As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Century, 27 July 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78089641-0 (HB)
Every mother's nightmare: a child goes missing, and no trace is ever
Laurel Mack's nightmare began
ten years ago, and has just reached a conclusion; a buried rucksack has been
identified as the one her teenage daughter Ellie was carrying on the last
morning she was seen, then a DNA match was provided by some bones found close
to it. Laurel's fractured family comes together for a funeral, and Laurel
begins to think there might be a future for her after all.
But the nightmare is about to
take another turn. Laurel falls in love – and her new partner's nine-year-old
daughter Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie at the same age. Questions stack
up, and suddenly the foundations of Laurel's newly rebuilt life don't seem
quite so secure.
The plot and the timeframe
twist and turn as the truth about what happened to Ellie gradually unfolds,
told from several points of view, with clever interleaving of flashbacks,
first-person narration and present-and past-tense sequences. Lisa Jewell is
adept at juggling styles in a way that brings the characters to vivid
The characters in this
tangled tale are very much centre stage; another of Jewell's skills is
portraying the way tragedy can tear a perfectly functional family apart, and
each member of it comes across loud and clear. Ellie was the golden girl, the
focus of everyone's life, and her disappearance has affected everyone profoundly.
Laurel's emotions have atrophied, and she can't move beyond that appalling day.
Her husband Paul can't cope with the way she opts out of family life. Hanna and
Jake, Ellie's siblings cut themselves off from Laurel, emotionally if not
physically. Only her mother Ruby, confined to a care home after a severe
stroke, can see beyond the grey, one-day-at-a-time existence to which Laurel
has condemned herself. The various locations in which the narrative takes place
are equally well realized; a soulless apartment and a seedy house with a dank
basement will stay in my mind for a long time.
When Ellie's remains are
found, and Laurel's life seems to start again, the wounds begin to heal,
until... But any more information about what happens next would be a major
Enough to say this is a book
that will keep you up till well past bedtime.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Jewell was born in London in 1968. She was educated at a
Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she
spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two
years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and
Communication. She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a
PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four
years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She
finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went
on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year. She has since written a
further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh. She now lives in
an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her
daughters, Amelie and Evie.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.
Chris Brookmyre has tonight scooped the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for
Celebrating its thirteenth year, the Award is considered one of the most coveted crime writing prizes in the country.
Widow is a story of cyber-abuse, where ‘even the twists have twists’.
It features Brookmyre’s long-time character, reporter Jack Parlabane.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she had been
given the novel as an early Valentine’s Day present by her husband,
declaring it ‘brilliant’.
said: “I’m really quite taken aback. I’ve been shortlisted three times
before for this award, always the bridesmaid, today I get to
walk up the aisle. A book is not just the work of the author behind it.
I’d like to thank my editor, Ed Wood, for his calibre and daring that
made a good book greater. I’m mainly just very proud.”
was presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston and
broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old
Crime Writing Festival. The annual Festival, hosted in Harrogate, is
the world’s biggest celebration of the genre.
beat off stiff competition from the shortlist of six, whittled down
from a longlist of 18 crime novels published by British and Irish
whose novels were published in paperback from 1 May 2016 to 30 April
The 2017 Award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.
Brookmyre collected a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved oak beer cask made by Theakston Old Peculier.
A special presentation was made to Lee Child - the winner of the eighth Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
Lee Child and Simon Theakston
Child joins Val McDermid, Sara Paretsky, Lynda La Plante, Ruth Rendell,
PD James, Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill as recipients of the Award.
Child said: “It’s an honour - probably undeserved - to be placed in the
same category as the previous recipients of this prize. In particular
I would like to thank Simon Theakston for his generous and visionary
support of the genre.”
Child has been dubbed a ‘billion-dollar brand’ for his blockbuster Jack Reacher series, adapted to film by Tom Cruise.
sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston,
said: “We’re particularly delighted to be honouring Lee Child. He is
short of a phenomenon. The Jack Reacher series tops bestseller lists
worldwide, with a staggering 100 million books sold. Lee is very
deserving of this accolade, and will have his rightful place in a
pantheon of legendary crime authors who have achieved this
honour to date.”
Published by No Exit Press, 25 May 2017. ISBN:
woman’s body is crammed into a wheelie bin and left outside a charity shop. As
soon as the dead woman is identified, most of the detectives investigating the
case suspect the woman’s husband. For them it is obvious, after all the husband
has scratches on his face and his DNA matches skin under the victim’s
fingernails, and the bin used to dispose of the corpse comes from their house.
The detective team build their case against him and the evidence against him
continues to mount up, especially when his alibi witness fails to turn up to
back his claim of being elsewhere. However DI Geraldine Steele has nagging
doubts about the man’s guilt.
Geraldine is glad of a case to involve her mind
and help her to shelve the troubles that are disturbing her personal life.
Geraldine’s birth mother had given her up for adoption when she was a baby and
Geraldine had been adopted by a middle-class, respectable family who had given
her the chances in life that enabled her to achieve a pleasant life style and a
good career. However, Geraldine wished to meet her birth mother and was hurt by
her refusal. Her birth mother changed her mind shortly before her death, but it
seems that one of the main motives for this was to ask Geraldine to take care
of her twin sister, Helena, who had not been given up for adoption. After her
birth-mother’s death, Geraldine knows that she must tread very carefully.
Helena is a heroin addict, petty thief and prostitute, but she is also
Geraldine’s identical twin and Geraldine feels impelled to help her and attempt
to make a relationship with her.
As Geraldine tries to balance her personal life
and the murder investigation, she discovers that neither are straight-forward.
Her underlying disillusionment with an investigation that is focused on the
simplest solution and a fast clear-up rate, is compounded by the choices she
must make in her personal life and the danger she faces of destroying the
career that is the centre of her life.
Deadly Alibi is the ninth book in
the series featuring Geraldine Steele. It is an intricate, cleverly plotted
police procedural with a well-drawn cast of characters. A very enjoyable read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron
Leigh Russellstudied at the University of Kent gaining a Master’s
degree in English and American literature. Formerly a secondary school English teacher, with the
success of her Geraldine Steel series, Leigh now writes full-time. Her debut novel, Cut Short, was published in 2009 by No Exit
Press in the UK,
followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death
Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act and Killer Plan, all featuring detective
Geraldine Steel, and Murder Ring will
be published in 2016.
also writes a spinoff series for Geraldine's sergeant, Ian Peterson. Cold
Sacrifice, Race to
Death and Blood Axe. Leigh recently signed a three-book deal with
Thomas and Mercer for a new series featuring Lucy Hall. Leigh Russell is married
with two daughters and lives in Middlesex.
Carol Westronis a successful short
story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly
Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary
and Victorian times.The Terminal
Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published
July 2013. Her latest book The Fragility
of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.