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Friday 7 June 2019

‘The Greenway’ by Jane Adams

Published by Joffe Books,
19 March 2019. (Originally published 1995)
ISBN: 978-1-7891085-6 (PB)

Cassie Maltham has been plagued by nightmares for 20 years. She has come back to the Norfolk coast with her husband, Fergus, and friends Simon and Anna to try and lay ghosts to rest. As a child she stayed with relatives in the area but on a visit in August 1975 her cousin Suzie disappeared. Cassie was ten at the time, her cousin twelve. The two girls had been to the beach and were late going home. Worried that they would be in trouble, Cassie persuaded Suzie that they should cut through the fields and down The Greenaway, an ancient path lined with high bushes next to Tans Hill. While in The Greenaway Cassie blacked out and when she came to her cousin was gone. Detective Inspector John Tynan was in charge of the case, but they never found out what happened to Suzie. Years later, still blaming herself and struggling with mental illness, Cassie is trying to deal with the guilt that still remains. 

While Cassie is staying in the area another child goes missing along the Greenaway. Detective Inspector Mike Croft is in charge of the investigation this time but John Tynan (now retired) teams up with him and together they lead a frantic search to find the missing girl. Are the cases linked? The frustration of the police who have very little to go on and Cassie, forced to delve into the darkest recesses of her memory for clues that will help find the child, propel the story along with pacing that kept me turning the page. 

Supernatural folklore and tales of witchcraft create menacing undertones to this novel. The author did a great job making me wonder just where the plot was going as it wove back and forth following the unreliable character of Cassie Maltham and the obsessive Norfolk police in a sparse rural landscape capable of hiding so many secrets. 

Originally published in 1995 this edition of The Greenway has been released by Joffe Books as book #1 in the Mike Croft series. I thought the book stood the test of time very well. The Greenway was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award and for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award.
Reviewer: Christine Hammacott

Jane Adams was born in Leicestershire, where she still lives. She has a degree in Sociology and has held a variety of jobs including lead vocalist in a folk-rock band. She enjoys pen and ink drawing; martial arts and her ambition is to travel the length of the Silk Road by motorbike. Her first book, The Greenway, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award in 1995 and for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award. Jane writes several series.  Her first series featured Mike Croft. Several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Seven titles featuring blind Naoimi Blake, and six titles featuring Rina Martin. Her most ret series is set between the two World Wars and featuring Detective Inspector Henry Johnstone and his sergeant, Micky Hitchens. Jane has also written several standalone novels. She is married with two children.

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.

 To read a review of A Taste of Ash Click on the title

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