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 Wildfire, 25 July 2019. ISBN: 978 1 4722 6155 7
Julia, the beautiful wife of the immensely successful
thriller writer Max Blake, disappears during a party she and her husband are
holding in their elegant Cotswold mansion Brooke House to celebrate their tenth
wedding anniversary. She is never seen again. Murder is an obvious likelihood
but there is no body. The two investigating police officers, Detective Sergeant
Katie Ingles and Detective Constable Chris Green, find no trace as to where
she, or her body, might be. Max is the obvious suspect but there is
insufficient evidence to ground a charge and there are other matters that
demand police attention such as the disappearance and suspected abduction of a
13-year-old schoolgirl Emily Plant.
months later, Theo, editor of local paper The
Herald tells junior reporter Seren Spencer that Max, having until now refused
to speak to reporters about his missing wife, would like to give an interview
to Seren, after reading an article by her about the agonies of the families of
missing children and being impressed by her sensitive treatment of the subject.
What Max does not know is that Seren is speaking from her own experience after
the disappearance of her brother Bryn. He may have been drowned off the wild
Welsh coast where Seren was brought up and where her parents still live but, in
his case too no body was ever found and Seren’s mother still lives in hope.
Most of the story is written from Seren’s point of view but there are excerpts
from the original police investigation.
the interview with Max does not go well; he takes offence at some of the
questions she asks, and he tells her to leave. And Seren finds him charming but
rather alarming, with an ability to control without obviously doing so that
unsettles her deeply. However, as a very junior and inexperienced reporter she
feels she must make a good impression, so she continues her investigations. She
speaks to Julia’s sister Jacquie Moresly who is very hostile about Max but
Max’s personal assistant, the middle-aged and rather sour Miriam, very much the
local country woman, admires him greatly. And Max’s publisher Jonny tells Seren
that Julia was deeply troubled.
and time again, Seren finds herself at Brooke House; there are, she thinks,
‘too many secrets’ with its long corridors and firmly closed doors, its locked
barn. There is a snowstorm which traps Seren in the house, and Max manipulates
Seren into attending a charity event wearing one of Julia’s dresses (there is a
hint here, though not an exact one, of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca). When the
truth eventually comes to light it contains a genuine surprise.
Reynolds is an
author and creative writing tutor. Her debut novel, Close To Me, was published
2017 by Wildfire (a new imprint of Headline) as their first fiction title. Amanda has worked as a goat milker, a teaching
assistant and a sales trainer. More recently she was the book reviewer for The
Cheltonian and taught regular creative writing classes and workshops. She now
writes full-time, taking a sabbatical from teaching to write. Amanda lives in
the Cotswolds with her family and two very furry dogs.
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.