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 The Book Guild Ltd, 28 September 2019. ISBN: 978 19112881 772 (PB)
of many questions that need addressing in this book is, who exactly is
attractive female is found washed up at the edge of the Thames at Wapping Old
Stairs, attending police are startled when the police surgeon informs them that
the body is actually that of a man. Enquiries reveal that Geraldine, or
Gerry, Driver is a much loved, happily married female impersonator who until a
few hours before his/her death had been working in the nearby Blue Snake
nightclub. The postmortem shows that she had been tortured before being
consigned to the river whilst she was still alive. Given that Geraldine
was terrified of water and couldn’t swim this was a particularly cruel thing to
do to him/her. It also suggested that the killer was well acquainted
with, and really hated Geraldine.
Mathew Merry and Sergeant Julie Lukula investigate under the watchful eye of
Superintendent Malcolm Swift. As a motorbike had been seen in the area
around the time of the crime, Geraldine’s death was quickly linked with a
series of other hate crimes in which victims were showered with acid by two men
riding a similar bike with false number plates. Inspector Merry finds he has a
personal connection to Geraldine’s death when he learns that that Blue Snake
Club and Geraldine’s agent and agency are owned by the notorious Towers family.
Merry was at school with two of the Towers brothers, Ricky and Gary, and was
good friends with Ricky until they fell out. Ricky and Gary are trying to
become honest citizens, but other members of the family are into every sort of
crime imaginable. They think nothing of killing anyone who gets in their way and
are top of the National Crime Agency’s most wanted list.
personal side, Merry’s marriage was floundering before his wife’s rape further
complicated the situation, and Superintendent Swift struggles as he juggles
with the increased workload that follows his recent promotion, and with a tired
partner who needs help with their fractious new baby, whilst on happier note Sgt
Julie Lukulu agrees to marry her partner.
is a complicated book both as regard the plot and the topics it covers. There
is an excellent sense of location throughout, detailed plotting, and a wide
variety of characters to keep one entertained. Hate and jealously are at
its core, though I thought it dealt sympathetically with the issues surrounding
transvestites and transsexuals that are integral to the story. It also gave
interesting insights into the reactions of a rape victim and her family.
was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council
estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern
school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having
spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He
was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority,
and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.
When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes. John is
currently working on a trilogy of novels set-in modern-day London. These police
procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.
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.