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 Silverwood
Books 11 November 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78132-938-2 (PB)
The community of Barbury, the Wiltshire market town,
is deeply shocked when the body of popular local businesswoman Holly Macleod is
found by a young girl in squalid public toilets near a pub on the town’s
outskirts. Examination of the body establishes first of all that she was beaten
about the head, and then strangled, and there is also semen on her
underclothes. More shocked than anyone else is Holly’s partner Meg Spry in the
employment agency that she and Holly ran together along with their assistant
Sarah as well as a charity, Second Time Trust (STT), which funds training for
women who are going back into work but do not have the requisite skills.
Jeff Lincoln is the officer investigating the crime along with his detective
colleagues Sergeant Mike Woods, Constables Pam Smyth, Dennis Breeze and Graham
Dilke. Right from the beginning of the investigation there are a number of
puzzles: where is Holly’s handbag? The motive was plainly not robbery, but then
what was it? Her car, an elderly Volvo, has disappeared so where is it? And the
car found abandoned near the toilets belongs to a London businessman, Leo
Goldsmith; does he have a connection? Holly has always denied having married
before she met her husband, second-hand bookseller Bruce Macleod or have had
children, but on her stomach are the scars of a C-section; how come? And why
does Macleod show no interest in how Holly died or whether there had been a
sexual assault? Meg uncovers apparent fraudulent activity in the activities of
STT: is it some sort of money-laundering exercise? Who is Samuel Faraday? Was
there something going on between Holly and her accountant, Jack Avery, who seems
to be more upset about Holly’s death than her husband? Meantime Lincoln has to
cope with his own emotional problems: his wife left him several years ago for a
lecturer at a local college, Andy Nightingale, and then died. But Nightingale
has also been affected by the fraudulent activities in STT. And just how does
Macleod’s research into the deceased artist Withold Bartmann and his partner
Inigo Jay, names given to Lincoln by the attractive librarian Trish
Whittingham, fit in? And behind everything in the Barbury hinterland is the
dubious businessman Doubleday and the plans of him and others to redevelop some
waste land near Barbury.
All this and many
other ramifications contrived to make this story engage me until I reached the
end. Another aspect which intrigued me is the setting. Barbury itself seems to
be fictitious but presumably it is in the environs of the real-life Barbury
Racecourse and the prehistoric Iron Age hillfort, Barbury Castle near the
ancient Ridgeway trackway, one of a series of such forts which offer
spectacular views across the countryside below. I wonder if it is. Recommended.
was born in Somerset and raised in the West Midlands and Wiltshire, Nikki
Copleston worked in local government in London for many years. Her grandfather
and great-grandfather were policemen, which may explain why she's always
enjoyed watching detective series on television and reading crime novels. She
is an active member of Frome Writers' Collective, which supports and promotes
writers in the Frome area. When she isn't writing, she enjoys exploring the
West Country with her camera. She is already working on the next DI Jeff
Lincoln novel. She and her husband now live in Wells, Somerset, with their cat.
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.
Published by Joffe Books, 17 July 2019. ISBN:
Charlie Gallagher is a serving UK police officer and,
as you might expect from a man who spends his days as a frontline police
detective, both his Langthorne Police Series and the Detective Maddie Ives
series are underpinned by his expert knowledge as are his three standalone
novels. But make no mistake – these are not cosy police procedurals, they are
gripping – sometimes gruesome – thrillers.
He Will Find You is the third book featuring DS Maddie Ives. In the
opening chapter the reader is introduced to a bewildered ten-year-old child
covered in blood who wanders into the road oblivious of the traffic. Maddie and
her team are called to the scene, but the boy is either unable or unwilling to
speak. Maddie eventually manages to make some sort of connection to him.
In a separate incident, the body of a man is discovered on a lonely road
on the outskirts of town. His trussed body had been dragged behind a vehicle
for some distance. Maddie Ives, her boss DI Harry Blaker and Rhiannon Davies recruited
from CID have a difficult job on their hands. The signs are that some kind of
strange occult practice is involved and that this is only the first in what
could become a series of similar killings.
Only when the team realise the connection between the two seemingly
unconnected incidents can they discover the identity of the killer. When
Rhiannon disappears minutes after Maddie leaves her to continue her early
morning run through the woods, the race is on. Will they be able to find where
the group have taken her before her body is roped and tied to the back of a
truck to be dragged to her death?
The story is told from multiple viewpoints including those of the
villains and their victims. In this way, the reader is ahead of the detectives
which adds to the impending sense of doom as for example when Maddie and
Rhiannon head into the woods.
This gripping novel has all the ingredients of a great thriller – a
complex and compelling plot, well-drawn believable characters, fast pace with
plenty of action. Although I’m fond of edgy suspenseful writing, I freely admit
that hard-bitten, stomach-churning fiction is not my usual choice, but I found
He Will Find You compulsive reading and plan to read more by Charlie
Gallagher. What appealed to me most was Gallaher’s ability to create characters
the reader wants to know more about. Take for example DI Harry Blaker – on the
surface, he may seem a morose ‘difficult colleague, but we soon learn the
reason for his reserve. The early release from jail of a petty criminal
responsible for the death of Harry’s wife tests all of the detective’s reserves
almost to breaking point. He is also burdened by a sense of guilt when he is
unable to stop his daughter self-harming. None of which stops him from throwing
himself wholeheartedly into the desperate search for Rhiannon.
Charlie Gallagher has been a serving UK police officer for ten years.
During that time he has had many roles, starting as a front-line response
officer, then a member of a specialist tactical team and is currently a
detective investigating serious offences. Charlie is the author of four
Lanthorne police procedurals. His new series features DS Maddie Ives.
Judith Cranswickwas born and brought
up in Norwich. She wrote her first novel (now languishing in the back of a
drawer somewhere) when her two children were toddlers, but there was little
time for writing when she returned to work teaching Geography in a large
comprehensive. It was only after leaving her headship that she was able to take
up writing again in earnest. Judith teaches Tai Chi, and line dancing, yoga,
Pilates and Zumba. Her other hobbies include reading and travelling. She is
lucky enough to be a cruise lecturer. You can read some of her adventures – the
Ups and Downs of Being a Cruise Lecturer on her September 2014 blog on her home
page. Judith’s latest book is Blood Flows Southto read a review
click on the title
Published by Point Blank, 9 January 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78607-569-7 (HB)
novel is the first in the Burrowhead Mysteries, an unusual trilogy set in a
decaying rural area on the northwest coast of England. Although DI Georgie Strachan has her fair
share of ups and downs, she is a thoughtful, unpretentious person who loves her
husband and is not your average damaged detective.
writer tackles ‘false memory syndrome.’ This is a psychological condition in which
the identity or interpersonal relationships of a person centres on a memory of
traumatic experiences that is objectively false or distorted but which the
person emphatically believes happened.
When psychotherapist Alexis Crosse is found gruesomely
murdered in the playground, the local police force, comprising threesome
George, Trish and Simon, grieving partner of Alexis, are challenged.Somehow the police station has managed to
survive swingeing budget cuts and closures but it’s in a run down state with out-of-date
equipment and limited resources worsened by Simon conflicted out of the
investigation.Embittered and resentful
villagers are scarily prejudiced; racism, misogyny and homophobia rear their ugly heads and
Pamila, a woman owner of a local convenience store that is repeatedly vandalised
is subjected to an appalling personal assault.
The story unfolds with a first person narrator hiding
in a cave and this sets up the atmospheric scene.Who is he/she and why is that person there?
Is it a real person or a figment of someone’s imagination? Is this happening
now or in the past?
The author has
created an intriguing plot with twists and turns underlaid with the supernatural
and her descriptions of the landscape and changing weather, brooding and
windswept, bright and sunny is an original metaphor for how the investigation
This is a stunning, complex, out-of-the mainstream
novel that’s completely immersive. I’m
always comfortable with head hopping and constantly changing points of view
because I believe this makes the characters come alive with their different
reactions and perspectives. I don’t find this technique to be distracting and
here the author cleverly deploys it to draw in and grip the reader and, best of
all, leaves questions unanswered.
Helen Sedgwick is the
author of The Comet Seekers (Harvill Secker, 2016) and The Growing
Season (2017). She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from Glasgow
University, she won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2012, and her
writing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and widely published in magazines and
anthologies. Before writing her debut novel she was a research physicist, with
a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University.
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.