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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Guild Publishing Ltd, 28 March 2017. ISBN:
JJ Stoner is
returning from a bad place after his employer betrayed him, and his best friend
raped and killed his girl, but now he’s recovered and looking for revenge.
book begins with some time shifts from last year to this, but once that settles
down, it moves to chronological order, following Stoner and his associates, the
Killing Sisters through fast action to an explosive finale. Jean-Jacques Stoner
is an ex-soldier, a hired assassain, a Harley Davidson enthusiast and a mean
blues player; the Killing Sisters, Charity, Chastity and Charm, are in the same
line of business, working mostly for a duo named Mallis and Menace, who arrange
hits. It seems Stoner is being protected by the FBI, but the sisters –
particularly Chastity – are out on their own in an increasingly complicated
world. Although he’s a ruthless killer, Stoner retains our sympathy, partly
because of the damage he himself has sustained, partly because he kills only
those who are out to get him (although his contract kill of the woman banker
reminds us not to think he’s cuddly). His bleak honesty about the consequences
of his life is refreshingly real in this style of action thriller. The novel is
narrated in the third person, with crackling dialogue, fast action sequences,
some imaginative murders described in gory detail, and some inventive sex
scenes. It begins in a vividly-described cabin in the wilderness, then moves to
equally atmospheric mean US city streets and quiet English countryside.While this reads as a stand-alone, with
Stoner’s past trauma gradually being explained, it brings back many of the
characters and themes from the previous books, the JJ Stoner short stories and
the first two Killing Sisters novels, including the Hard Man, Stoner’s sometime
employer, and the hypnotic Blesses, and I did feel having read the earlier
books helped me follow the dense plotting of cross and double-cross. The ending
includes a good few players unaccounted for, so there may be a new trilogy in
fast-moving, wittily-written, hired-gun thriller with a high sex-and-violence
score, and the added bonus of iconic bikes and cool music.Stoner’s fans will enjoy meeting him again;
new readers might want to begin with either the short Stoner Stories or with A Last
Act of Charity (Killing Sisters book 1).
Frank Westworth shares several characteristics with his
literary anti-hero, JJ Stoner: they both play mean blues guitar and ride
Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Unlike Stoner, Frank hasn't deliberately killed
anyone. Instead, Frank edits a monthly classic motorcycle magazine (see
RealClassic.co.uk) and has written extensively for the UK motoring press. Frank's
'Killing Sisters' series starts with A
Last Act Of Charity and continues in The
Corruption Of Chastity. However, you can start with any of the books in the
series; they're written to be enjoyed if you come in halfway through...
Please note; the Stoner stories and Killing Sisters series are intended for an
adult audience. They're violent and explicit and contain the occasional
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.
A review of her recent book Ghosts of the Vikings can be read here.