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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by Quercus, 15 June 2017. ISBN: 978-1784299637
is huddled beneath mountains on the US/Canadian border. It’s a small town, full
of small-town politics and people with secrets. And a murder has taken place.
The town’s police force is ill-equipped to deal with this unspeakable crime -
things like that don't happen in Ludlow. Now they have, so Homicide Detective
Alice Madison, Detective Sergeant Kevin Brown and crime scene investigator Amy
Sorensen are called in from Seattle to take charge of the investigation. But
the weather is closing in, and what is on everybody's mind in Ludlow is that
the killer is most likely to be one of them.
After Death is the fourth book by Valentina
Giambanco featuring Alice Madison – and, I have to say, I think it’s her best
one yet. The plot is multi-layered, the atmosphere claustrophobic and the sense
of place absolutely wonderful - man, did I feel cold reading this.
There is also a great sub-plot that
runs alongside the murder investigation and main narrative about a motherless
family living on a farm in the mountains. Their father is the only adult the
children have ever known. Samuel is one of those children suffering at the
hands of their abusive father. When the murder investigation brings the police
to the farm, Samuel dares to believe help for him and his siblings could
finally be at hand.
The two plots merge and intersect so
And the characters are, as always so
well realised. Samuel is a sad boy with a terrible life, yet he believes that
someone, somewhere will help him, and the reader cannot help but warm to him.
The relationship between Madison and Brown is nuanced and so well done, as is
the growing bond between Madison and lawyer Nathan Quinn. And during Sweet
After Death we learn so much more about what made Madison into the person she
Giambanco has a great eye for detail,
and her research into forensics and US police procedures is formidable - yet
the novel wears its research oh-so-lightly. We feel totally immersed in Ludlow
and in the murder investigation and follow it step-by-step. We are in very safe
After Death is a beautifully written, complex
novel with real emotional depth and I urge you to seek it out. It can be read
as a standalone, but why leave it there? I definitely recommend her three
previous books too.
V M Giambancowas born in Italy and moved to London after my Italian
A-levels to do a degree in English & Drama at Goldsmiths. She started
working in films as an editor’s apprentice in a 35mm cutting room making tea
and sharpening pencils. Since then, over almost twenty years, she has been
involved in many UK and US pictures, from small independent projects to large
studio productions. Her first book was The
Gift of Darkness. Valentina lives in South West London.
Mary-Jane Riley wrote
her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It
was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she
soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote
about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and
became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many
life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two
decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get
in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines
and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help
charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing
psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was
published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016. To read the review of Killer reads click here http://promotingcrime.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/after-she-fell-by-mary-jane-riley.html