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Saturday 28 April 2012

‘The Piccadilly Plot’ by Susanna Gregory

Published by Sphere, 
19 January 2012. 
ISBN: 978-1-84744-432-3

Thomas Chaloner is pleased when he is summoned back to London, having been away investigating corruption on behalf of his master the Earl of Clarendon.  However, he is less pleased when he discovers that his new assignment is to find the culprits who are stealing bricks from the site of his master’s unfinished sumptuous new residence, Clarence House, north of Piccadilly.

Whilst Chaloner is no stranger to intrigue at court, he is perturbed by evidence produced by Hyde, the Earl’s son of an assassination threat which puts Queen Katherine firmly in the frame.  Chaloner protests that the Queen has barely mastered the language let alone find or converse with those capable of carrying out such a plan.   But his protestations fall on deaf ears with the exception of Frances, the Earls wife who Chaloner finds to be a woman of excellent sense.

Not only is Chaloner sorely beset with work issues, but all is not well at home with his new wife Hannah who has engaged a number of servants, Chaloner neither wants, or having met them, trusts.  Luckily he’s got a bolt hole – sensible chap.

As Chaloner sets to uncover the perpetrator of the threatened assassination, he finds links to other misdeeds, and coupled with the terrific sense of period that Susanna Gregory portrays, this is an intriguing and fascinating book.
Lizzie Hayes

Susanna Gregory is the pseudonym of Elizabeth Cruwys, a Cambridge academic who was previously a coroner's officer. She writes, and is noted for her series of mediaeval mysteries featuring Matthew Bartholomew, a teacher of medicine and investigator of murders in 14th-century Cambridge. The first in the series, A Plague on Both Your Houses is set against the ravages of the Black Death and subsequent novels take much of their subject matter from the attempts of society to recover from this disaster. 
Her second  series of books, set just after the Restoration of Charles 11 and featuring Thomas Chaloner, detective and former spy, began with A Conspiracy of Violence published in January 2006, and continued with The Body in the Thames, published in hardback edition January 2011

Wednesday 25 April 2012

‘Cop to Corpse’ by Peter Lovesey

Published by Sphere, 
5th April 2012.  
 ISBN: 978-1-84744-571-1

Sunday 4.00 a.m. and a gun shot sounds in the silent streets of Bath. Foot patrolman PC Harry Tasker is dead.  A call to the police brings Inspector Ken Lockton - young and new to be the Senior Officer on a crime of this magnitude, but Lockton is eager to prove himself. He does all the right things, seals the crime scene, stop points on all escapes routes, he then intelligently works out from where the sniper must have fired.  Keen to make an early arrest he sends his sergeant away. Later Lockton is found unconscious and near death.

The third killing of a police officer in Somerset in a matter of weeks.  Someone is picking off policemen indiscriminately.

Called into investigate CID Chief Peter Diamond sets out to find the killer.  But investigations stall, as Diamond cannot find any connection between the three dead policemen.  With no correlation between the three killings, Diamond asks himself is there a connection? Or, is there more than one killer? Or, is it someone who just wants to kill policemen?  The lines of enquiry he pursues are as fascinating as the mystery itself.

An intriguing entry in this excellent series.
Lizzie Hayes

Peter Lovesey was born at home, in a suburban semi in Whitton, Middlesex, in 1936. After Hampton Grammar School, Peter went to Reading University to study Fine Art and soon switched to English. National Service followed — teaching RAF boy entrants earned him enough to get married and qualified him to teach in FE, first at Thurrock Technical College, then Hammersmith College. The last of the Cribb books, won the 1978 Silver Dagger and in 1987 The False Inspector Drew won the Gold Dagger.  The Summons (1995) and The Bloodhounds (1996) each won a Silver Dagger. In 2000, Peter was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger for his career in crime writing.  He Lives in Chichester.

Saturday 21 April 2012

‘Classic Calls the Shots’ by Amy Myers

Published by Severn House,
28 February 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8150-2

When a 1935 Aubun speedster owned by film director Bill Wade, is stolen from the film set of Dark Harvest, currently being shot in Kent, Jack Colby is called in to track down the car.  Jack operates a classic car restoration business working from Frogs Hill Farm in Kent, and has with his knowledge of classic cars worked from time to time as a car detective.

Visiting the film set two things spring immediately out at Jack, the tensions and unrest that exist between the cast – the unrest seeming to stem mainly from the directors wife Angie, and the other is his instant personal attraction to the star’s leading lady Louise Shaw.

As Jack interviews the cast and members of the crew, it begins to look less like a straightforward theft and more like an inside job. That most of cast have worked together on an earlier film has Jack speculating, could it even be directed at the film, but who? and why?  Soon the discovery of a body puts a different complexion on the theft, and Jack is looking for more than a car thief.

Packed with interesting characters and wonderful cars –sigh, there are many twists and turns before the surprising solution is revealed.  Highly recommended, and a must for you vintage car lovers.
Lizzie Hayes
The first book in this series is Classic in the Barn.

Amy Myers  was brought up in Kent, UK, Amy spent many years as a director of William Kimber, a London-based general hardback publisher known for its military biographies and histories. In addition to editing these, she ran a fiction list from ghost stories and sea adventures to historical romance. She is married to the American-born car buff James Myers, who has collaborated with her in creating Jack Colby.  Amy writes two other crime series Marsh & Daughter, a father and daughter team investigating cold cases in Kent, and one featuring Tom Wasp, a Victorian chimney sweep. Amy Myers also writes historical and contemporary suspense and romantic fiction under the name of Harriet Hudson. a


Wednesday 18 April 2012

‘The Devil’s Edge’ by Stephen Booth

Read by Mike Rodgers
Published by Whole Audio Books,
December 2011.
ISBN: 978-1-40769-334-3
Full and Unabridged (9CD’s 10.25 Playing Time)

The eleventh in this series set in rural Derbyshire finds Ben Cooper now a sergeant and engaged to Liz.  DS Diane Fry is on a working group in Nottingham and not enjoying it.

A series of break-ins by a band of burglars who are merciless in their methods have been dubbed ‘The Savages’, by the press, but a break-in at the Barons home in the expensive village of Riddings is the worst yet, as this time they leave a body. Ben Cooper is called to investigate, along with Gavin Murfin who is sitting out his time to retirement, and whose jaded remarks I found rather amusing.  A new member to the team is DC Carol Villiers – an old friend of Ben’s from school.  As Ben conducts interviews with the residents of Riddings he meets a fair amount of hostility, maybe because of the secrets that he gradually unearths, but also because despite the affluence of the neighbourhood it is clearly not a happy one. The houses are large and each resident has carefully ensured privacy from their neighbour – friendly they are not. 

An unexpected and terrifying incident for Ben brings Diane Fry back to take over the investigation.  She remarks that Ben has matured, and I wondered if they would at last find a meeting point, but she is still her prickly self, although I did sense mutual respect.

The descriptions of the moors and the stones is fascinating, it is clear that the author loves the area, and his knowledge of it is extensive, enabling him to convey to the reader the brooding atmosphere of The Devil’s Edge, despite it being high summer. Cleverly plotted, I was kept wondering right to the solution, and then surprised by the end of the book, I now just have to read the next, which I see is entitled Dead and Buried, and out soon. 

Mike Rogers narration added much to my enjoyment of this book, he has it just right. 
Lizzie Hayes
Stephen Booth is an award winning UK crime writer, the creator of two young Derbyshire police detectives, DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry, who have appeared in eleven novels set in England's beautiful and atmospheric Peak District.  Born in Burnley, Lance, Stephen breeds Toggenburg goats and livs with his wife Lesley in a Georgian House in Nottinghamshire.

Mike Rodgers  is an actor and director. He has worked extensively with the English Shakespeare Company, including playing the title roles in Hamlet of Titus Andronicus.  He has appeared in several British soaps and continues to work in TV and films as well as audiobook narration.

Monday 16 April 2012

‘Defending Jacob’ by William Landay

Published by Orion,
15 March 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-4091-1537-3

What would you do if your child was accused of murder?  You would defend that child to the death, right?  Of course you would.  You'd do anything, anything, even break the law yourself, if you felt it would help to establish his innocence.  But what if you began to have doubts, to wonder if in fact that child was guilty?

The main  premise of William Landay's haunting new book, Defending Jacob, rests on just such a dilemma. The book examines the life of Andy Barber, a long- term Assistant District Attorney, and his wife Laurie, who are living the suburban American Dream with their only child, Jacob, a withdrawn, incommunicative and sullen teenager – which makes him no different from most fifteen-year-old boys. 

When one of his schoolmates is found dead in the woods with three knife wounds in his chest, suspicion falls almost immediately on Jacob.  The further the book develops, the more the evidence seems to point to him.  Andy, however, is convinced that a local paedophile is responsible and is prepared to go to any lengths to see that blame falls on him.  And I mean any lengths.  Which side of the law is he on?

When psychiatric evaluations of Jacob are ordered by the court, his parents begin to realise that their only child is not at all the boy they thought they knew.  To their joint shock, their son is revealed as a borderline psychopath.

Nonetheless, Andy says about the law, “there was no way in hell I was going to trust my son’s fate to it.”   He also says – and this is one of the strengths of this book: "Suspicion, once it started to corkscrew into my thoughts, made me experience everything twice: as a questing prosecutor and anxious father, one after the truth, the other terrified of it.”

This novel is much more than a straightforward thriller.  It examines the fragility of family life.  It shows us how we can never really know our children, however, much we think we do.  It poses a number of important questions about morals, ethics, parenthood and in particular, the law.  “Our blind trust in the system is the product of ignorance and magical thinking,” Andy states. 

Landay also shows how easily lives can be destroyed by smoke, whether or not there is a fire.  Even if Jacob is acquitted, which looks increasingly doubtful, Andy Barber knows he can never again work as a DA, nor can the family ever return to its former happy lifestyle.  He watches his hitherto happy wife, the centre of her circle of friends, turn into a bedraggled and unkempt old woman.  Like her, he is horrified at the revelations first of Jacob's classmates, and secondly of the psychiatric evaluations.  Add to this mix a secret family history of murderous ancestors, and you have a hugely suspenseful story that leaves you turning to pages to find the outcome.  The twist at the end is completely unpredictable. 
Reviewer: Susan Moody
William Landay was born 1963, in  Boston Massachusetts.  Landay graduated from Yale University and Boston College law School.  Prior to becoming a writer, he served for eight years as an Assistant Distict Attorney.  His first novel, Mission Flats, was awarded the John Creasey Dagger (now called the New Blood Dagger) as the best debut crime novel of 2003 by the British Crime Writers Association.  He Lives in Boston.

Susan Moody was born in Oxford is the principal nom de plume  of Susan Elizabeth Donaldson, née Horwood, a British novelist best known for her suspense novels. She is a former Chairman of the Crime Writer's Association, served as World President of the International Association of Crime Writers, and was elected to the prestigious Detection Club. Susan Moody has given numerous courses on writing crime fiction and continues to teach creative writing in England, France, Australia, the USA and Denmark.  In addition to her many stand alone books, Susan has written two series, on featuring PI Penny Wanawake (seven books) and a series of six books featuring bridge player Cassie Swan.

Saturday 14 April 2012

‘The Other Child’ by Charlotte Link

Published by Orion, 
15th March 2012. Trade Paperback. 
ISBN: 978-1-2338-5

In the seaside town of Scarborough, a student is found murdered.  No progress is made in solving the crime. When a second death ocurrs, despite the similar MO the police struggle to find a connection between the two victims.

Ambitious detective Valerie Almond is convinced that the truth lies within the family of the second victim, but is in essence stabling in the dark, unaware of the dark secret that has been hidden for more than half a century.

Although the story is set in 2008, the roots of the murder relate back to the evacuation of children from London to Scarborough in 1940, a time when there were no computers to keep track of the movement of these children, just people trying to do there best to keep the children safe from being killed by German bombs.  The description of the children arriving in Yorkshire which to children brought up in London must have seemed like another planet was heart-rending, particularly that awful selection process by the families who were taking the children in – selecting the strongest and best looking children, which eventually left a number of children no one wanted, must have scarred many of them for life.  That with hind-sight we now know that much harm was done in separating children from their parents, it was done with the best of intentions, but as the saying goes’ The way to hell is paved with good intentions’.

There are many strands to this multilayered story, full of dysfunctional but interesting characters.  Told from multiple points of view, this is a haunting tale of love, fear, cruelty and obsession. Compelling reading, The Other Child is a story that will linger with you long after you have closed the last page of the book.
Lizzie Hayes

Charlotte Link was born 5 October 1963 Frankfurt am Main. The daughter of a well-known German writer and journalist, is one of the most successful contemporary German authors. Her 12 novels have sold more than seven million copies here in Germany alone. One reason for her enormous popularity is her diversity. Her works include society novels, the best-sellling trilogy "Sturmzeit" ,or "Stormy Times"as well as her series of books which are all set in rural England. Charlotte Link is married with one son.

Friday 13 April 2012

‘Hour of the Wolf’ by Hakan Nesser

Translated from the Swedish by Laurie Thompson
Published by Pan Macmillan,
12th April 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-230-74574-2

After a night out with friends a man decides that although he’s been drinking he will be OK to drive if he takes it easy.  A short time later he smashes his car into a young man – in panic he leaves the body by the side of the road and drives home.  But this incident will effect many lives, including that of Chief Inspector Van Veeteren, now retired from the Maardam police force.

This is a sobering tale, no pun intended!  But the far reaching events that follow this one error of judgement illustrate the rippling effect of initially a single bad decision that escalates beyond belief. 

I couldn’t put this book down, it was mesmerising as the story unfolded from this one event.  As the incident took place late a night on an unlit relatively deserted road, the police have little to go on, but despite being retired Van Veeteren has lost none of his powers of detection.

The story is related by multiple voices but mainly the killer whose identity is unknown, and by the painstaking work of those who are seeking him.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Hakan Nesser   was born February 21, 1950 and grew up in Kumla and has lived most of his adult life in Uppsala. He is a secondary level teacher. His first novel was published in 1988, but he worked as a teacher until 1998 when he became a full-time author, after having become extremely successful as a heavyweight crime writer with his Van Veeteren series. In August, 2006, Håkan Nesser and his wife Elke moved to Greenwich Village in New York. A few years later the couple packed their bags and moved to London.  His books have been translated from Swedish into 9 languages

Wednesday 11 April 2012

‘Inspector Singh Investigates: A Curious Indian Cadaver’ by Shamini Flint

Published by Piatkus, 
5th April 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-7499-5342-3

Inspector Singh of the Singapore Police Force is on medical leave, and whereas during his working life he has endeavoured to wangle a long lunch followed by an afternoon nap, being at home he has now exhausted this pleasure, and is keen to get back to work. However, his superior Superintendent Chen is enjoying the absence of his overweight and permanently dishevelled Inspector, despite Singh’s excellent record of catching murderers, and is adamant that Singh must adhere to the letter of his medical leave certificate.

To add to his home discomfort Mrs Singh is not only policing his smoking, but has discovered the Internet and relays to her husband everything she reads on it as fact, refusing to even consider that the information might not be true. When Mrs Singh  announces that they are to attend the wedding in Mumbai of her cousin’s daughter, he grudgingly agrees.  The description of Singh’s initiation into India culture had me rolling on the floor with laughter.  He deduces that the only upside will be spicy curries galore, that’s if he can avoid ‘Mumbai belly’ or ‘Delhi belly’ or ‘whichever part of India you happen to be’ belly!

The disappearance of Ashu, the beautiful bride-to-be has the family in a spin, Mrs Singh who spends her life constantly carping at her husband, proudly announces that he is the head of the Singapore police. Inspector Singh is not sure that Superintendent Chen has heard of his promotion, but he bears up splendidly. Employed by the bride’s grandfather Tara Singh, a wealthy influential man, Inspector Singh sets to work – did Ashu run away from an arranged marriage? Does she have a boyfriend? But everything he learns of Ashu is a picture of a strong woman. Further investigation uncovers a labyrinth of deceit. 

This series is a total joy. The mysteries are complex and interesting, the characters are fascinating, and Inspector Singh is a larger-than-life character you so want to meet.  To those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading the earlier books in this series, don’t delay, just do it now.  I envy you the delight of reading these books for the first time. This entry in this marvellous series is highly recommended.
Earlier books, Inspector Singh investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder, A BaliConspiracy  Most Foul, The Singapore School of Villainy, and A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree

Shamini Flint lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for her work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist, all in an effort to make up for her ‘evil’ past as a corporate lawyer! Shamini has sold over 500,000 books since she began writing six years ago.  There are five in the Inspector Singh series.

Monday 9 April 2012

‘Carnival for the Dead’ by David Hewson

Read by Juanita McMahon
Published by Whole Audio Books, April 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-40749-924-6
Full and Unabridged.
14 CD’s (Approx 16.5 Hours Playing time).

Receiving a somewhat cryptic note form her Aunt Sofia, and being unable to reach her by telephone for several days, Teresa Lupo travels, from Rome where she is a Forensic pathologist, to Venice.  Teresa is surprised that on hearing about the strange note her mother Chiara should instantly decide to accompany her.  It is February, and Venice is in the grip of carnival fever and experiencing freezing temperatures.  Arriving at Sofia apartment in the Dorsodura they find no clues to her disappearance, nothing but mess - so where is Sofia? What has happened to her?  The situation brings forth from Chiara a startling revelation about Sofia’s past that re-focuses Teresa’s view of her beloved Aunt – although, a painter of mediocrity, a writer still writing the book she started some twenty years ago, she was always vibrant and on the move, living in exotic places.  Is this the real Sofia?  An anonymous letter delivered to Teresa by Camilla, the girl living in the apartment below Sofia’s, appears to be a work of fiction but it is puzzling in that both Teresa and Sofia feature in the story, together with an Englishman called Aitchison. The bunch of flowers accompanying the letter she assumes are from her partner Peroni, currently on a police assignment in Sicily and out of contact.

Teresa’s arrival in Venice has not gone unnoticed and she is contacted by Alberto Tosi, a retired pathologist she had come to know on an earlier visit to Venice* with an invitation to be his guest at the carnival that day.  The first day of the carnival is ‘The Flight of the Angel’ and on route to the police to report her aunt missing Teresa and Tosi become caught up in the masses of people attending the carnival, and are witness to a death.

The Venice police are pleasant but Teresa feels sure that with the carnival and the spectacular death taking up much police time, little will be done to find her aunt. To whom can she turn for help in what is becoming more puzzling by the hour, as she receives more anonymous stories – are they from Sofia?, or the person who is holding her? Or is Sofia dead?  

The story is told third person by Teresa Lupo, but also by the anonymous story teller, who weaves a tale that may or may not be the truth.  This is not just a mystery of today but takes the reader back into the history of Venice. I was utterly captivated by the cryptic clues in the  anonymous stories that weave their own mythical tale. The clues are all there but the interpretation needs an insight into the history of Venice.  This is a book with a surface mystery that you want to solve, but more interestingly will invoke a need to know more of the history that surrounds this mystery.  I can only liken it to the interest I developed when I read ‘Daughter of Time’ by Josephine Tey and ‘The King’s General’ by Daphne Du Maurier.  Both had me delving deep into the history books. 

If you have visited Venice this book will evoke the memories of your visit, the bright lights, the restaurant’s and gaiety, and then, turning into a square, or sometimes a small courtyard, and hitting deep silence - tall buildings where no lights show, the signs of poverty and neglect, and the feeling that you are maybe being watched.  If you have never visited Venice, listening to the narration of this book by Juanita McMahon you will know you must go, and soon.  Juanita brings the story alive with her incredible range of voices and added much to my enjoyment of the story.

David Hewson has been described as one of the finest crime writers, and after listening to this book I wholeheartedly agree.
Lizzie Hayes
* See The Lizard’s Bite

David Hewson was born in Yorkshire in 1953 and left school at the age of seventeen to work as a cub reporter on one of the smallest evening newspapers in the country in Scarborough. Eight years later he was a staff reporter on The Times in London, covering news, business and latterly working as arts correspondent. He then worked on the launch of the Independent and was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times for a decade before giving up journalism entirely in 2005 to focus on writing fiction.  He is the bestselling author of nineteen books published in more than twenty languages. His popular Costa contemporary crime series is now in development for a series of movies in Rome.
For more information visit his web site

Juanita McMahon is a professionally trained actress, with experience in significant theatre, television and film productions, including the critically-acclaimed Control, which won the BIFA Best British Film Award. She has toured Europe and North America with many award-winning stage productions. Juanita is also an accomplished audio book narrator, known for her powerful and moving performances.

Friday 6 April 2012

‘Malice in the Cotswolds’ by Rebecca Tope

Published by Allison and Busby,
26 March 2012. 
ISBN: 978-0-7490-1064-5

It is late summer when Thea Osborne house-sitter, accepts a two-week assignment at Hyacinth House in the village of Snowshill.  The owner of Hyacinth House is Yvonne Parker, a somewhat nervy lady, with an extremely cluttered house, who it appears is to visit her ex-husband in London in the hope of getting some money out of him for their daughter Belinda’s impending nuptials.  That Yvonne has had no contact at all with him since he quit the marital home some five years ago strikes an odd cord with Thea. 

Once Thea has met the two cats she is to take care of, and Yvonne has taken her leave, Thea inspects her surroundings. Lovely garden - she hopes that the weather holds so that she and her spaniel Hepzie can spend most of their time outdoors away from the cluttered house.  Her tranquillity is shattered when she catches a small boy throwing stones at the cows at the back of the house, and learns from a neighbour that the child, Stevie Horsfall who lives with his mother Gudrun is the bane of the village.  The following day Thea discovers the body of little Stevie Horsfall behind her car which she had left parked outside the cottage.

Although, it appears that Stevie has upset most of the villagers, suspicion falls on his mother Gudrum.  Investigating is Superintendent Sonia Gladwin, with whom Thea has a good relationship having met her on several previous adventures.

Thea’s life is far from dull, as telephone calls abound,  first from her daughter Jessica who is distraught at having being dumped by her boyfriend, and secondly from Victor, Yvonne husband.  Then visits from both of Yvonne’s children which seem to have no purpose, but get Thea's in investigating mode. 

As in the last two books in this series, the undertaker Drew Slocombe makes an appearance.  Drew Slocombe arranges alternative funerals for those wanting a green experience. Drew's wife Karen is now seriously ill having never properly recovered from an injury she received three years previously, and Drew is feeling pressure from all sides, the business, his partner and his daily hospital visits to Karen.

An intriguing mystery, that so accurately portrays village life where the inhabitants have long-held secrets, which may hold the key to the killing of Stevie Horsfall. With a surprise ending Malice in the Cotswolds is an excellent entry in this acclaimed series.
Lizzie Hayes

Rebecca Tope is the author of three popular murder mystery series, featuring Den Cooper, Devon police detective, Drew Slocombe, Undertaker, and Thea Osborne, house sitter in the Cotswolds. Rebecca grew up on farms, first in Cheshire then in Devon, and now lives in rural Herefordshire on a smallholding situated close to the beautiful Black Mountains.
Besides "ghost writer" of the novels based on the ITV series Rosemary and Thyme. Rebecca is also the proprietor of a small press - Praxis Books. This was established in 1992

Monday 2 April 2012

‘Bitter Water’ by Gordon Ferris

Published by Corvus.
April 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-85789-604-9

It is the summer of 1946 and ex policeman, ex Soldier Douglas Brodie is now working as a journalist for the Glasgow Gazette as understudy to Chief Crime Reporter Wullie McAllister. 

The brutal murder of a Town Councillor has Wullie’s nose twitching - Wullie is old school heading towards retirement and looking for that one last scoop by which to be remembered.

Accosted by a Highlander who says ‘call me Ishmael’ Brodie is asked to help a man accused of stealing some food.  The man like so many other’s who fought in the war for king and country, has returned home to …nothing. No job. No family. No future.  Ishmael had heard how along with lawyer Samantha Campbell, Brodie had fought for justice for his old friend Hugh Donovan (see The Hanging Shed). And he wants Brodie to obtain justice for Johnson.

With rumours of corruption in local government the people of Glasgow are tired of corrupt officials, so the appearance of a group of vigilantes who start to mete out their own brand of justice, is at first welcomed by the people, pleased to hear that those whom the law has failed to put behind bars are getting their comeuppance, but then things go too far.

Unfortunately, the vigilantes have chosen the Glasgow Gazette to air their views of violence against those they think deserve punishment, and soon Brodie is caught up in a web of deception, as he suspects he knows the identity of the leader of the vigilantes. 

Bitter Water, like The Hanging Shed, portrays starkly the post war years, the poverty and shortages, and in many cases little immediate hope of anything better.   Beautifully written this is an enthralling thriller, and highly recommended by this reviewer as a book not to be missed.
Lizzie Hayes

Gordon Ferris  is an ex-techy in the Ministry of Defence, and ex-partner in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. He writes about the important things in life: conflicted heroes and headstrong women embroiled in tangled tales of life, love and death.  Other books are The Unquiet Heart, Truth, Dare, Kill and the highly acclaimed The Hanging Shed