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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

‘The Hitchcock Murders’ by Gavin Collinson

Published by Cutting Edge Press,
20 February 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-908122-85-8

A killer is targeting women in London every Tuesday, with crimes gruesomely resembling scenes from Hitchcock’s films ... and if DCI Jilani can’t find him, the series will continue.

This highly original first novel is a fast-moving ride. Using multiple third-person narrators, we cut from scene to scene as quickly as if we were under the great Hitch’s direction, switching characters, going from present to flashback, and playing with time in the final confrontations. Film buffs will have great fun identifying Hitchcock references, and the novel ends with a filmography.

DCI Josa Jilani is a vividly-drawn character: young, determined, resourceful, outspoken and suddenly thrust into prominence as a token woman Muslim policewoman who knows that her superiors are just waiting for her to fail. She’s helped by the mysterious Daniel Blake, former police helper who carries a burden of guilt for the death of his best friend – the relationship between them is convincingly and enjoyably worked out. The London background comes across well, particularly the South Bank and BFI scenes. There’s a good double twist at the end, and the perp is fairly clued, yet still a surprise. All in all, an astonishingly assured and satisfying debut.

An original, emotional roller-coaster of a PP which isn’t just for film buffs. Highly recommended
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor.

Gavin Collinson is the Interactive Producer for the BBC’s flagship drama, Doctor Who. He grew up in Blackpool where he worked on camp sites, in cafes and as a journo on his local newspaper. He later moved to London and largely by accident, became part of the team that launched Maxim, before a short stint at the BBC. He next found himself working for the British Film Institute where he helped organise the Hitchcock Centenary, meeting many of the people Hitch had collaborated with throughout his career. After the BFI Gavin joined ITV’s Coronation Street before returning to the BBC in 2009 to become part of the Doctor Who team. The Hitchcock Murders is his first novel.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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