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Silent Crimes, by Michael Hambling

 

Somehow the previous 7 books in this series had escaped my notice (I blame the kids as I gave up reading due to lack of time and am now rediscovering my passion as I try to inspire them to love books too). Book number 8 Silent Crimes works perfectly as a stand alone book and I actually didn’t realise there were previous books until information at the end of the book lists them.
DCI Sophie Allen’s daughter Jade discovers the body of a local tramp who she had befriended and fed. It becomes clear that Paul Prentice had left the world behind in order to escape his past. He was a member of a commune over a decade ago; internal politics, rifts and relationships had led to the disappearance of the owner Katie and then the disintegration of the commune.
Allen liaises with other police forces to pursue the investigation and secrets begin to unravel…
Michael Hambling has created a storng female lead but in this book she is very understated. There are little touches of description from her daughter and colleagues that possibly hint to a more dominant personality than is explored in this book but may be present in the preceding ones.
There is little violence or graphic forensic detail in this book: the focus is very much on the police investigation. At one point Rae discusses her boyfriend’s love of police novels and TV shows,  laughing at their hype and stereotypes which are rarely representative of real police work.
The investigation concentrates in several directions as the current murder is connected to the disappearance of Katie and also linked to the attempted murder of another commune member. The perpetrator of the latter crime has just been released from prison and is intent on creating problems for his ‘enemies’ but did this include murdering Paul?
All of the loose ends are concluded by the end of the book and the full detail of the motive and culprit is not revealed until right at the end.
Silent Crimes is a very enjoyable police investigation novel. I liked the range of detective characters and now want to read the rest of the books in the series to see how their personalities, relationships and careers have progressed up until this case.

 

SILENT CRIMES (Detective Sophie Allen #8) by Michael Hambling
 
Looking for a gripping mystery by a best-selling author? Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the satisfying conclusion.
AN INTRICATE MYSTERY FULL OF BURIED SECRETS
Detective Sophie Allen’s daughter discovers the body of a reclusive tramp in remote woodland in Dorset. He’s been dead for a week.
Sophie and her team try to piece together something about his life, but progress is slow.
NO ONE IS QUITE WHAT THEY SEEM.
Then a hidden package is discovered near his rudimentary shelter. The police also find out that someone has been in the area asking about the tramp recently. A picture begins to emerge.
He was an important member of a commune that had a three-year existence on a farm on the Quantock Hills in Somerset more than decade earlier.
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE COMMUNE AND WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL DYING BECAUSE OF IT?
Discover the truth in this captivating crime mystery.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.
SILENT CRIMES is book eight of a new series of crime thrillers featuring Sophie Allen, head of the Violent Crime Unit in Dorset.
THE DETECTIVES
DCI Sophie Allen is Dorset’s acknowledged expert on murder and violent crime. She is 42 as the series starts, and lives with her husband and younger daughter in Wareham. Her elder daughter is studying in London. Sophie has a law degree and a master’s in criminal psychology. Her brilliant mind conceals some dark secrets from her past.
DS Barry Marsh is based at Swanage police station. He’s quiet, methodical and dedicated, the perfect foil for Sophie’s hidden fragility.
THE SETTING
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
THE DCI SOPHIE ALLEN BOOKS
Book 1: DARK CRIMES
Book 2: DEADLY CRIMES
Book 3: SECRET CRIMES
Book 4: BURIED CRIMES
Book 5: TWISTED CRIMES
Book 6: EVIL CRIMES
Book 7: SHADOW CRIMES
Book 8: SILENT CRIMES
Join the Joffe Books mailing list to hear about the next book in the series.

 

 

Michael Hambling – author bio
Like many writers, I have been a keen reader all of my life. I remember one day as a nine year old in the summer holidays, when I visited the local library four times in one day because a child’s ticket only allowed one book out at a time! I can even remember the plot of one book, a story about a boy taking up fly-fishing, read while sitting outside in a sunny back garden in Bristol.
I live in the west-country, in the beautiful cathedral city of Salisbury, although I set my novels in the neighbouring county of Dorset. We own a lovely flat in the small Dorset coastal town of Swanage, and spend a lot of time there, walking the famous Jurassic Coast world heritage site.. The early novels in the series are based on the Isle of Purbeck, one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal regions. But the rest of the county of Dorset does get a look in, and there are scenes set in other locations in the central south of England.
I write because I constantly create scenes, people, imaginary conversations and unusual situations in my head. I have always done so, ever since I was a child. Using the richness of the English language to set down these creations in words is a great joy. Maybe by the time I’ve edited a passage for the umpteenth time it’s beginning to lose some of its sparkle for me, but I do believe in reshaping and polishing until it’s as good as I can make it. It then becomes something about which I can feel some justifiable pride.
Who are my own favourite writers? Hilary Mantel, of course. Not just the the recent Thomas Cromwell novels, but the brilliant and sly characterisation of Beyond Black.
Doris Lessing has written some startlingly original stories over many years. I’m also a great fan of David Mitchell. He shows great creativity in all of his novels.
Philip Pullman has written many books of startling originality, full of imaginative ideas. Not just the Lara series, but the earlier Sally Lockhart novels. One of my sons bought me La Belle Sauvage (volume one of the Book of Dust trilogy) for Christmas. I loved it, so much so that I’ve already re-read it a month later, something very rare for me. Wonderful stuff.
Another author I’ve come to admire greatly is Charity Norman. She writes about families in crisis situations and how the problem is partly resolved. I came to her books with “The New Woman”, a novel that probes the problems created by gender variance. Her other novels are equally good. Her writing style is outstanding.
I’ve recently read “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold and was bowled over by it. So much emotional punch and so well written. I’ll be packing her other novels to read on my forthcoming holiday.
In crime fiction I like Val McDiarmid’s work, Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels and the books of Mo Hayder. I also enjoy Colin Dexter’s Morse and Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels.
I cannot compete with these greats, so I aim for something different. I hope that I have succeeded to some extent.
LINKS
Website:  http://www.michaelhambling.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaelhambling.author

 

 


Silent Night, by Geraldine Hogan

 

Iris Locke is desperate to get out of the shadow of her high ranking but retired police officer father. She wants to join the murder team in the city but due to a collapsed case, she is relegated to the counrtyside, working at her father’s old station.
Mother of 2, Anna is found dead: shot and then burned with her children in a horrific case for the team. She had always lived with the guilt of her little sister going missing, presumed murdered by her mother as a result of postnatal depression and Jack Locke was the investigating officer.
Could there be a connection between her murder and the disappearance of her baby sister 30 years ago? Iris thinks so but the case files are missing…
The police team are a mixed bunch and we find out some personal details about them which draw us in and make us sypatise even with the ones that are not particularly easy to like. Grady has a mystery in his past. Slattery has a very unhappy home life. Iris is trying to find a team where she can settle and make a name for herself, prove that she isn’t relying on her father’s reputation to further her career.
The crimes are unpleasant but there is no graphic detail of the injuries or forensic information: the focus is upon the investigation and the team. We see interview strategies and methodical examination of facts as well as gut instinct.
There are personality clashes and the power play at work throughout the book. The unfairness that Iris is judged by her father’s career inspires her determination to prove herself worthy of being in the team on her own merit, and we as readers are willing her to succeed.
This is a really good police procedure novel and there is good character development of the police officers. The pace of the book is reasonably fast whilst also allowing enough time to get to know the main characters.
The final quarter of the book takes the investigation along a way I never expected. I see from the author’s note at the end that there will be a sequel and I can’t wait!

SILENT NIGHT 
AMZ:  https://geni.us/B07S9XPT9TSocial
Apple Books: https://tinyurl.com/y5nxuz7z
Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/yxpq5nk2
Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/y3ctd462
‘She reached into the pram and placed her hands on the cotton blanket. It was still warm. But her smiling, new baby sister, with her wide blue-grey eyes, was gone…’
Twenty five years later, three bodies are found at a ramshackle cottage in the Irish countryside, and Detective Iris Locke is sick to her stomach. The victims are Anna Crowe and her two young children.
Iris has only recently joined the Limerick Murder Squad. Against her father’s advice, she’s working the narrow lanes and green hills of her childhood. Iris still remembers Anna, who was just a small girl when her baby sister was snatched, never to be seen again. It was the one case Iris’ own father never solved, and Iris can’t help but wonder if the two crimes are connected.
She’ll stop at nothing to find Anna justice, but a fire has destroyed almost all the physical evidence, and Limerick is the same small town she remembers: everybody protects their neighbours, and Iris has been away for too long.
Can Iris unpick the lies beneath the surface of her pretty hometown, and catch the most twisted individual of her career, when reopening the old case means reopening old wounds for her team, the rest of the community, and her own father?
Fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and L.J. Ross won’t want to miss this – the first book in a gripping and unputdownable new crime series.
About the author
Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
Silent Night is her first crime novel, her second is due out in December 2019.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!
You can find out more about Geraldine here:
www.Facebook/GeraldineHoganAuthor.com
Twitter @gerhogan
https://www.instagram.com/faithhoganauthor/

 


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
 

Fear in the Lakes, by Graham Smith

 

A new case for DC Beth Young and her colleagues. A man is found alive but with devastating injuries. James Sinclair is a quiet man who stays in the background so why has he been attacked? Next, two bodies belonging to hgang members are pulled from the river with gruesome damage to their heads. Can there be a link?
We see the perspective of the Sculptor who has been given a contract to attack 3 people. The police uncover secret emails from James Sinclair to two other people but can they reach them before the Sculptor does…?
Meanwhile, the personal side of the police are brought out in Fear In the Lakes. Beth has discovered the identity of one of the men responsible for her facial injuries that have left a significant scar. A misognistic temporary cop joins the team while Thompson struggles following the death of his wife from Alzheimers.
Graham Smith’s third book in this series is just as good as the previous two. The cruelty that one human can inflict on another is graphically described but from a forensic point of view. This allows the reader to have revulsion for the end result whilst not reading the attack as it occurs so there is a slight detachment.
Some chapters are written from the perspective of the Sculptor so we can get a sense of anticipation as the next victim is hunted. Meanwhile, the personal side to the police officers makes them more human and the continuing narrative about Beth’s face injury unites this with other books in the series.
In summary: brilliant plot, great characters, can’t wait for the next in the series!
Read my reviews of Death in the Lakes and A Body in the Lakes

 

Title:                  Fear in the Lakes      
 
Author:     GRAHAM SMITH   
 
Publication Day: July 12th 2019
 
 
Buy Links :
https://geni.us/B07RFRDCT7Social

 

Description:
A case with no leads.
A victim with no enemies.
A killer with no conscience…
When Detective Beth Young is called to investigate a victim with multiple broken bones, nothing prepares her for what she finds. James Sinclair is fighting for his life, and Beth can’t shake the idea that the nature of his injuries suggest someone with a personal grudge against him.
But James’s devastated wife Laura insists that her kind, softly-spoken husband is a man with no enemies. She was the one with the fiery temper, but James was so calm, she’d never once managed to provoke even a cross word from him in their eight year marriage. And he was the same with everyone – she can’t name one person who might want to hurt him.
But she knows virtually no details about her husband’s childhood or his life before he moved to the Lake District as a young man, and Beth feels sure that the key to finding James’s attacker is hidden in the secrets of his past. Who was he really? And what is the significance of the coded messages that Beth finds hidden on his laptop?
Then two more bodies are found in one of the deep, picturesque lakes that the area is so famous for, exhibiting similar injuries to the ones James Sinclair suffered. How are they connected? And how many more people are at risk?
Beth knows she is in a race against time to hunt a vicious killer who is both elusive and incredibly dangerous. A killer who knows what James did in the past. Who likes to be one step ahead. But who – if they realise they’re being hunted – might come for Beth next…

 

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 novels with Bookouture are set in Cumbria and 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

 


Dead Guilty, by Helen H. Durrant

Dead Guilty is the first Calladine and Bayliss book that I have read but I have read one of Helen H. Durrant’s books from another series previously (Next Victim). There were several points in the book that refers to events in the preceeding books and this frustrated me a little as I wanted more detail (time to go and read those other books!)
A child is abducted. Calladine’s own home is broken into. Vigilantes walk the streets. Drugs are being distributed.
How are these crimes linked?
This is the challenge that the police are challenged with solving. At first they seem to be separate events but as more evidence for each case presents itself, the police realise that they are closely linked. The next problem is that high up in the police hierarchy is someone who doesn’t want the answers found…
In this book we see a lot more of Calladine than we do of Bayliss. His personality shines through the book as we see the end of his romantic relationship, the announcement that he is to be a grandfather, and his interactions with both criminals and their victims. The drugs crimes feel personal as they take place in his neighbourhood.
This is a very good police procedure novel and it is easy to get drawn into the emotions of Calladine as he struggles to uncover the truth in light of obstacles including obstruction from his own superiors.

 

DEAD GUILTY (Calladine & Bayliss #9) by Helen Durrant
Looking for a brilliant best-selling crime mystery with great detectives?
Detective Calladine and Bayliss hunt for a missing child in a mystery with a shocking ending.
Sophie Alder is the three-year-old daughter of local factory owner, Richard Alder. Richard and his wife Annie are locals from the rough housing estate who’ve made it big.
Plus, there’s a crime wave in Leesworth and the police can’t cope. One thief even dares to break into Calladine’s house.
A number of local men have formed a vigilante group. On one of their patrols they catch the burglar and he ends up dead.
The investigation is complicated and the detectives keep hearing about a shadowy figure called “Street,” the mastermind behind the increase in drugs and theft.
With two more murders and Calladine’s personal life in turmoil, the detectives face against time to find “Street” and the missing child.
In an ending with a huge twist, the detectives find everything they believed is turned upside down.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.
DEAD GUILTY is book nine of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine.
THE DETECTIVES
Tom Calladine is a detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.
Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She is balancing her professional life with looking after a small child.
THE SETTING
The fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS
Book 8: DEAD BAD
Book 9: DEAD GUILTY
THE DCI GRECO BOOKSBook 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE
Book 4: DARK ANGEL
MATT BRINDLE
Book 1: HIS THIRD VICTIM
Book 2: THE OTHER VICTIM

HELEN H. DURRANT
OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series
I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.
I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!
I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.
Twitter @hhdurrant
Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl
Website  https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/