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My very own website!!! Yikes!

Play Dead, by Anne Penketh

 

I am absolutely thrilled to have added a new author to my bookshelf! I didn’t find out until the end that this was actually the third in the series of DI Sam Clayton books. It works perfectly as a standalone but now I am intrigued as to what I missed (off to hunt for them…)
A woman is discovered murdered, impaled by her cello. Other members of the orchestra are targeted and an accidental death in the recent past is revealed to be murder too.
Musical politics are at the centre of the case that Clayton and his team need to investigate. There is also a personal worry as Clayton’s girlfriend is in the choir associated with the orchestra…
Play Dead was an excellent police procedural novel. The police team is at the heart of the book and their investigation takes place before our eyes. There is humour and banter as you would expect from a team and this gives a degree of realism without the hierarchical tensions that are often rife in police books.
The police characters are well developed and author Anne Penketh has made Clayton is particularly easy to like. The suspects are all acting suspiciously so I had no idea who was responsible for the murders. All of the investigation loose ends are tied up by the end of the book whcih I personally find more satisfying than open ended novels.
There is plenty of scope for more books as Clayton’s personal life has unfinished threads and Norwich is a big place, lots of potential crimes!

Play Dead (Detective Sam Clayton #3) by Anne Penketh

 

A SLEEPY ENGLISH CITY IS ROCKED BY A SERIES OF MURDERS TARGETING MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL ORCHESTRA.
WHO IS KILLING OFF MUSICIANS WITH THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS?
Detective Inspector Sam Clayton is called in to investigate three victims with ties to the Norfolk Festival Orchestra.
Musician Kristina Manning is impaled by her cello spike.
The disgraced conductor is found with his head stuffed into a piano. He’s on the brink of death.
A trumpeter dies, poisoned by his mouthpiece.
Will Clayton’s new girlfriend, Melissa, a singer in the NFO, be next on the murderer’s list?
Is there a serial killer with a musical edge on the loose? And what does the disappearance of former orchestra member Lauren Garner have to do with it?
A MYSTERY WITH A STUNNING TWIST AND A RACE AGAINST TIME TO STOP A MURDER SPREE
PLAY DEAD is the third in a new series of page-turning crime thrillers set in an atmospheric part of Norfolk. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Mel Sherratt, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.
What readers are saying about ANNE PENKETH
“Five out of five stars!” Michelle K
“I had a hard job putting this one down as it had me fully engaged and wanting more.” Dawn J
“This book was brilliant from start to finish, it was totally gripping from the first page. I read this book in one sitting, it was so good I didn’t want to put it down.” Lynn G
“Great book to read on holiday with a satisfyingly twisting storyline.” CH
A real page turner.” Barb D
“It had many twists which kept me guessing. I would never have worked out the ending.” Shamiela A
Riveting read.” Penny B
“Sam Clayton is not your average hard-boiled detective. He has problems of his own as he sets out to find a serial killer.” Meg B
THE TEAM
Detective Inspector Sam Clayton leads the investigation into the North Norfolk murders, joined the police straight from school as a beat bobby in Manchester before rising through the ranks of the CID. He was transferred to Norwich after being promoted to DI following a high-profile case investigated by Lancashire Constabulary.
Detective Sergeant Julie Everett is an intuitive officer who was promoted to detective sergeant from her home town of Ipswich where she had a background in child protection. She is discreet about her personal life among colleagues, particularly about the tragedy which haunts her. She has to deal with a high-pressure job while raising her child who moved with her to Norwich.
ALSO BY ANNE PENKETH
THE DI SAM CLAYTON SERIES
Book 1: MURDER ON THE MARSH
Book 2: THE BAD SISTER
Book 3: PLAY DEAD

 

Anne Penketh – Author Bio
I’m a Lancashire lass but for most of my career, I’ve been a foreign correspondent. I’ve reported from all over the world on some of the most cataclysmic events of our time, including the Egyptian revolution and the collapse of the Berlin wall.
While in London I was diplomatic editor of The Independent, but these days I’m based in Paris and concentrating on fiction writing. The third in a series of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Sam Clayton, Play Dead, is out now. My first novel, Food Fight, was published in 2015.
I’ve reported from Paris mainly for The Independent and The Guardian, but I also contributed to France24 television and Monocle radio.  As a freelancer, I’ve written for The New Zealand Herald and The National (Abu Dhabi), as well as the LA Times, the New York Times, the Radio Times, the Oldie, Monocle magazine, Quartz, and Spark News.
Between 2009 and 2012, I headed the Washington office of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), a trans-Atlantic NGO focused on nuclear disarmament.
During my ten-year stint on The Independent I was one of the few journalists to report from Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, I was a staff foreign correspondent with the French news agency, AFP, which posted me to Moscow during the incredible Gorbachev years. I also reported for AFP from France, and New York where I covered the United Nations.
I started my journalistic career in Canada, arriving with two suitcases to seek my fortune in Montreal, from where I reported for British newspapers before getting a job on the Montreal Gazette.
Before that, I was a postgraduate student at University College London whose French department nurtured my lifelong love of French literature and culture.
LINKS
Website:  www.annepenketh.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anne.penketh.9

 


Watch Her Die and Dead of Night, by Deborah Lucy

Two reviews in one!

Watch Her Die
Tensions are high in the police force: financial pressures and personal feuds are rife but will they interrupt a murder investigation?
DI Temple is estranged from his wife, keeps an illegal gun and is loathed by his superior Harker due to an indiscretion with the latter’s daughter that will never be forgiven or forgotten. He is put in charge of the murder investigation following the death of a beautiful woman with a complicated sexual history but is contantly fighting against beligerent officers, a lack of manpower and a whole load of secretive suspects. Meanwhile his own family are at risk due to a previous case.
Temple is paired with dodgy cop Sloper who has plenty of secrets to hide but also has the ear of the chief. Some parts of the book were fast paced and others were the methodical contemplaition of interviews and clues.
Watch Her Die is a solid police procedure novel and the effect of the personalities of the officers on the case is fascinating to read. There are excellent twists in the book and none of the suspects are particularly likeable or blameless.
Temple’s tenacity in the face of adversity makes him endearing depsite the huge mistakes he has made which impact on his work and home life. As an introduction to a new series and detective, I couldn’t ask for more!

Dead of Night
This book is much darker and involves drug trafficking and the sexual exploitation of young teenage girls.
We meet up with Temple again 6 months after the conclusion of the previous book. His family circumstances have dramatically changed again (but I won’t give away how and spoil the ending of the previous book!) He is also facing disciplinary action for disobeying orders and the police chief who hates him has decided to get revenge at last. Simon Sloper is set against him and we see the seedier side to his behaviour.
Reading about the exploitation of the young girls was quite heartbreaking and often difficult due to the intense sadness the descriptions generated. I have heard of county lines in relation to safeguarding at the secondary school I work at, so know how real the danger to children is right now.
Dead of Night was much more emotive than Watch Her Die. We see how the girls are treated and are also shown the thoughts of other characters so understand their actions better. The unfairness that Temple faces at work and the difficult decisions he has had to make regarding his home life make the reader sympathetic towards him and hope he gets a positive outcome.
I’m hoping for more in this series as Temple recovers from the revelations this case produces…

WATCH HER DIE (Detective Temple Mystery Book 1) by Deborah Lucy
 
MEET A NEW AUTHOR WHO WILL TAKE YOU ON AN ADDICTIVE CRIME THRILLER JOURNEY.
Please note this book was originally published as “Death Watch.”
HE WATCHED HER DIE
Who murdered Greta Ashton-Jones? This beautiful married woman is found naked, strangled and tied to her bed. Who’s been watching her and taking pictures of her? Who needed to kill her — and why?
Detective Inspector Temple investigates. It’s not the straightforward ‘domestic murder’ he’s been told. Written off by a boss who’s relegated him to the back office, he knows he has to find her killer and fast, but he soon has trouble of his own.
DISCOVER A MURDER MYSTERY YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT DOWN TILL THE STUNNING CONCLUSION
He’s on the wrong side of the law trying to protect himself and his family when a dangerous criminal with a vendetta is released from prison. As things go wrong, losing his job is the least of his problems.
Temple uncovers a tangled web of deceit, betrayal and blackmail which leads him to a depraved undercover world.
CAN DETECTIVE TEMPLE CATCH THE KILLER BEFORE HIS OWN LIFE FALLS APART?
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
What readers are saying about WATCH HER DIE
Could not put it down.” SP
Well written and plotted, an excellent and complex crime novel.” MP
‘Loved this book, gripping story, kept me guessing till the end.’ DW
Compulsive read!” GC
THE DETECTIVE
As a small boy, DI Temple found his mother dead. She had been brutally murdered, with the crime unresolved. Temple is a man on a mission to find her killer, it’s why he joined the police. With the past throwing a long shadow over his life, as a detective, this makes him even more determined to seek justice for other victims as he hunts their killers. His personal quest makes him difficult to live with and difficult to work with and his relationships suffer. But he’ll stop at nothing to protect his family, even though they are estranged and if it means breaking the law.
THE SETTING
The DI Temple novels are set in Wiltshire, a largely rural county. Its landscape of beautiful rolling hills, downs and valleys gives no immunity to the crime that infects its scattered towns and villages. Steeped in ancient history, the tourist guides make no mention of the organised crime groups, the murders and turf wars, or the drugs that saturate the streets, lanes and school playgrounds. The M4 artery across the top of the county pumps its poison from London and Bristol, linking east and west coasts, providing criminal gangs and networks with an easy route to ply their deadly trade.
DEAD OF NIGHT (Detective Temple Mystery Book 2) by Deborah Lucy
A MACABRE KILLER WORKS IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT. HE’S VERY GOOD – NO ONE SEES HIM.
14-year-old local girl, China Lewis is reported missing by her friend Amy. Detective Inspector Temple is tasked to find her. The more he discovers about China, the greater the danger he knows she’s in.
Temple needs to find her and fast. But when his past suddenly catches up with him and two more girls go missing, it becomes personal. Temple’s quest to find the girls takes him into an evil world of exploitation and it seems he’s the only one who really cares.
ONE SERIAL KILLER. THREE MISSING GIRLS.
Temple has to take a gamble that risks the lives of the girls he’s trying to save. As he uncovers police corruption, he is forced to work in the shadows. Who can he trust now?
TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO SAVE THEM.
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
DISCOVER A RACE-AGAINST-TIME MYSTERY FULL OF TWISTS AND TURNS.
What readers are saying about DEBORAH LUCY
“Could not put it down.” SP
“Well written and plotted, an excellent and complex crime novel.” MP
‘Loved this book, gripping story, kept me guessing till the end.’ DW
“Compulsive read!” GC
THE DETECTIVE
As a small boy, DI Temple found his mother dead. She had been brutally murdered, with the crime unresolved. Temple is a man on a mission to find her killer, it’s why he joined the police. With the past throwing a long shadow over his life, as a detective, this makes him even more determined to seek justice for other victims as he hunts their killers. His personal quest makes him difficult to live with and difficult to work with and his relationships suffer. But he’ll stop at nothing to protect his family, even though they are estranged and if it means breaking the law.
THE SETTING
The DI Temple novels are set in Wiltshire, a largely rural county. Its landscape of beautiful rolling hills, downs and valleys gives no immunity to the crime that infects its scattered towns and villages. Steeped in ancient history, the tourist guides make no mention of the organised crime groups, the murders and turf wars, or the drugs that saturate the streets, lanes and school playgrounds. The M4 artery across the top of the county pumps its poison from London and Bristol, linking east and west coasts, providing criminal gangs and networks with an easy route to ply their deadly trade.
DEBORAH LUCY AUTHOR BIO
Deborah Lucy was born in Southsea and bought up in Portsmouth, the island city. In her working life, Deb has worked alongside a number of senior investigating officers as they’ve investigated major crime – from murder, to missing persons to abduction and kidnaps. She’s been at the 7am starts and the 3am finishes, the ‘golden hour’s,’ the high’s, the low’s, the breakthrough’s, the arrests. The slog. The politics.
For three years she worked in the missing adults and children arena, with police, government policy advisors and charities. Latterly, she conducted lifestyle enquiries for international blue-chip companies into the lives of billionaires, millionaires and politically exposed people around the world.
She is a non-fiction author, ghost-writer and has been a consultant on a forthcoming ITV drama series, A Confession starring Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton, involving a real case she was involved in. She has a master’s degree in historical research. Her experiences lend authenticity to her stories; she also wants her books to be entertaining and find fans amongst those who are the hardest to please – the most discerning of crime readers and real life detectives.
Links
Website: www.deborahlucy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahLucy1809348826037410
Twitter: @DeborahLucy6


The Silent Dead by Graham Smith

What a book! I’d advise you to read only if you have a strong stomach as the detail of the murders is very graphic, but the book itself is just exquisite.
Beth Young is a police officer starting out in a new team and her first case is a gruesome murder. A man is found at a stately home ruin. He has feathers attached to his back and has been forced to breathe fire. Soon more bodies are found and a serial killer in on the loose.
The description of the injuries is horrific and detailed but described in a factual way by the pathologist so it does not seem gratuitous or excessive. We get the emotional reaction from Beth as she struggles to comprehend how one human could do that to another.
We follow the police investigation but also see the preparation as the killer stalks his next victim. The danger is almost palpable as the reader waits for him to make his move…
I really really loved this book. It is interesting to read about a new police officer finding her feet on the job, negotiating office politics and developing working relationships with colleagues.
The book is fast paced and never loses momentum. It is fascinating to see inside the killer’s mind through the parts of narrative that focus on his life and experiences. The psychological impact of the past cannot be underestimated.
Beth has a past that haunts her as well: she has a significant facial injury caused by being stabbed with a broken bottle and the perpetrator was never brought to justice. This book is the first to feature Beth and I look forward to following her career in its sequels.
 
Title:                  THE SILENT DEAD     
 
Author:     GRAHAM SMITH   
 
Publication Day: 30th November 2018
Buy Links :
Amazon: http://geni.us/B07H2DG957social
iBookstore: https://tinyurl.com/ydhftyxx
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y75k5vng
Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/ybchbhzl
 
Description:
He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.
The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.
As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.
But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?
A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. 
 
Author Bio:
Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.
He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.
An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.
When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.
 
Author Social Media Links:
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972
WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true
 

The importance of children playing outside

I am not a fan of the big outdoors. I am almost always cold or on the odd occasion too hot. I don’t like rain, wind, mud, puddles, nature in general.

I have discussed in my explanation of my vegetarianism that I don’t like animals. I don’t want them near me. But the second I step out of doors nature’s finest converge on me.
However, I do appreciate the beauty of our planet (as I hope my supermoon fixation earlier this year shows!) I love snow in particular and the way the whole world seems magical: I just don’t want to be out in in for longer than 15 minutes…

It is important for me to not pass on my idiosyncrasies to the children or restrict them in any way from developing a relationship with the world.
They love being outdoors. Walks anywhere take forever because every stick, stone and petal need to be extensively examined and sometimes carried home.
This week we finally got some sunshine after what feels like weeks of rain! My vertigo is still refusing to go so a walk wasn’t possible but we could make the most of being out in the garden:

I am always amazed that my children who frequently declare their need for more toys can be entertained for almost 2 solid hours with sticks. All 3 played in flower beds (no flowers, just shrubs!), they made dens, potions, epic battles. Zach also ate quite a bit of mud…
Once again nature conspired against me and I found a dead frog in the garden. I wanted to leave it for Chris to deal with when he got home but then remembered that I am a grown up myself. I found a trowel and dug a grave before burying the body. Moments later Matthew found the frogspawn elsewhere in the garden. I did leave that for Chris to re-locate!
Life and death.
Vital lessons for children but also for adults. The fragility of life, the appreciation of the present day, the enjoyment of simple pleasures. Imagination, hope and practicality.
Our world is a beautiful and terrible place. Nature is cruel and also creates joy.
Playing outside with adult supervision is essential for children to develop a healthy respect for the world that surrounds them, and helps with an understanding of the cycles of life that affects us all.

Thursday 9th February: do you see dead people?

Not out and about obviously (unless you do, eeek!). I’m talking about your dreams.

This derives from a conversation with my mum yesterday. She had spoken to my grandmother who had dreamed about my Grandad who died in 2012. When Mum mentioned this to my uncle, he thought it was a bit weird as he’s never dreamed about departed loved ones.

I regularly dream of my dead family members. In family groups they are just there in their rightful place, alive. As far as I’m concerned our loved ones shape us as people and it is natural to dream about them because they play a major role in our lives and memories. Nanny had spent 60 years married to the man she loved, surely it would be peculiar to NOT think of him in everyday life and dreams. I recently had a dream with all 4 grandparents in it despite the reality that only 1 is still alive. Last night, in light of this conversation probably, I dreamed about my Nanny and Grandad: it wasn’t scary, he wasn’t dead in my dream.

The odd thing is I don’t dream of my children. In the above dream I was surrounded by babies but none of them were Zach and the older 2 weren’t there at all (hate to think what the dream analysts would say to that!)

So what do you think? Are dreams a way of keeping loved ones alive in our hearts and minds. Is it morbid and unhealthy, denial even? Are we simply replaying events to make sense of them?