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 Lightning Books,
7August 2018. ISBN (HB): 978-1-7856303-5(HB)
Strathdee, a small Australian town situated about
halfway between Sydney and Melbourne on a highway between those two cities,
isn’t much of a place. But it is the town where two half-sisters, Chris Rogers and
Bella Michaels, grew up. In some ways the sisters couldn’t have been more different.
Bella, much the younger, is kind and caring; she works in an aged-care home.
No-one has a bad word to say about her. Chris couldn’t be more of a contrast.
She works in a bar whose principal customers are the truckers who drive the
highway. She’s popular with the truckers because they know that, if they ask,
they can stay over at her place on the understanding that the next morning they
will leave money for her. And they also know, that with her fiery temper, she
is not to be messed with. Only one trucker has been much more than a one-night
stand, Nate, a giant bearded bear of a man to whom Chris was married for a few
years until her deep-seated anger against the world turns itself on him and he
leaves. Driven by that anger and an equally deep-rooted despair, both resulting
from a violent father and an inadequate mother, Chris also drinks heavily. Only
Bella’s love for Chris and Chris’s love for Bella stand between Chris and total
surrender to her demons. And then Bella’s body is discovered on waste ground,
brutally mutilated. There is plenty of violence in Strathdee, much by men
against women, but who could have wanted to turn it on the sweet and gentle
Bella, loved by all who knew her? Torn apart by grief and rage, which the
concern shown by some of her neighbours cannot assuage and only Nate’s arrival
is of any consolation. And Chris knows that Nate cannot stay; he has a new
woman and he must return to her sometime.
To top Chris’s misery
there is, of course, a media storm. Among the first on the scene is May Norman
who works for an on-line news journal. But May’s mind is only partly on the
job: she had been having an affair with a married man called Craig. Now he has
ended the relationship and she is devastated. And then, Nate who has a history of violence
although only for one incident and that many years ago, is arrested.
This is not a crime
novel – we learn only incidentally that Bella’s killer has been identified. But
it does seem that Chris will be able through friendship to start working
through her problems and that May will be able to focus on what she wants to
do. This is is an excellent novel which has been shortlisted for a prestigious
literary award in Australia which I would describe it as admirable, rather than
enjoyable. With its emphasis on the violence perpetrated by so many men against
women it is a grim expose of a problem which only recently is being brought out
into the open especially now that the MeToo movement has become so prominent.
Maguire is the author of five novels and two
non-fiction books. Her latest novel, An Isolated Incident was
shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year and
the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Emily’s
articles and essays on sex, feminism, culture and literature have been
published widely including in The Sydney Morning Herald, The
Australian, The Observer and The Age. Emily
works as a teacher and as a mentor to young and emerging writers and is the
2018 Writer-inResidence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.
by Point Blank, July 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78607-386-0 (PB)
is a sequel to the author’s first thriller, Three
Envelopes, featuring Mossad secret service operatives, although it is
equally enjoyable as a stand-alone.
the latest novel, ably translated from Hebrew by Steven Cohen, Mossad is on the
hunt for its former agent 10483, now a disgruntled, vengeful psychopath who’s
trying to extinguish the organization of which he was once a part.But it’s not only Mossad who’s on his trail
but also two separate independent units all competing in a race against time,
and a race for glory, to snuff out and put an end to the ex agent’s evil genius.
mind and behaviour were rewired and messed with in programming experiments (called “transformations”) while he was with
Mossad.He now makes it his twisted, zealous mission
to exact retribution by seeking out and assembling a hidden nuclear warhead
that he’ll convey to and detonate at the CIA’s Langley HQ. His story is narrated in the first person that
makes it all the more immediate and urgent and gets the reader into his
thinking processes as to the reasons for his wanting to settle scores. Indeed, one
can’t help feeling a sneaking sympathy for him given how he was treated and
what he was subjected to.
author has extensive experience of hands on military intelligence and this
credibly shines through, is skillfully interwoven and makes for interesting and
vivid reading.The plotting is intelligent
and well structured; all major characters are given their fair share of telling
their version of this dark, complex story and the enthralling climax is
thrillingly played out in Tel Aviv. The result is an arresting, fast paced, not –your- average
thriller, a real nail biting page-turner written in immersive style that will
give readers a cracking ride to the very last suspenseful paragraph.
Hezroni was born in Jerusalem. After studying physics in
high school and completing several years of military service in intelligence,
Hezroni retired to study economics and business management. He then proceeded
to build a career in high tech. In 2014 he published his first thriller, Three
Envelopes, which was enthusiastically received by critics and readers
alike. He lives with his family near Tel Aviv.
Serena Fairfaxspent her childhood in India,
qualified as a lawyer in England and practised in London for many years. She
began writing by contributing feature articles to legal periodicalsthen turned her hand to fiction. Having
published nine novels all, bar one, hardwired with a romantic theme, she has
also written short stories and accounts of her explorations off the beaten
track that feature on her blog. A tenth, distinctly unromantic, novel is a work
in progress. Thrillers, crime and mystery narratives, collecting old masks and
singing are a few of her favourite things.
by Head of Zeus, 9 August 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78854330-9(HB)
As every crime fiction
reader knows, there's a wealth of highly competent writers out there, all
producing well plotted books with sharply drawn characters and backgrounds that
come to life.
But every now and then we
stumble across an unfamiliar author whose work seems to come from a different
place. I'd hardly read a chapter or two of In the Blood before I realized that Ruth Mancini was
writing from the heart.
Her protagonist, Sarah
Kellerman, is a criminal defence lawyer. Not only that, she is also the single
mum of Ben, a severely disabled five-year-old. Sarah knows all about the
juggling act that most working mothers perform every day: the broken nights,
the rushed supermarket trips, the problems of finding the right childcare and
alleviating the doubts of work colleagues. So when she is asked to prepare a defence for another
single mother who stands accused of trying to kill her own child, she is more
than willing to pull out a few stops.
Ellie, the accused mother,
isn't an easy person to help. She lives in a run-down flat in an area awash
with drugs and violence, denies vehemently that she is responsible for any of
the signs that baby Finn has been abused, but refuses to back up her assertions
with anything resembling evidence. She claims that the baby's father is
supportive, but also claims legal aid to pay her costs. Above all, there is no
doubt that she was present when Finn's dialysis line was pulled out, leaving
him to bleed almost to death.
Sarah is faced with the
almost insuperable task of refuting a mountain of evidence which seems to point
to Ellie's guilt, and makes one discovery after another which render the task
even harder. At the same time she is battling colleagues who think she is not
pulling her weight when she insists on leaving work on time and opting out of
night-time duty solicitor call-outs in order to care for Ben. When she meets a
man who seems to understand, and who actually proves helpful with her son, it
feels like a gift from above – until work and personal life collide.
Mancini paints an all too
lifelike picture of two women driven almost to the edge by circumstances beyond
their control, each facing a nightmare situation. Some of the background
details – the meltdown in the supermarket, the frantic dash to A & E, the
defensive interview with the boss – will ring horribly true to any working mum.
The supporting characters too have that essential spark of life, as do the
multiple locations in and out of London.
This was one of those books
I found hard to put down. My head told me Ellie was innocent; that's the way
the genre works, after all. But my heart was unsure, though desperately hoping
it would end well, for both Ellie and Sarah. The reveal, when it came, was a
corker. Read it and see for yourself.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Ruth Manciniwas born in South-West London and, after graduating,
started her career as a marketing executive for a publisher before undertaking
a post-graduate diploma in law and retraining as a solicitor. Ruth has spent
the past twenty years in and out of courts and police stations, representing
those accused of crimes. She still practises as a lawyer for a large criminal
law firm with offices in London, conducting advocacy in the courts and
defending people arrested at the police station. She also reviews the trial
files across the firm and juggles her legal work with writing crime and
psychological fiction. Her debut crime thriller In The Blood is a Sunday Times Crime Club pick and a top ten Amazon
bestseller. She now lives in Oxford with her husband and two children. Her
eldest child is severely autistic and learning disabled and her In The Blood protagonist, lawyer Sarah
Kellerman, is also raising a similarly disabled child whilst working full-time.
Ruth is also the author of domestic suspense novels The Lies You Tell and His
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