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.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Published by Joffe Books, 12
April 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78931-097-9 (PB)
in 1998as Cast
the First Stone
A young runaway, Ryan Sanderson, is offered a lift and
a bed in a hostel by two men in a car, but the offer leads only to pain, fear
A family, Eric Pearson, his wife Johanna, and their six children, are placed in
a house in a quiet close used by the council as short term accommodation. All
too soon rumours circulate about Eric – that he was charged with sexual
offences against children in his care and that although the charges were
dropped due to lack of evidence suspicion persists and the house is soon
surrounded by angry local residents, stones are thrown, windows are broken. Pearson
asserts that he has evidence that will clear him of the accusations and
implicate many others; his wife Johanna is determined to support him so that
they can all return to the community – the Children of Solomon - where they had
lived before the accusations and to which she is desperate to return with her
family. The neighbours’ suspicions about the Pearsons are increased by Eric’s
obsessive photographing of the neighbours, particularly the children, while the
attempts of the few who are prepared to be friendly, such as Rezah Masouk and
his wife, gentle, timid, heavily pregnant Ellie, are fiercely rebuffed.
At the same time, an
appeal is to be heard in the case of Fletcher, a man convicted of numerous
serious sexual offences. Detective Inspector Mike Crofts is tasked with
examining the papers relating to Fletcher’s appeal; his boss Superintendent
Jaques assures him that this is just a formality, ‘dotting the i’s, crossing
the t’s’ but when he visits Pearson and Johanna to interview them about the
disturbances in the close, she tells him that Eric will be giving evidence at
Fletcher’s appeal and that will not only clear Eric’s name but implicate many
others, some of high standing in the community.
And then the body of
a boy, later identified as Ryan Sanderson, is discovered. Is he the victim of a
paedophile ring or just a random killing? Croft senses that there is a possible
connection between the boy’s death and both Fletcher and Pearson, maybe enough
to allow him to search for potential links. But that search leads him into
danger and at risk of physical attack.
This is quite a
complex narrative into which the author has cleverly inserted tiny clues as to
where Crofts’ investigation may lead. It should be read attentively! Crofts is
an attractive character; although the death of his own son some years before
deeply saddens him although it has not embittered him. He is on good terms with
his colleagues and his friendship with former police officer John Tynan whose
assistance he knows he can call on in his investigation is a great support to
him. Above all he now has a warm and loving relationship with Maria, a hospital
psychiatrist, who can offer him psychological insights into the personalities
of those affected by the abuse they have suffered. Recommended.
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. There
are several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Twelve titles featuring blind
Naoimi Blake, and more recently seven books featuring Rina Martin. Her latest
series is set in the 1920’s and features Chief Inspector Henry Johnson. Jane
has also written three standalone novels. She is married with two children.
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.