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Tuesday 5 June 2018

‘Local Artist’ by Paul Trembling

Published by Lion Fiction,
November 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78264-259-6 (PB)

Librarian Sandra Deeson is summoned by the police in the early hours of the morning because they fear there has been a break-in at the library and she is a key-holder. A local art group have set up an exhibition of their work in the new extension to the library and when Sandra accompanies the police into the exhibition area they discover the body of a man lying in a pool of blood. This discovery hits Sandra very hard because it is not the first time she has discovered a body. Years earlier, when she was out walking, she had discovered the body of a young man, hanging in a deserted barn. The police had never discovered the identity of the young man or explained what had happened to him. Sandra, at that time a young journalist, had tried to solve the mystery but, in the end, had given up. However, she has never been able to fully get over the experience and, in later years, she has driven her own son away by her over-protective control. Now she is determined that this second murdered young man will not remain unidentified.

Emily Coombe is a junior library assistant at Sandra’s library and, as a member of the local art group, she had helped to make the arrangements for the exhibition, including sorting out a secret artist who was going to have the prime place in the exhibition. The surprise paintings were to be installed after the other artists had left. Now Emily has gone missing but, in Sandra’s office, an envelope has been left that came from Emily, and in it there is a painting that Sandra is certain is symbolic, although she does not know of what.

Sandra is determined to get to the truth and to find Emily. She continues to probe and is assisted by Inspector Macrae, an unconventional detective who is angry that his superiors are trying to muzzle him. The investigation takes Sandra back to the dark, twisted places she had explored when trying to discover the truth about the young man dead in the barn, but when she makes the acquaintanceship of a renowned local artist things become very dangerous for her and her husband and it seems possible that her search for the truth might cost Sandra her life.

Local Artist has an interesting plot, with an absorbing present-day crime and a chilling back-history. Sandra is, in places, an uneven character but she is engaging enough for me to care what happens to her and her family, and the descriptions of artwork are fascinating. It is a book that maintained my interest throughout and an interesting read.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Paul Trembling  began making up stories before he could write, and it's a habit he's never got out of! Throughout a varied career - seaman in the Royal Navy, store-man, janitor, missionary, administrative assistant and CSI (to mention the highlights!) he never stopped dreaming up plots, characters and scenes. And occasionally writing them down!
This has eventually produced a number of self-published books in various genre's, mostly crime and fantasy. His latest novel published by Lion Hudson is 'Local Poet': it starts and ends with road fatalities, with crime, drugs and poetry in between.
Paul lives in Somerset, UK with his wife, youngest son (the others having moved on!), one dog and a variable number of hens, depending on visits from the local fox!

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel,
The Deadly Dames. 
Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times. 
The Terminal Velocity of Cats the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

To read a review of Carol latest book Strangers and Angels click on the title.

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