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Sunday 21 January 2024

‘A Treachery Of Friends’ by C J Carver

Published by Bloodhound Books,
12 December 2023.
ISBN: 978-1-91697811-9 (PB)

When Sidney Scott was eight her father showed her some magic tricks. She became fascinated and hooked on the science behind magic. Then her father disappeared but unlike the magic card tricks he never reappeared.

Fourteen years later, Sid is a supernatural sceptic, some people called her a ghostbuster. Her speciality is exposing paranormal scams. When she receives a call from Detective Kelly, of the Gloucestershire police, she is both frightened and hopeful that it relates to her father’s disappearance. But it relates to a traffic accident and the death of one Owen Evans, who Sid has never heard of.  But in his clothing is a post card with her name and address on it, and it is undoubtedly in her father’s handwriting. Then he breaks the news that Owen Evans death was not an accident, but a murder.

Detective Kelly is circumspect in what he tells Sid, but from the postcard she gleans enough to set off on her own investigation. Her starting point is St John’s College, where Owen Evans had been a student.  After giving her name to the Head Porter he  makes a telephone call and then hands her a piece of paper and tells her to ring one Winstone Fairchild, who will be able to help her. And through him she learns of two powerful men: one is an ambitious politician, and the other the leader of a religious cult.

There is much unrest in the country, with demonstrations orchestrated by people out only for themselves. Sid makes the mistake of visiting the cult, where she finds true evil.  As in most mysteries the people you place your trust in are not always good people.  On the other hand, people can also surprise you. 

Horrifying, in fact terrifying. To say that the story is scary is a gross understatement.  Could this happen?  

I have read every book by C J Carver, and she always has me on the edge of my seat as the twists and turns of the story unfold. Yet again she delivers an incredible read.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Caroline Carver was brought up on a dairy farm. At 18 she headed for the bright lights of London and four years later took a holiday in Australia which turned into a ten-year stay, working for the Sydney arm of several major international publishers. Between jobs, she travelled widely and adventurously: back-packing in South-East Asia on $10 a day for nine months, walking in New Zealand, trekking in Nepal and riding a camel through the Thar Desert are just a few of her travel experiences. Her first novel Blood Junction won the CWA Debut Dagger and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best mystery books of the year.

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