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 Macmillan, 9 July 2020. ISBN: 978-1-5290-0431-1 (TPB)
The Roy Grace series by one of
Britain’s best-selling authors, Peter James, is well known and well loved. Find
Them Dead is a departure from previous books in the series in that he does
not feature in the main story line which concerns Meg Magellan.
Meg is picked for
jury service and much of the action in the story is focused on the trial making
this more of a courtroom drama than a murder mystery.
The man in the dock
is local lawyer Terence Gready. He is the mastermind behind a sizable drug
smuggling and distribution network. The drugs are brought into the country
hidden inside replica top of the range sports cars. His front man Mickey Starr
is caught red-handed by Border Force Officers with six million pounds
worth of cocaine hidden in the panels of a replica Ferrari, and he has
little choice but to plead guilty. Mickey has worked for Gready for twenty-five
years but the wily lawyer has made sure that he has never been seen at the motor
company where Mickey works as the manager to which the imported cars are
delivered and neither is his name on any of the documents related to it.
Roy Grace attempts to
persuadeMickey Starr to turn Queen's
evidence and to ensure that he continues to deny all association between them
in court, Gready arranges for Mickey’s younger brother who suffers from Downs
Syndrome to be beaten up a little to keep Mickey in line. However, when the boy
dies it has the opposite effect and Mickey agrees to testify against Gready.
Despite all the
evidence against him, Gready remains confident and arranges to fix the jury.
Meg’s daughter is taking a gap year with a friend in South America and it is
made very clear to her that if she wishes to see her daughter again she will
have to persuade the jury to come to a not guilty verdict. No matter how much
she wants to do the right thing, her daughter’s life and that of her friend
have to take priority. Much of the action in the novel takes place in the jury
room as Meg attempts to sway the verdict.
The character of Meg
Magellan is well draw and the reader will feel moved by her dilemma. Villain
though he is, I also enjoyed the character of Rickey Starr. Though our justice
system in Britain is rightly admired, the book does make the reader appreciate
how one or two articulate voices can sway opinion.
Peter Jameswas educated at Charterhouse and then at film school.
He lived in North America for a number of years, working as a screen writer and
film producer, before returning to England. His multiple award-winning, Sunday
Times Top Ten bestselling novels have been translated into thirty-three
languages. His writings reflect his deep interest in medicine, science and the
world of the police. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of
Venice, starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes. He also co-created
the hit Channel 4 series Bedsitcom, which was nominated for a Rose d'Or. Peter
James won the Krimi-Blitz 2005 Crime Writer of the Year Award in Germany, and
Dead Simple won both the 2006 Prix Polar International award and the 2007 Prix
Cœur Noir award in France. Looking Good Dead was shortlisted for the 2007
Richard and Judy Crime Thriller of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for
both France's SNCF award and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policère. He divides
his time between his homes in Notting Hill in London and Sussex.
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