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 Trapeze 9 August 2018. ISBN:
A fairytale wedding. An idyllic island honeymoon venue. A new husband
who has money to burn and looks to die for, but still manages to be the most
sensitive, thoughtful guy any girl could wish for. Especially a girl like Asha,
bright and beautiful but mixed-race and with a background firmly rooted on the
wrong side of the tracks.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, everything, of course.
This is mystery fiction, where nothing is ever as it seems, and the past can be
guaranteed to catch up with you.
In the best kind, the mystery
remains a mystery until the very end, and so it is in The Other Couple. It's
only Sarah Naughton's second novel for adults, but her long experience as a
children's writer shines through; her characters have depth, her locations
positively glow, and the plot twists and turns enough to make you dizzy.
The narrative is structured
in three time-frames: first the honeymoon, then a flash-forward to its
aftermath, then back to the wedding day, and then moving between the three.
Naughton juggles the various scenarios without a moment's confusion, releasing
just enough information in each time-shift to keep the reader intrigued. Who
are David and Sophie, the couple Asha and new husband Ollie meet at the resort?
What is the secret Ollie's best friend Milo is determined to keep? Why is Ollie
so troubled both at the wedding and on the honeymoon? And what happened a few
months ago which left Asha so upset?
It takes real skill to keep
all the balls in the air, and Naughton has it in spades. The whole story is
from Asha's perspective, which helps, but a lot of the time she is as much in
the dark as the reader. Asha herself is a rich mix of strength and
vulnerability: the former when she stands up to her snobbish in-laws and goes
in search of answers to the many questions that arise; and the latter when
things go horribly wrong both before and after the wedding.
Other characters, too, are
well drawn. Ollie's charm is far more than skin-deep. Zainab, Asha's best
friend, is feisty and fiercely loyal. Some are a tad one-dimensional; Milo, for
instance, has no redeeming features apart possibly from loyalty to some of his
friends; and Asha's mother-in-law is unashamedly, and probably irredeemably,
arrogant and high-handed.
The Other Couple is definitely a treat for fans of psychological
thrillers, and I look forward to seeing what Sarah J Naughton does next.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
J Naughtonwas born in 1975 and grew up in Dorset. She
studied English Literature at UCL and has been in London ever since,
spending ten years as a copywriter in an advertising agency before giving up to
Lynne 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 fiction.
Published by Moonshine Cove Publishing, 6 November
2018. ISBN: 978-1-945181-42-9 (PB)
The Hubley Case starts and ends with highly dramatic killings, one of
a good man and one of a bad man. I’m not sure whether this ratio was maintained
throughout the book. It wasn’t always that easy to tell the goodies from the
baddies. Suffice to say there was a high body count.
One man it would be impossible to find a good word to
say about is Dominick Riddle. He thrives on making millions/billions by
orchestrating high-powered intelligence scams and terrorist atrocities.
He achieves his nefarious goals in many different ways – paying exorbitant fees
to talented crooks, blackmailing decent professionals, and having people
executed if their deaths either consolidate or get in the way of his
plans. He also has the charming habit of regularly “clearing out his
colleagues” so there is nobody left to incriminate him in any of the wrongdoings.
Peter Hubley was a decent, honest, businessman who
happened to get wind of Dominick Riddle’s latest scam. Peter was, of
course, murdered- very publically. He was then effectively assassinated for a
second time when Riddle’s misinformation guru spread false rumors about
virtually aspect of Peter’s life and character.
Ben Siebert is an ex-Marine. One assumes he was thrown
out of the Marines because the Robin Hood side of his character got the better
of the James Bond side of his character once too often. Unfortunately for
Riddle, Peter Hubley’s wife Sally is one of Ben’s best friends. When
Sally asked him to find out why her husband had been killed Ben couldn’t refuse
to help her.
It isn’t long before Ben discovers that he isn’t the
only one on the case, Nikki Benton, a diligent and glamorous FBI special agent
is also investigating Peter Hubley’s death. Ben and Nikki have to work hard at
trusting each other but helped and hindered by friends and colleagues they
eventually work out what was ultimately behind Peter Hubley’s death.
Case is an entertaining, action packed thriller that I
thoroughly enjoyed reading. Ben Siebert is another of today’s superhuman
characters. He is good at everything but still presents as a vulnerable
and honorable human being – albeit one who is good at killing. I imagine
we will be hearing more of Ben.
Reviewer: Angela Crowther.
J Leewas born
and raised in Illinois. He graduated with dual degrees in Engineering and
Sociology from Duke University. He worked in Engineering, Marketing, Product
Management, Program Management, Supply Chain and Operations, but always wrote
in his spare time. It started as a hobby, a creative outlet that helped him balance
the stress of a day spent in numbers. Then at some point, it morphed into a
passion. The Hubley Case is his
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.
by Orenda Books, 18th October 2018. ISBN: 978-1-912374-31-1 (PB)
How can one shy
away from what’s described as Sex, lies
and ill-fitting swimwear…Sun Protection Factor 100? In some
ten years in the genre of crime fictionthis Finnish author has amply demonstrated his talent andversatility. Three acclaimed books precede
this one, namelyThe Healer,The
Mine and The Man Who Died all quite different and page-turning and earning
him the accolade from the Finnish media as the King of Helsinki Noir.
translated by David Hackston, the story whisks the reader to a sleepy seaside town
that has been subjected to a rebranding, as the title suggests, as a must go to
holiday resort, by businessman Jorma Leivo, a small-time fraudster.Desperate to get his hands on the last piece
of real estate to add value to his garish chalet village dotted with plastic
palm trees, he hires, on the cheap, a couple of hapless bungling amateurs to
scare and wear down its owner, glamorous windsurfer Olivia recently back in her
home town to claim her dilapidated inheritance.
tactics goes awry and Jan Nyman, a canny detective in the covert operations
unit of the National Central Police is rushed in undercover (a Maths teacher on
holiday) to investigate a professional hit that has taken place.
Written from multiple viewpoints which render
the story truly engaging, the cast of characters is diverse and wildly
eccentric, and simply leap from the page; the situations are satirical,
slapstick and farcical and the dialogue is crisp and darkly comic.The author’s skill in weaving a riveting tale
that never falters or bores is not only highly original, deeply tongue in
cheek, and imaginatively spunky but also masterful. What’s not to like? It’s a fantastic read that doesn’t disappoint.
Finnish author Antti Tuomainen was born in Helsinki, Finland where he
lives with his wife. He was an award-winning copywriter when he made his
literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My
Brother's Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen's third
novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for 'Best Finnish Crime
Novel of 2011' and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press
labelled The Healer - the story of a writer desperately searching for
his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki - 'unputdownable.' Two years
later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen 'The King of Helsinki Noir' when Dark
as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen
is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula.
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.