of his haul hit the ground, but didn’t stop for it. He would still have enough; the bag was heavy. He hoped he hadn’t dropped the Breitling; he fancied that. He leapt over a wall and headed into the rough beside the golf course.

Jamie worked at that golf club courtesy of Sir Peter Myerscough; the irony was not lost on Jamie. He figured he knew the land well enough to make a clean getaway. He had not counted on his victim being home so early. He also had no idea Sir Peter could give chase so well. Unlucky. Oh shit, that old guy was gaining on him! How could he do that? Jamie had to move.

It was more difficult to cross the wooded area around the course in the damp and dark than he had thought it would be with his tight shoes. This damn bag didn’t help; it kept getting caught on branches. He dodged amongst the bushes and behind the trees to avoid his victim, but the old boy just kept coming. He would not give up, but the ground was wet and the leaves on the ground were slippery.

Fuck! Jamie tripped.

His ankle gave a deafening crack that was only drowned out by Jamie’s screams. Must be the root of a tree that tripped him. He could not get up. His ankle would not take his weight; it was buggered. He tried to crawl into the undergrowth. It bloody hurt, and he could not get away. Sir Peter would find him soon now. Jamie could not move but he thought fast. He threw his bag as far as he could, just to get it away from himself. His silk gloves meant there would be no prints. He tried to bury the stuff from his pockets. His ankle was agony. Jamie felt something strange where he dug into the ground, but he had too many other things on his mind to worry too much about that.

The old boy reached him and leaned towards Jamie. Sir Peter, cursing and panting, doubled over balancing on his knees. He yanked back Jamie’s hood and shone his torch into the thief’s eyes. Recognition.

“Jamie Thomson, it’s you! Scum! You broke into my house? Fucking ingrate! You are a thieving rodent. Do you know how hard I argued to get you that job at the golf club? And this is the thanks I get? You pissing rat. I spoke up for you, for rehabilitation; I really fought for you. There are half a dozen decent houses in my street. Why mine?”

“Oh no. Not you, Sir Peter!” Jamie tried to sound surprised. Then his curiosity set in. “So whose house would you have suggested I go to instead? Which one would you rather I’d tried?”


About the Author

Author pic Edinburgh (1)Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.

Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book   in the series, Hunter’s Force, follows shortly.

Tour Schedule

11th February Lizzums Lives Life @LizzumsBB
11th February Turn The Page @turnthepage171
11th February b for bookreview @BookreviewB
11th February Emma the Little Bookworm @EmmaMitchellFPR
12th February A Little Book Problem @book_problem
12th February Lacy ace Book Reviews @lacy_claire
12th February The Magic Of Wor(l)ds @MagicOfWorldsBE
12th February Nicki`s Life Of Crime @NickiRichards7
12th February Bookmarks and Stages @Lou_Bookmarks
13th February A Lover of Books @destinylover09
13th February Tangents and Tissues @tangentsbb
13th February Portable Magic @bantambookworm
13th February everywhere and nowhere @Kate_everywhere
13th February There’s Been A Murder Crime Blog @beenamurder

 

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Senseless By Anna Lickley – Extract – Blog Tour @annal_writes @Unbound_Digital #Senseless #Diversity #Extract #NewBook

Senseless
By Anna Lickley

 

Senseless Blog Tour

Today I am pleased to announce is my turn to take part of the Random Things Blog Tour for the book Senseless by Anna Lickley. Today, I present to you an extract from chapter 1.


Blurb

Senseless is at heart an illustration of the messy unpredictability of love and life and the
resilience of the human spirit.

Senseless BookBeth’s partner, Dan, inexplicably vanishes from her life and nine years later she is still
struggling. In the intervening years, she has learnt British Sign Language (BSL) and got what she thought would be her dream job, supporting deaf students in college. However, she finds she still feels dissatisfied with just about everything: from working life to sex life, domestic life to social life, it’s as if the traumas of her past will forever mar her future.

Through her work, Beth meets a group of strong-minded, pragmatists who show her how
they’ve adapted to challenges of having a disability.

Is Dan’s disappearance the primary source of Beth’s sadness? Can her new friends help to shift her perspective on dealing with life? Will learning BSL prove to be significant after all? And what really happened to Dan? The answers may be quite unexpected.

The themes and characters of Senseless are moulded by the challenges of deafness and
disability but the book is not ‘about’ disability per se. More succinctly, it’s about ordinary
people bumping through the ups and downs of life like we all are.

Extract

Chapter 1

‘The Better Solutions honchos are a nasty, money-grabbing bunch of wankers, Beth,’ Rick was saying as they pulled up outside her house. ‘For God’s sake, you are 32 years young. What the hell are you doing in this pissy job?’ Beth was too tired to answer after they had driven a 400-mile round trip in heavy traffic to attend the Better Solutions UK AGM. She shook her head and shrugged instead. ‘All we do is drive across half the country to care homes trying to persuade underpaid staff to buy Better Solutions bath hoists and Better bloody Solutions state–of–the–art wheelchair ramps.’ Rick paused for breath but Beth knew he wasn’t stopping. She wondered sleepily how many times he’d said this to her in the course of the journey. ‘These people only come to our demonstrations to get the free mugs, pens, mouse mats, cakes and whatever the fuck else we have to sweeten them up with. We’re the ones feeling like bloody idiots slugging this stuff around and breaking our sodding backs in the process.’ ‘I know, Rick, maybe one day I really will get round to moving on but…’ ‘But what, Beth? “But” is what I’ve been saying all my life. We both have dreams of doing something else. What’s stopping you?’ ‘ ‘I don’t know,’ she shrugged, rubbing her hand over her eyes, ‘I’m too tired, Rick, I’ll have to go in.’

‘Alright, Beth love, I’ll see you tomorrow.’

Beth pulled herself out of his over heated car and it was so cold that by the time she’d walked the 15 steps to her front door, the metal door handle felt wet to her frozen fingers. ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck,’ she chanted as she fumbled with her key, seeing a frozen cloud coming from her mouth. The only light was a faint glow from the distant street lamp but even that was obscured by an overgrown bush. There were no lights on in the house, so Dan was already in bed. He would usually leave the porch light on if Beth still hadn’t come home from a long working day. He’d sometimes leave a note on the door for her too: Come to bed immediately! Or Welcome home, sexy! Tonight there were neither of those things. She was worried about Dan, he’d been in a strange, uncommunicative mood for the last few weeks. His sullen moods were very unlike him.

After asking a couple of times if he was okay and getting the brush off, she had decided to ignore it and wait for the real Dan to come back. It was probably just work stress; he had mentioned budget cuts. All Beth wanted now was to get this bloody rigid bra off and curl up in bed next to a calm, sleeping Dan hoping he’d wake up in a better mood tomorrow. When she got in, the dark house was freezing. Had Dan not had the heating on at all tonight? She went to the lounge and bent to turn on the glass-fronted faux-flame gas fire, holding out her hands to the flames. That’s when she noticed the envelope on the mantelpiece with BETH written in large black letters on the front. Had Dan left a welcome note after all? He’d never used an envelope before. She lifted it down drowsily, tempted to just put it in her pocket to read in the morning. But something about the formality of the sealed envelope made her open it. When she pulled out the folded piece of A4 paper there was just one short line in Dan’s best cursive. Bile rose in her throat as she read the words: I have loved you so much Beth, I’m so sorry. D xx All thoughts of sleep suddenly vanished. ‘Oh my God, Dan,’ she screamed out, ‘Dan! Dan!’ She ran to the kitchen and switched on the light; there was nothing there but a discarded half-drunk mug of cold tea. ‘DAN?!’ She bolted to the stairs, running up them two at a time, and threw open the door to the box room they used as an office. It was empty. With a pounding in her chest, she wheeled round and checked the bathroom. It was also empty, towels slung carelessly on the floor where she had left them this morning in her haste to dress. God! Finally she threw open the door to their bedroom. The bed was unmade but the room was empty. Thank God! All she felt was relief.

No Dan hanging by his neck or convulsed on the bed or slumped in a cold bath of bloodied water. But then the relief became despair. If the house was empty, Dan was gone.

About the Author

Anna Lickley PicAnna’s adult life has been moulded a great deal by challenges on her physical health and needing to adapt to them. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) in the 1980s when she was 16. NF2 is a complex genetic illness involving benign tumours developing on nerves throughout the body, usually in the brain or spine. As a result, she went deaf whilst at University and began to learn British Sign Language to help with communication. She loved the language immediately and went on to became fluent enough to teach it.

In the last 5 years, Anna’s vision has deteriorated and she is now registered deafblind. That and other health complications led her to stop working. Although sad to leave a job she loved, she is now relishing having more time to write and much of her writing is greatly influenced by her desire to share the realities of living with disability.

Anna wrote and self-published a semi-autobiographical novel called Catch it Anytime You Can in 2012 and has in mind a title and plot outline for a further novel. She is in-house writer for Can You Hear Us CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to the needs of people with NF2 and also loves writing poetry, short stories and articles.
Senseless is her first full-length work of fiction.
Outside of writing, she loves horse riding and competes at dressage with the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association)

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Title: Senseless
Author: Anna Lickley
ISBN: 978-1-912618-04-0
Pages: 288
Main Points of Purchase: Amazon

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine By William A.E. Ford – Go on a Cool Interactive Time Travelling Adventure @williamaeford @marcelo_cinica #kidslit #Review #publishers #libraries #school

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine
By William A.E. Ford
Illustrated by Marcelo Simonetti
Rating: 4.5 stars 4.5 stars

About the Author

 

William Ford Author picWilliam has always had a passion for books, writing and story-telling.  William’s favourite way to end a cosy evening is to spend time dreaming up and reading bed-time stories to his five wonderful children.

Just one of his many stories, ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ was inspired by the spark of his children’s colourful imaginations as they tirelessly created unique, laughter filled days from even the most mundane, everyday objects and situations!

Born in England, William  currently lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife Silje and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ is William’s first published work and he plans to publish more books shortly.

William Ford Cover

Blurb

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible! Join Timothy on a magical rhyming adventure as he skips through time and pranks with pirates, gets daring with dragons, and even teases a T-Rex.

“It’s Monday, Hip, hip hooray!
Where shall we travel in time today?”

With Timothy Mean, every day is a rhyme in time

Review

This book rhymes perfectly well. Travelling with Timothy Mean is so much fun! I actually had fun myself reading it to some children, who also had lots of fun. Their verdict was “It’s Great!!” So much so that reading it once just wasn’t enough.

Each page is very well illustrated and they all fit into the modern tastes of children in-terms of design, which I was impressed by as they look almost film book like in style. The illustrations are full of life and fun and go perfectly along with the words. The words themselves rhyme exceptionally well and have an excellent rhythm to them.

There is lots to feed children’s imaginations from creating a time machine to travelling in it to meet a viking ship, dinosaurs, his parents when they were children at school, the first moon landing, a dragon and knights, a pirate ship and finally into the future, before returning home.

 


The story takes place during the course of a week and everyday is clear and exciting! When I read it to children I could easily get them to join in and engage. They named the days as we went along, joined in enthusiastically with the hip, hip hoorays and other sentences that are repeated throughout the book, so in linguistic terms and communication terms, it is a book that is great for improving this too.
Each time the red button is pressed to go travelling through time and although it does not say what the sound made, the children decided, without prompting or questioning, it was “bing”, so they too were already creating their own element of fun and interaction with the book. There’s a lot of age appropriate humour throughout this time travelling adventure. It’s a book that children can really have a good time with.

The book is entirely age appropriate and children get to see different things, learn a bit, but mostly have lots of fun too. There’s plenty within the words and pictures to open up further conversations about what the children are seeing, to further their knowledge and feed further into their imaginations. I also love the layout of the entire book. It doesn’t look too daunting and it can be read to children or they can read it themselves and have lots of fun!

There’s a small and it is small observation within the illustrations, is that there isn’t always a visible picture of the red button, although it is mentioned each appropriate moment within the text, otherwise it would be a full five stars.

This book would be excellent for any home, nursery, classroom and library. This is a book for children who love books that rhyme, love adventure and enjoy authors such as Julia Donaldson.

This is an excellent debut book with fun and style with excellent writing from William A.E. Ford. It’s been created and written like he has been writing for longer and I hope there are more to come. It really is worth checking out!

William Ford VikingWilliam Ford Space

William Ford Dragon


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Title: Timothy Mean and The Time Machine
Author: William A.E. Ford
Illustrator: Marcelo Simonetti
ISBN Number: 978-1-7307-5807-2
Main Points of Purchase: Amazon and Amazon Kindle

 

Death Will Find Me – A Tessa Kilpatrick Mystery – Cover Reveal and blurb @Ness_Robertson @LoveBooksGroup #DeathWillFindMe #Readers #Authors #1920’s #Scotland

It gives me great pleasure to be part of this Cover Reveal and blurb of the book: “Death Will Find Me” by Vanessa Robertson. For an idea of what the book is about, I have also included the blurb included below.

 

death will

Blurb

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes.

death will

 

The Rock – A Broderick Mystery By Robert Daws – Explore Gibraltar and Encounter Murder and Intrigue Along the Way. @RobertDaws @Urbanebooks #Review #Gibraltar #CrimeFiction #Readers #Authors #NewBlog

The Rock
By Robert Daws
Rating: 4 Stars **** 


About the Author

Robert Daws

*As an actor, Robert Daws has appeared in leading roles in a number of award-winning and long-running British television series, including Jeeves and Wooster, Casualty, The House of Eliott, Outside Edge, Roger Roger, Sword of Honour, Take A Girl Like You, Doc Martin, New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Rock and Chips, The Royal, Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Poldark.

His recent work for the stage includes the national tours of Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions, and David Harrower’s Blackbird. In the West End, he has recently appeared as Dr John Watson in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, Geoffrey Hammond in Public Property, Jim Hacker in Yes, Prime Minister and John Betjeman in Summoned by Betjeman.

His many BBC radio performances include Arthur Lowe in Dear Arthur, Love John, Ronnie Barker in Goodnight from Him and Chief Inspector Trueman in Trueman and Riley, the long-running police detective series he co-created with writer Brian B Thompson.

Today I am giving you 2 reviews in 1. I don’t normally do 2 reviews together like this, but I read The Rock and The Poisoned Rock back to back and the 2 fit together nicely, although both books can be read as stand-alone too. So, I wanted to tell you about both books together.

Blurb

 

Book RD

The Rock. Gibraltar. 1966.

In a fading colonial house overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, the dead body of a beautiful woman lays dripping in blood. The steel handle of a knife protrudes from her chest, its sharpened tip buried deep within her heart.

The Rock. Present day.

Detective Sergeant Tamara Sullivan arrives on The Rock on a three-month secondment from the London Metropolitan Police Service. Her reasons for being here are not happy ones and she braces herself for a tedious and wasteful twelve weeks in the sun.

After all, murders are rare on the small, prosperous and sun-kissed sovereignty of Gibraltar and catching murderers is what Sullivan does best.

It is a talent she shares with her new boss, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick of the Royal Gibraltar Police Force. He’s an old-fashioned cop who regards his new colleague with mild disdain.

But when a young police constable is found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment, Sullivan and Broderick begin to unravel a dark and dangerous secret that will test their skills and working relationship to the limit.

Review

This is the first in this police procedural series. I had not read any of Robert Daws books before now, but having recently met him, I thought I would give them a go and from the beginning of the series. It is worth it! This first book is a novella, which is nice and different. It is shorter than an average sized book, but is a great introduction to Gibraltar and his characters, still containing an air of mystery and intrigue within the pages. The second in the series, which we will get onto shortly is more novel in size. Either way, they are both well-written and holds attention well.

The series is set in Gibraltar and this particular one begins in 1966. From the outset, the scene is set and rather well. It’s all very mysterious before the first chapter has even begun.
The book then swings forward to the present day. It begins with familiar territory which Tamara Sullivan, a private investigator has to endure before taking off on the plane to Gibraltar. Readers will discover that it was never her intention to head to Gibraltar to work, but she was forced into a 3 month secondment there.

I would say not to be put off by the different timelines because they are skillfully written in such a manner that is far from confusing.

The scenery of Gibraltar is beautifully described. Robert Daws has clearly used all his knowledge of the Rock, which he has spent much time on, very well to capture interest in the place as well as the imagination.

Very quickly the story moves onto an intruder on a yacht. It makes for a fast-paced book.

The working relationship between Calbot and Sullivan and Broderick and Sullivan is quickly established and makes for a good read. Sullivan is a woman who can certainly stand up for herself when necessary and make her point, but in a likeable way.
Chief Superintendent C.S. Harriet Massetti and PC Bryant also make up the team of investigators and readers also get a good flavour of their personalities when they are introduced into the book.

The story later, transports readers to 5 months earlier in England. This works rather well in telling what actually happened to Sullivan and why she was seconded to Gibraltar instead of staying at the London MET where she could further her career in the city. It gives further establishment of her personality and how she does go off on a limb at times.

Martin Taveres is a character readers will feel the full force of emotion from due to the death of his loved as it so sensitively and skillfully written.

Later on readers return to 1966. It works and fits in well. The attitudes are realistic and it creates for a good and interesting back story to what was read in the present day.

The style of writing is distinctive and different from many other books, but I like it. I think it works and different and individual writing styles can only be a good thing and not something to be put off by.

For a quick read, this book does just the job. It is written well and has enough setting and drama within it, as well as good characterisation. It made me decide it was worthwhile investing the time to read more of this series.

Please continue reading onwards to discover the second book in this series.

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The Poisoned Rock
By Robert Daws

Rating: 5 Stars *****

Blurb

WitBook one RDh only five weeks to go before the end of her secondment to the Royal Gibraltar Police Force, D.S. Tamara Sullivan is enjoying life on the Rock. With one murder investigation successfully under their belts, Sullivan and her commanding officer, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick, settle down to regular police work under the sunny Mediterranean skies.

In London, the British Government has declassified a large number of top-secret files regarding British Military Intelligence operations during World War Two. One file, concerning espionage operations on Gibraltar, has been smuggled out of the U.K. to Spain. It contains information that will draw Sullivan and Broderick into the dark and treacherous world of wartime Gibraltar. A place where saboteurs and espionage plots abounded. Where double and triple agents from Britain, Germany and Spain were at war in a treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations.

As the summer heat reaches its zenith in Gibraltar Town, a film crew has arrived on the Rock to shoot a movie about one of the most enigmatic and legendary spies of the war years – ‘The Queen of Diamonds’. Starring Hollywood A-lister Julia Novacs and produced by local born film maker, Gabriel Isolde, it is the talk of the Rock.

It is only a matter of time before past and present collide and a dangerous battle begins to conceal the truth about the Rock’s poisonous wartime history. Detectives Sullivan and Broderick become caught in a tangled web of intrigue and murder that will once again test their skills and working relationship to the very limit.

Review

The Poisoned Rock begins in 1942. It’s a whole new case within this series. There is a well thought out quote used from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the beginning, which sets the scene up for what’s to come in excellent manner.
Both books, although are part of a series, also work well as stand alone books. I would say the writing has improved within this book in terms of the flow of it, especially, but  both are worth reading. Again, there is an excellent prologue, setting this scene for the rest of the book and a murder already committed. There’s no having to wait, wondering when the action to begin in these books.

There’s murder, offshore accounts, secrets and jeopardy within the well-written pages of this book.

The book spans seamlessly and effortlessly between the 40’s 60’s and Present day as well as a number of locations. Importantly, it all makes sense and flows easily when reading. It is well-constructed and the time frames are well-stated in each part and they all fit together well within the plot. There are also enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing within this book, which can be read as part of the series or it stands alone pretty well too.

Readers are quick to learn a little about Gibraltar’s Second World War history before being transported to the present day where Tamara Sullivan is still serving out her enforced secondment.

Within this book, there are secrets revealed of British Intelligence and a film crew filming about “The Queen of Diamonds” about a spy in the Second World War. There are creatively crafted twists and turns surrounding this mysterious spy and the film, showing that its mere creation has more to it than meets the eye.

There is much intrigue surrounding  the film, creating just about enough tension… just who is the mysterious figure observing screenwriter, Josh Cornwallis? There’s also more than just film action surrounding the film’s producer – Gabriel Isolde.
These scenes are written with complete believability, as you can imagine with the acting experience Robert Daws has and whatsmore it adds much to the storyline in a positive way.

The chapters of the book move the story onwards, effortlessly between the film set and the activities of Broderick and Sullivan. Throughout the book, remains an excellently written, sense of place. The more of these books that are read, the more you get a feel of Gibraltar.
This book, also however, also takes readers to a crime committed in Marbella after the victim, Krystle Changtai disappeared from Gibraltar.

People who are not all they first seem to be… There is also more than just the glamour of designer dresses and shoes to contend with… adding to the intrigue of this captivating book.

Lech Jasinski is an interesting character who was a Polish soldier, serving in Iraq and we get a sense of his PTSD. There’s also more to him than what can possibly be first presumed. The characterisation of Lech is good, there’s enough written to create a tension and an air of mystery.

It’s not all about murder. Readers are treated to really being able to get to know more about the characters who work for the police service in Gibraltar in terms of their background, which I also enjoyed.

This series was optioned for TV and when reading the books, it is clear that they would be a good “fit” as it were. The chapters are written exquisitely and almost like they could be scenes.

All in all, Robert Daws has created books with mystery, intrigue and an air of beauty in terms of the setting and all fit together very well indeed to create a compelling and very readable series!

These are all the books at time of writing that are within this series. A Rock Ghost Story is completely stand-alone.

*I thank Robert Daws for allowing me to take his photo at the Morecambe and Vice Festival and for kindly allowing me to use it on my blog. Please also note that my reviews are unbiased.

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Books: The Rock
The Poisoned Rock

Author: Robert Daws

Publisher: Urbane Publications

Main Purchase Points:  Amazon, Waterstones, Independent Bookshops, WH Smith