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 Orenda Books, 31 May 2017. ISBN:
Sweden, and the mutilated body of talented jewellery designer Linnea Blix is
discovered in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London, and the body
of a small boy is found with similar wounds to Linnea's.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp 1944,
and in the middle of the hell that is the Holocaust, Erich Ebner will do
anything to survive.
Alex Castellis is a true crime writer
and a close friend of Linnea Blix, and she is thrown together with Canadian
profiler Emily Roy to try and find out if the two murders are linked, and how
they could be connected to the shocking events at a concentration camp 70 years
This is another dark and disturbing
crime novel from the successful Orenda stable, and has been beautifully
translated from the original French by Maxim Jakubowski. It's the first in a
series featuring Emily Roy and Alex Castellis. It has a challenging mystery at
its heart and is set between Sweden and London, ranging from the last years of
the Second World War to 2014.
The characters are interesting - Emily
is spiky and guarded and cares nothing for the social niceties. She remains an
enigma even at the end of the book, but because she is such a tough nut to
crack, I am looking forward to finding out more about her in future stories.
Alex has a past of which we keep getting tantalising glimpses. Again, I want to
know more about her. The locations are beautifully depicted - the cold of
Sweden wonderfully evoked. The many-layered plot is twisty and tussles with the
psychology of evil, good versus bad and nature versus nurture. A word of
warning - it can be quite harrowing.
The haunting chapters set in
Buchenwald are visceral and chilling and give us a vivid picture of the
brutality that existed in the camps, without the writing being in any way
gratuitous. It's worth saying that Johana Gustawsson's grandfather, Simon
Lagunes, was a survivor of Buchenwald and a member of the camp's resistance
movement until the camp’s liberation in April 1945.
I am looking forward to seeing what
Gustawsson comes up with for book two.
Johana Gustawsson was born in 1978 in
Marseille. With a degree in political science, shehas worked as a journalist for the French press and
television. She married a Swede and now lives in London. She was the co-author
of a bestseller, On se retrouvera, which was published by Fayard Noir in
France, whose television adaptation drew over 7 million viewers in June 2015.
She is working on the next book in the Roy & Castells series.
Mary-Jane Riley wrote
her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It
was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she
soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So, she wrote
about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and
became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many
life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two
decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get
in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines
and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help
charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing
psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was
published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016.