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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Constable, 27 July 2017. ISBN: 978-1-47212-383-1 (PB)
Just when you think there are no more twists or variations left on the
psychological thriller theme, along comes something you'd never have dreamed
We've all read books which
focus on the victim of a crime. This one takes that to a whole new level. It's
hard to know what else to say without venturing deep into spoiler country;
suffice to say that if you start off thinking it's been done this way before
(which in a way I suppose it has), you'll soon change your mind as I did.
Cards on the table: I loved
this book. It started off at an advantage; it's set in my favourite part of
south Wales, and takes place in locations that carry happy memories for me. But
that was only one factor. For me, the best books bring the characters to life
in a way that makes you sad to leave them behind when their story ends; this
one did that in spades. What's more, it did it in the most difficult way:
first-person narration. Melanie Black, the protagonist and narrator, not only
sprang into being herself as a feisty, ambitious, observant and witty Amazonian
career woman; she also painted wry but rounded pictures of the other players in
Peter, the controlling
husband, made me (and every other woman with red blood) want to slap him into
the kind of submission he demands from Eve, his downtrodden wife. You'll be
pleased to know the worm does turn, and she doesn't let him grind her into the
ground. I was amazed Melanie hadn't seen through Eliot, the conflicted love
rat, charming though he was. And I feared for toddler Adam, who seemed set fair
to follow in his father's footsteps until... Ah, but that would be telling.
Even minor characters who get
no more than a few pages of attention are vibrantly alive. There's Nora, a
warm, comforting carer; Bella, the oblivious wife in a domestic triangle;
Julienne, another career woman with a tough-as-nails streak; and Marilyn, the
Melanie herself is a TV news
reporter, and it's plain that this is a world B E Jones knows intimately. Not
only does she present a vivid picture of the way it works; she also structures
the novel in the way a news story would unfold, and lets out the facts of the matter
a few at a time with the help of Polly, the junior reporter tasked with
following it through.
It all adds up to a book that
made me smile, laugh, shed the odd tear and want to pound my fists against the
characters who just weren't getting it. And it made me want to go on reading it
regardless of real life going on around me. You can't say fairer than that.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Beverley Jones is a former journalist and police press officer, now
a novelist and general book obsessive. She was born in a small village in the
South Wales valleys, north of Cardiff. She started her journalism career with
Trinity Mirror newspapers, writing stories for The Rhondda Leader and The
Western Mail, before becoming a broadcast journalist with BBC Wales Today TV
news, based in Cardiff. She has worked on all aspects of crime reporting (as well
as community news and features) producing stories and content for newspapers
and live TV. Most recently Beverley worked as a press officer for South Wales
Police, dealing with the media and participating in criminal investigations,
security operations and emergency planning. Her latest novel, Where She Went, is published by Little
Brown under the name BE Jones.
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.