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 Hodder & Stoughton, 6 September 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1-44477553-2
Set in the 1950s, Breathe
is an atmospheric debut novel that captures the essence of post-war London with
its rationing, poverty, shortage of decent housing and the pea-souper fogs that
blank out the city for weeks at a time.
Bourton is a probationer police officer adjusting to life after coming back
from the war and preparing for the arrival of his White Russian fiancée, Anna, who he met while doing military service
in the Far East. When an older colleague is shot by
a small-time gangster they are chasing in the fog, Bourton begins to make
connections linking a whole series of deaths during pea-soupers.
Unfortunately persuading his superiors proves difficult for a probationer officer
and risking his career to do so Bourton is forced to pursue avenues of enquiry
in his time off, calling on war-time acquaintances to help him out.
sense of place is really powerful. The level of detail the author has used
creates an evocative atmosphere where the reader experiences the realisation
that nothing has been untouched by war. The book has a claustrophobic feel with
the ever-present fear of the return of the fog and resulting murders where the
murderer is simply invisible.
its core Breathe is a book of hope,
of rebuilding after devastation. For Bourton in his new career and marriage the
reader knows it will be a bumpy ride especially as his new wife is hiding a lot
of secrets. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I look forward to the sequel.
Reviewer Christine Hammacott
was brought up in Britain and the US before reading Modern History at Oxford
University. When his service in the British Army was cut short through injury
he tried writing TV scripts, teaching at universities in Japan, and a lot of
travelling in Central Asia before starting a War Studies PhD at King's College
London. Stints as a foreign affairs and defence editorial writer at The Times,
as an official at the UN in New York, and as a contributing editor at Silicon
Valley's Red Herring magazine led to a political risk start-up in London in
2002. Ultimately its Head of Geopolitics, he acquired an unusual expertise on
issues ranging from Somalia-based piracy to Iraqi politics. He now works as a
freelance political risk consultant from his home on the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire
border, where he lives with his wife and three children. Breathe is his début novel and the first of two thrillers set in
his childhood home, Notting Dale, in the 1950s.
Christine Hammacott lives near Southampton and runs her own design
consultancy. She started her career working in publishing as a book designer
and now creates covers for indie-authors. She writes page-turning fiction that
deals with the psychological effects of crime. Her debut novel The Taste of Ash was published in 2015.