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 Head of Zeus, 20 October 2014. ISBN:
Sometimes crime novel are just that: novels which chart the
investigation of a crime and the triumph of the good guys over the villains.
And sometimes they’re a lot more than that.
Moon Pool is Sophie Littlefield’s
seventeenth novel, but her first with a British publisher – and what a UK debut
it is! It’s certainly a crime novel, though not in the conventional sense; the
only death is an accident, and the bad guys are big oil corporations who value
profit over the safety and welfare of their employees. But it’s also a great
is a wealthy middle-class housewife from New England; Shay is a survivor from
California who has lived most of her life battling to make ends meet. They are
thrown together midway between their homes because each has a son who has gone
missing. Both boys came to North Dakota to work for an oil company in a town
which has mushroomed as a result of the oil boom; both disappeared on the same
day. The company, the police and just about everyone else they talk to simply
the heart of the narrative lies the growth of an uneasy, see-sawing
relationship between them as they follow a trail of clues, and by the end of
the book I felt I knew both women as well as my neighbours. Another great
strength is the way Littlefield brings the town to life, so that it’s almost
another character in its own right: constant noise and traffic; restaurants and
hypermarkets operating 24/7 to meet the huge demand; makeshift accommodation
people pay a small fortune for, because there isn’t halfway enough to go round;
the biting North Dakota winter, which affects everything the women attempt.
plot is on the simple side. Mostly it’s Colleen’s and Shay’s story, but a
scattering of chapters shifts the focus to a young native American boy who is
clearly connected to them in some way, and knows more than he’s telling.
Suffice to say all the threads knit together before the end.
The Moon Pool is a novel about human nature, and different ways in which
people take advantage of each other. I found myself disliking both women, and
at the same time desperately wanting their sons to be found, and safe. Above
all, I ached to know what had happened, and whether David could defeat Goliath
and the oil company could be made to pay for its sins.
that Sophie Littlefield’s work has found a market in the UK, she will surely
grow into a respected and acclaimed novelist. If The Moon Pool is in any
way typical, she deserves that and more.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Littlefieldgrew up in rural
Missouri, the middle child of a professor and an artist. She has been writing
stories since childhood. After taking a hiatus to raise her children, she sold
her first book in 2008, and has since authored over a dozen novels in several
genres. Sophie's novels have won Anthony and RT Book Awards and been
shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice
Awards. In addition to women's fiction, she writes the post-apocalyptic
AFTERTIME series, the Stella Hardesty and Joe Bashir crime series, and
thrillers for young adults. She is a past president of the San Francisco
Romance Writers of America chapter. Sophie makes her home in northern
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.