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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Published by Macmillan, 21 November 2013.
The latest case for DCI Kate Daniels starts out as the nightmare crime:
no suspects, vestigial evidence, not even names for the two bodies found on a
beautiful beach on the Northumberland coast.
Kate’s Major Incident Team pick over the scanty clues, another story unfolds a
few miles away, in the wing of a local prison given over to serious offenders;
psychologist Emily McCann, recently widowed and not coping well, locks horns
with a young psychopath who seems to be obsessed with her.
over halfway into the narrative, the only connection between the two strands
appears to be the now-ended relationship between Kate Daniels and Jo Soulsby,
Emily’s fellow psychologist – but fret not, Mari Hannah is far too canny a
storyteller to allow that situation to continue. When the two stories finally
collide, the balance tips the other way and there are suddenly suspects are
jumping out from every direction.
the clues only begin to surface through a lot of hard work and the occasional
bout of inspiration from Kate and her team, with a powerful sense throughout
that the author has done her homework regarding procedural detail; there are
even arguments with other forces about financial responsibility. A picture
emerges not only of a crime with a substantial layer of pathos and poignancy,
but also of a dedicated, well trained and capable group of detectives, who all
spring off the page like real, rounded people with normal human emotions.
same is true at the prison: different personalities develop among both inmates
and staff, and the sense of reality underpinning the story is a strong one.
author is also clearly very familiar indeed with the Northumberland landscape:
pretty villages and remote beauty spots sit side by side with the inconvenient
incident room and grim prison, and both snow and narrow roads hinder the
characters and setting are all addressed with a sure hand; Mari Hannah clearly
knows her craft. In a way it’s a pity that Ann Cleeves’s Vera Stanhope has
already staked her claim to the role of capable Northumberland detective; if
and when she retires, Kate Daniels, strong-willed, intuitive and feisty, will
prove more than competent to fill her shoes.
Hannahwas born in London,
She now lives in a small Northumberland village with her partner, a former
murder detective. Mari became a writer after her career as a Probation
Officer was cut short following an assault on duty. She began using a computer
because it was too painful to write with a pen. Ironically, the idea that she
might one day become a writer then began to form in her head. She tried
different forms of writing before settling on prose, and spent several
years scriptwriting. She then turned her
attention to the BBC, pitching a television serial based on characters in her
then unfinished debut crime novel The
Murder Wall. After completing the TV script, she went back to the
book she had started years before but somehow never thought she’d finish.
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.