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The Strangers We Know

A huge thank you to Sarah for my copy of this one.

Imagine seeing your loving husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing that happens to you all week …

 

When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband Oliver on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends laughingly swiped through the men on offer.  But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t let it go. Because she took that photo. On their honeymoon.

 

Suddenly other signs of betrayal start to add up and so Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend her position – she signs up to the app to catch Oliver in the act.

 

But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are …

Wow oh wow!! I haven’t been able to put this book down! I have been so captivated that I have devoured the entire book in just one sitting.

This is definitely a rollercoaster read which hooks you from quite early in chapter one and is utterly impossible to predict where the story is going. This is completely unique to anything I’ve read previously and is definitely a book I recommend.

Charlie is such a likeable character and one you can’t help but like. From the start, you don’t want her suspicions to be true. I have loved how we start the journey with how Charlie and Olive met.

I haven’t trusted Ollie during this one. Something about him, has made me question his character.

I have been desperate to see where the author was taking this one. I definitely haven’t been disappointed. I have been completely and utterly gripped.

This is definitely a five star read.

 

Anticipated Gems December 2020

Wow oh wow! How are we already at December? What a year in books it’s been! I’m excited for 2021 already. But December is bringing some gorgeous gems for release.

Here’s some I’m excited for:

Nature? Nurture? Or just plain luck?

Single mums, Tia and Kay, meet when their sons are born on the same day.

Tia is a product of the welfare system but wants a better life for her son. Her entrapment by her manipulative and controlling boyfriend in the world of drink, drugs, crime and enforced prostitution suggests otherwise. Is she a ‘born devil’ or can she change and break free?

Kay comes from a stable home but sacrifices it all, initially, to live her own kind of life.

Overshadowed by betrayals, mistakes, regrets, and the mystery of an abandoned child, their paths – and those of their families – run parallel or criss-cross over twenty-five years.

Can determination and the power of the snow globe offer a chance of happiness?

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.

When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.

Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.

As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?

‘Mama, wake up.’

The little girl reached for her mother’s face with one pudgy hand. But the eyes stayed closed, and the blood continued to trickle across the floor.

When the body of a young woman is found, tied to her bed and the victim of a brutal attack in her own home, Detective Morgan Brookes is sickened by what she finds as she searches the house. And unprepared for the nightmares it inspires about her childhood.

When the DNA collected gives a positive ID, Morgan can’t wait to put the attacker behind bars. But the person it matches to is already in prison. How could the DNA of someone who has been locked up for over twenty years have shown up in Morgan’s crime scene? And then they make another close match. To Morgan herself.

Faced with the impossible proof that she is somehow connected to this case, Morgan delves deep into the crimes of a killer who stalked the Lake District two decades ago. But distracted by the old case, she misses the signs that he has found a new victim. And when he strikes close to home, Morgan finally realises that she has been living on borrowed time. To find this killer, it’s clear she must confront the nightmares in her past…

A heart-racing, nerve-wracking crime thriller. Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Patricia Gibney will be completely gripped.

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…

An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller for fans of The One, Behind Her Eyes and Girl A!

Afraid Of The Christmas Lights is brought to you by eighteen bestselling crime and thriller writers who between them have topped the Sunday Times and Amazon charts, been Richard and Judy bestsellers, won the Crime Novel of the Year Award, the Bath Novel Award and the UK National Book Awards, had their work made into major television series and been published in over 50 territories worldwide.

Mark Billingham

Rachael Blok

Heather Critchlow

Elle Croft

James Delargy

Clare Empson

Jo Furniss

Sophie Hannah

T.E. Kinsey

N.J. Mackay

S.R. Masters

Val McDermid

Phoebe Morgan

Dominic Nolan

Robert Scragg

Victoria Selman

Kate Simants

Adam Southward

Harriet Tyce

Separated by time. Brought together by fate.

Indulging her fascination for the Viking language and losing herself in an archaeological dig is just what Linnea Berger needs after her recent trauma. Uncovering an exquisite brooch, she blacks out reading the runic inscription, only to come to, surrounded by men in Viking costume, who seem to take re-enactment very seriously.

Lost and confused, Linnea finds herself in the power of Hrafn, a Viking warrior who claims her as his thrall and takes her on a treacherous journey across the seas to sell her for profit. Setting sail, she confronts the unthinkable: she has travelled back to the ninth century.

Linnea is determined to find a way back to her own time, but there’s a connection forming with Hrafn. Can she resist the call of the runes and accept her destiny lies here…

When Jade Ferguson’s affair with a married man abruptly ends, she’s devastated.

There is no quick fix for a broken heart. A fresh start is required.

New job. New home. New neighbours.

The residents of Gresham Terrace seem pleasant enough.

Except for one…

An absolutely gripping debut psychological thriller.

Jess is falling for Sam.

Sam is falling for Jess.

But it seems life will do whatever it takes to make them fall apart.

When Jess and Sam lock eyes at a party, a spark ignites. The spark. But love at first sight isn’t like the movies, especially when Sam’s ex, Victoria, is determined to make their honeymoon period a living hell.

Is love at first sight enough?

Plunging under the cold ocean surface, her long blonde hair drags in the current and she frantically kicks towards the light. With her arms and legs tied she is helpless. As water fills her lungs, she has just one regret. She never told anyone about her date.

On a lonely stretch of coast at daybreak in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Detective Casey White is shocked to find the drowned body of a much-loved local woman, Ann Choplin, her beautiful face covered with specks of sand. The green and white rope binding her wrists reveals the terrifying truth that this innocent mother’s death was no accident.

With the incoming tide flooding the scene and swallowing all evidence, Casey’s team has nowhere to turn… but it’s Casey who realizes this beach will be devastatingly familiar to her partner, ex-sheriff Jericho Flynn. His wife was found murdered here years ago, thrown into the ocean alive just like Ann. But the twisted and jealous woman guilty of that crime has been in prison for years.

Days later, another woman is found drowned on the same beach, her wrists tied. Casey fears a copycat killer is on the loose, playing a deadly game with Jericho by digging up the horrors of his past.

Certain that finding a link between these women will crack the case, Casey works through the night digging into their lives and finds an old photo of the two victims at school together, smiling in their cheerleader uniforms. But cold betrayal floods Casey as she sees Jericho in the background. She’d thought it was safe to let him into her life, but he never once mentioned he knew the victims. What other secrets is he hiding?

When a coil of green and white rope is found in his garage, Casey’s whole team is convinced that the mounting evidence is stacked against Jericho. But with Casey’s instincts screaming that Jericho could never hurt anyone, it will mean risking her own career—and her life—to clear his name. If she’s wrong, she is placing her trust in a killer… but if she’s right, more innocent women are in terrible danger.

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller, with twists and turns that will leave you breathless. Fans of Robert Dugoni, Kendra Elliot and Rachel Caine will be addicted.

What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year Everly Dean has hit rock bottom.

If catching her boyfriend cheating with his assistant wasn’t enough, Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake, a.k.a. Cheating Ex, accidentally being broadcast live on the radio really sealed the deal…

When public humiliation turns her into a viral sensation with a string of potential dates, and suddenly there’s some serious chemistry with her cute but until now distant boss Chris, Everly – the woman who could win a gold medal in people-avoidance – is going to have to dig deep.

They say fake it till you make it, and Everly’s making a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.

THE PERFECT HUSBAND . . .

After a difficult pregnancy, Esther is grateful that her husband Robin offers to put his career on hold so that she can return to the job she loves.

But Esther finds leaving her daughter Riley behind more challenging than she’d thought. And soon the new imbalance in her relationship with Robin brings old tensions to the surface.

OR A PERFECT LIE?

Then one day Esther arrives home from work to find Robin and Riley are missing. As the police investigate their disappearance, it becomes clear that nothing about this modern-day family is what it seems…

Is Robin the perfect father everyone thinks he is? Or was it all a perfect lie?

Unfaithful

“Thank you,” I say sweetly when she tells me I’m lucky to have such a beautiful family. But I want to tell her it’s not just luck. A family is like a fortress you have to defend all the time. You can’t relax because there’s always someone looking for a breach, always someone trying to get in. Someone just like her…

When I arrive unannounced at my husband’s studio in need of a shoulder to cry on after hearing that my best student, Alex, has died, I see a pair of wineglasses drying by the sink and my deepest fear is confirmed: my husband is having an affair.

Most women would fall to their knees in tears and throw him out of the house–but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I go home and cook a healthy dinner for our children, walk the dog and unload the dishwasher without complaint. I will make him see that I’m still the woman he married; attractive, successful, the glue that holds our perfect family together. I need this marriage to work to protect a terrible secret of my own, something that would destroy everything I’ve already sacrificed so much for.

But when the police arrive at my door asking questions about Alex’s death that I can’t answer, and threatening text messages start appearing on my phone, I know that someone close has been watching me very carefully.

The truth is, there are three people in my marriage, but only one of them is deadly…

This is a book which hasn’t been completely what I expected but I have enjoyed reading this one.

This is definitely unique to anything I’ve read previously and I have really enjoyed the plot and how it has developed.

I was originally attracted to the cover, her gorgeous hair colour caught my eye and the synopsis made me completely curious.

I haven’t been able to put this one down. I have devoured the book in just one sitting because I have been so gripped by the story.

I cannot wait to read more by this author: it’s definitely converted me as a fan.

The Smallest Man

Thrilled to join Random Things Tours for this one.

‘I want you to remember something, Nat. You’re small on the outside. But inside you’re as big as everyone else. You show people that and you won’t go far wrong in life.’

 

A compelling story perfect for fans of The Doll Factory, The Illumination of Ursula Flight and The Familiars.

 

My name is Nat Davy. Perhaps you’ve heard of me? There was a time when people up and down the land knew my name, though they only ever knew half the story.

 

The year of 1625, it was, when a single shilling changed my life. That shilling got me taken off to London, where they hid me in a pie, of all things, so I could be given as a gift to the new queen of England.

 

They called me the queen’s dwarf, but I was more than that. I was her friend, when she had no one else, and later on, when the people of England turned against their king, it was me who saved her life. When they turned the world upside down, I was there, right at the heart of it, and this is my story.

 

Inspired by a true story, and spanning two decades that changed England for ever, The Smallest Man is a heartwarming tale about being different, but not letting it hold you back. About being brave enough to take a chance, even if the odds aren’t good. And about how, when everything else is falling apart, true friendship holds people together.

Oh my goodness! I don’t know how any review I write could do this gorgeous read justice. It is absolutely fantastic, completely addictive and one that I already cannot wait to re-read.

I have not been able to put this one down. The author has kept me completely and utterly hooked and I have devoured this one quickly.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I can honestly say the story inside is equally as wonderful. I have loved the author’s writing style for this one, I have felt completely engaged and as though I have known the characters who are within this one.

I absolutely recommend this gorgeous book. It is most definitely a five star read filled with uniqueness and gorgeous characters. This is a book I haven’t been able to put down and would definitely say that this is a must read.

Guest Post: Alison Knight

1960S BLOG POST

IMPRESSIONS OF THE 1960S- THE MAN ON THE MOON AND BUBBLE CARS

They say if you remember the sixties, you weren’t there. Well, that’s probably true for the beautiful people and rock stars who embraced the drug culture, but as I was just achild then, my perceptions of that time are more sugar-fueled than drug-addled!

In recent years, I’ve spent a lot of time in my memories of that time as I wroteMine, a novel based on real events in my family in the late sixties. A few things stand out from 1969 in particular:

In July 1969, while on holiday in Somerset, we sawthe brand new, super- sonicConcorde on one of its test flights. It was so different from other airplanes, so sleek and modern! I always wanted to fly on Concorde one day, but it wasnever to be.

The same month,the first man landed on the moon . My mum woke me up to watch it live on our little black and white TV. “You’ll be able to tell your children that you saw it happen,”said Mum . Flash forward a generation and I proudly tell my ch ildren about it. Were they impressed? Of course not! They had more technology in their mobile phones than the Apollo rockets. My grandchildren are equally unimpressed.

The Representation of the People Act 1969 changed the age at which a person in the UK was regarded as an adult. It reduced from twenty-one years to eighteen years. My sister was eighteen in 1969, so was one of the first affected by the law. It was a double -edged sword for her because, when she suddenly found herself alone with a small childof her own to care for, she was regarded as an adult and wasn’t given any support. If the law hadn’t changed, she would have been regarded as a child and she and her baby would have become the responsibility of the state. She might have lost her baby as having a child out of wedlock was regarded asa bad thing and social services had the power to put both my sister and her baby into care and could well have separated them. Thankfully, we had lots of family who stepped forward to support them and mother andchild remained together. How different from the attitudes and the support available to young mums today.

While visitingone of my uncles in June 1969, I had my first experience of watchingcolour television.Like most people, we hadablack and white TV then, so seeing the Wimbledon tennis tournament in colour was quite a shock. It was sogreen!

Unusually for the sixties, my dad had acar phone.He worked as a chauffeur for a company director and in his company Jaguar there was a box attached to the dashboard with a Bakelite phone receiver and circular dial. To make a call, you had to dial the radio operator and ask them to put you through to a landline number. I remember my mum using the phone to call my grandparents to tell them to get the kettle on as we were on our way to see them. We’d lose the radio signal when we drove into the Blackwall Tunnel. Finally, I mentioned Bubble Cars in the title of this post, so I’d better tell you of one of my favourite memories from the 1960s. My mum had a big win at bingo and used the money to buy a lovely red Bubble Car. It was so cute– a little round car, with a door at the front and only two seats. I was very small at the time and used to sit on the parcel shelf at the back (no health and safety considerations in those days!). One day, the Bubble Car broke down in the Blackwall Tunnel between East and South – East London, causing a large traffic jam. To clear the gridlock, four men picked up the car and carried it out of the tunnel. My mum was so embarrassed she soldit the next day.

So, those are some of my memories from the 1960s. I remember it as a time of laughter and music and amazing possibilities. But it was also a time when Victorian attitudes still prevailed i n a lot of aspects of life; when you were born into a class and were expected to know your place; when women were still regarded as second-class citizens andfeminism was just beginning to gain support.What are your impressions of the 1960s?

My book,Minȩ is set in London in 1968-69. It explores themes of class, ambition and sexual politics and shows how ordinary people can make decisions that lead them into extraordinary situations. Here’s the blurb:

“What’s mine, I keep.”

London, 1968.

Lily’s dreamsof a better life for her family are shattered when her teenage daughter refuses to give up her illegitimate child. It doesn’t help that Lily’s husband, Jack, takes their daughter’s side.

Taking refuge in her work at a law firm in the City, Lily’s growing feelings for her married boss soon provides a dangerous distraction.

Will Lily be able to resist temptation? Or will the decisions made by these ordinary people lead them down an extraordinary path that could destroy them all?

Mine – a powerful story ofclass, ambition and sexual politics.

BUY LINK– Mineis published by Darkstroke Books on 25th November and is

available for pre-order now: mybook.to/mineknight

INVITATION TO AN ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH: On Saturday 28th November 2020, Alison will be joining four other authors for a joint event via Zoom called Darkstroke Defined: The five writers will talk about their new books, read extracts and answer questions. For your free ticket, go to:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darkstroke- defined -tickets – 125793372363

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY– ALISON KNIGHT

Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund – raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties, Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full -time. Her first book was published a year aftershe completed her master’s degree.

Alisonco-manages Imagine Creative Writing with author Jenny Kane. She teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreatsfor writersas well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS– ALISON KNIGHT http://www.alisonroseknight.com http://www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk http://www.darkstroke.com/dark-stroke/alison-knight/ http://www.facebook.com/alison.knight.942 @Alison_Knight59 on Twitter

Haunted Magpie

Thrilled to join Random Things Tours for this blog tour.

Synopsis

Eccentric, headstrong and engaging, Isabel Flores Montserrat is a cross between a highly charged Precious Ramotswe (The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency) & Phyrne Fisher (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries).

When 33-year-old Isabel Flores Montserrat quits a promising career with the Spanish police to run her mother’s holiday rentals agency in rural Mallorca, it seems that her crime-fighting days are far behind. Basking in the Mediterranean sunshine with pet ferret, Furo, she indulges her passion for local cuisine, swimming in the sea and raising her pampered hens. However, when a young florist goes missing, Isabel is once again seconded by the National Police to help solve the mystery. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing in her own village with a sinister spate of animal disappearances. When another islander vanishes, Isabel and the local police chief, Tolo Cabot, must hunt a potential serial killer using their unorthodox investigative skills. With the clock ticking, they urgently need to find answers and restore harmony to the island once more.

Bookish Opinions

This has been my first read by this author but I definitely want to read more. This has been a great read from start to finish. I have definitely been left wanting more.

I love Isabel, she is the perfect sleuth in this book. The writer has given her a great personality and made us feel as though we know her.

This has been an interesting and unique read which I highly recommend as it has been a fun and easy read.

I have devoured this book in just one sitting and immediately added others by this author to my TBR.

Unwrapping the Best Man

Thrilled to join Rachel for this one.

Unwrapping The Best Man (Mills & Boon Dare) by [Rachael Stewart]

She’s spicing up Christmas
…starting with the best man!

After lusting after brawny, gorgeous Jackson Black for six years – Caitlin’s craving is finally satisfied on the deliciously naughty night of their best friends’ wedding. But just as Cait thinks she’s broken through Jackson’s fiercely-guarded defenses, he leaves during the night. Now Cait’s ready to play dirty. Because the only thing worse than a sexy Grinch stealing your heart is if he breaks it…

Well this one has made me blush unsuspectingly. I wasn’t prepared for how steamy this book was going to get.

I have devoured this book in sitting. I have really liked main character Caitlin and how she has just gone to get exactly as she wishes.

I had absolutely no idea where the author was going to take this book. It has definitely been a rollercoaster read.

The author has painted a clear picture in my mind of the characters and I’ve really enjoyed how this has played out.

I definitely recommend Rachel’s books. A great read.

Pigeon Blood Red

Synopsis

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job: retrieve his gangster boss’s stolen goods, and teach the person responsible a lesson.

But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu. There, the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory, when innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in a crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, hunter and prey develop an unlikely respect for one another.

Soon, he is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the very people who have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Bookish Opinions

This has been a book which has been shorter than I had initially anticipated and one that I haven’t been able to put down.

I have literally been so addicted to this book that I have devoured this in just one sitting.

I have loved the authors style of writing and definitely been captivated. I am also keen to read more by this author.

This book has an intriguing plot, Rico is a great main character and I have loved following the journey with him.

This is definitely a book that I could imagine as a film. I highly recommend this book.

Q&A Martin Bodenham

Absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity for a Q&A with Martin Bodenham, author of Crime and Justice as part of the Damp Pebbles blog tour.

What type of books do you enjoy reading? 

My favourite genre is crime thrillers. I’m a lazy reader, so I prefer short chapters, which I can graze on when I have a few minutes. Crime thrillers tend to have short chapters as they help maintain the pace. I once watched a documentary on a well-known thriller author (whose name escapes me). I remember him saying all thriller novels and movies have about fifty or sixty chapters/scenes in order to maintain the pacing. He was right. Now I can’t stop myself from counting the scenes of every thriller I watch.

 

Who are your favourite authors? 

My preferred authors are John Grisham and Michael Connelly. They both have an easy flowing, conversational writing style. It looks easy. Believe me, it is incredibly hard to achieve.

 

An oldie that I must mention is Deliverance by James Dickey. Many remember the movie that was made soon after the book came out in the early seventies. It is still one of the best thrillers I have read.

 

Finally, I must mention Red Notice by Bill Browder. It is actually non-fiction, but the book reads like a thriller.

 

Do you have a writing routine? 

Because I used to commute into London for many years, I am an early riser. Most of my writing is done in the mornings, often before 8 a.m. when the phone isn’t ringing and there are few distractions. When I am writing the first draft of a novel, I set myself a target of 1,000 words a day so I can finish the rough version in three months. I have tried writing with the radio on, but it prevents my thought process. I prefer complete silence or quiet instrumental music in the background. My one rule is that I must have a strong espresso around eleven each morning to keep me going.

 

 

Where do you find your inspiration? 

Some of my ideas have come from my first career in corporate finance. The corporate takeover world is full of big egos and larger than life people. Some of their characteristics I have “borrowed” for characters in my novels. As for storylines, I like to read news headlines and obituaries, both of which are great sources for plots and character arcs.

 

When I came up with the idea for Crime And Justice, I had recently seen a documentary on the use of DNA matching and its use in exonerating people in old cases. It made me realise how much we have come to rely on that forensic process, almost without question. I wondered how easy it might be for the results to be manipulated.

 

 

 

Do you know the ending when you begin to write? 

 

Yes. I am very much a plotter. Once I have a story idea, my next step is to create a paragraph or two for each of the fifty or so chapters. That becomes the outline of the story. I spend quite a lot of time at this stage, reordering the plot, looking for gaps and thinking of twists. Only when I have a complete outline of thirty pages or so, do I begin to write the novel. That way, I know I have a story that hangs together. Usually, as I write the book, new thoughts come to mind, which I try to weave in for greater depth. The outline has to be an organic thing. It cannot be too rigid. Some of my best plot twists have come from new ideas as I write the book.

 

 

How long does it take you to write a book?

The best part of a year. Normally, once I have a story idea, it takes me about a month to create the outline. Once I begin writing the book, I aim to complete the first draft in around three months. Then I leave it for a few weeks before beginning the revision process. That can involve several months going over the book, rewriting sections, correcting errors and deleting redundant sections. Only when I am absolutely sick of reading the draft will I send it to a couple of beta readers for their feedback. After that, I send it to my publisher and the editing team there begins its process. A year flies by in no time.

 

Do you read your reviews? How do you cope with good/bad reviews?

Of course. I read all reviews. Early on as a writer, you learn that your work will not be everyone’s cup of tea. While it’s always welcome to receive positive reviews, there are some gold nuggets to be found in the negative ones. If there are recurring themes/comments, I try to learn from them so I can make sure I don’t repeat the same thing on future novels. That’s how I learned not to include too many technical details in my financial thriller novels. Some reviewers of my first novel mentioned how the technical content slowed down their enjoyment of the story. I made sure I scaled back on the technical stuff in later novels, hopefully, without detracting from their authenticity.

 

Do you have a favourite character you have created? 

It would have to be Detective Linda Farrell, who heads up the investigation into the rape allegation against the mayor’s son in Crime And Justice. I love her rebellious character, her disdain for arrogance, and her unstinting search for justice. While she makes mistakes and takes decisions that appear reckless at times, her heart is always in the right place. I’m hoping she might become my first serial character.

 

 

What advice would you give an aspiring writer? 

Do it for fun, not money. Most writers don’t earn more than minimum wage!

 

Enjoy the process. Listen to editors. Don’t be precious about your work. None of us has a monopoly on good ideas. Editors can turn a good story into a great one.

 

 

What do you hope readers take away from your book?

Crime And Justice, although based around a charge of sexual assault, is really about Detective Linda Farrell’s search for truth and justice in the face of political corruption and corrupted evidence. If you like Lynda La Plante’s Jane Tennison, you’ll love Detective Linda Farrell.

 

 

What key challenges do you face when writing? 

Once I have a story idea, I don’t have a problem writing the book or creating characters. However, I am not one of those authors whose heads are filled with story ideas. I find I dismiss most of the ideas I come across because I ask myself, “Is this idea strong enough to devote a year’s effort to?” That’s a tough but realistic hurdle. Only when I am certain the story is worth the effort, will I begin the process.

 

If this book happened to become a movie/series- who would you like cast? 

You have hit upon something here. When I create a character, often I will try to think of an actor for the role at the outline stage. That way, I can more easily visualise each character as I write. That said, I try not to share those thoughts with the reader. In my view, authors can become too descriptive. I like to leave a lot of room for the reader to create his/her own visual image of the main characters. It makes them more real.

 

However, if you really want to know who was in my mind as I wrote Crime And Justice, here they are:

 

Detective Linda Farrell: Sandra Bullock

Clark Stanton (crime lab manager): Edward Norton

Jeff Peltz (corrupt fixer for the mayor): Michael Kelly

 

What have been the highlights of writing this book? 

I had a lot of fun researching the DNA matching protocols within crime labs and I learned much about the US DNA databases. It’s a fascinating world. After I wrote the novel, Netflix brought out a documentary called How To Fix A Drug Scandal. It’s about the criminal actions of two employees at US crime labs and the effect their actions had on the legal process. I took a lot of encouragement from this as it highlighted similar issues brought up in my novel.  You can’t just make stuff up as an author. As the late, great Tom Clancy once said, “The difference between truth and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.”

What if we could no longer trust DNA profiling, the silver bullet of our criminal justice system? For years, we’ve relied on it to solve decades-old crimes, convict the guilty, and liberate the innocent from death row. But what happens to that trust when a crime lab scientist is leaned on to manipulate the evidence or, worse still, lose it altogether?

 

Ruthless Seattle mayor, Patti Rainsford, announces her candidacy for state governor. She’ll do anything to succeed. When her son is arrested for the rape and assault of a seventeen-year-old girl, Rainsford’s political career is in jeopardy.

 

Detective Linda Farrell is assigned to investigate. After twelve years working in SPD’s sexual assault unit, her career is drifting, not helped by the single-minded detective’s contempt for police protocol and the pressure of her failing marriage. The high-profile rape case is a rare chance to shine and maybe even get her life back on track. Nothing will stop her seeking justice for the young victim.

 

With a mountain of personal debt and his wife’s business on a knife-edge, Clark Stanton is facing financial meltdown. Then a stranger offers him a lifeline in return for a favor. As the manager of Seattle’s crime lab, all Clark has to do is make the rape kit evidence against the mayor’s son go away.

 

 

About Martin Bodenham:

Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer, and Shakedown. Crime And Justice is his latest novel.

 

After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.

 

 

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MartinBodenham

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/martin-bodenham-8228307

Website: https://www.martinbodenham.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/martinbodenham/

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/38jJq90

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3n1kLKz

Google Books: https://bit.ly/2IcS4LS

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/32oUnlX

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3p99Yjx

 

Harper’s Heroes

Oxford Street, London 1915

Sally Harper quietly battles to keep Harpers afloat in the difficult days of the war, whilst husband Ben is working all hours for the War Office.

Beth Burrow is fighting concern for her husband Jack, now at sea with the Merchant Navy, and the fear she may never see him again and be blessed with a child.

Driven to exhaustion, Maggie Gibbs, is now working as a nursing assistant on the battlefields in France. With the everyday horrors of the casualties of war to contend with she suffers her own personal tragedy when her fiancé’s plane ditches in the sea.

Can the Harpers Girls and their loved ones survive the perils of war and find a path to future happiness?

A heart-warming saga following the lives, loves and losses of the Harpers Girls. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Pam Howes and Dilly Court.

I love Rosie Clarke books and this one has been no different. I have been completely hooked from very early on in this book and found that this is another gorgeous gem that I have devoured in just one sitting.

I absolutely love the Harper’s girls and this has been a welcome return to visit the ladies.

This book has stirred my emotions and made me want to give each if they ladies a hug. They are so realistic they could easily be family.

Clarke pulls you into the pages and makes it completely impossible to put these books down.

This is another absolutely gorgeous book which is highly deserving of five stars.