Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates blog tour @Anne_Coates1 @urbanebooks @LoveBooksGroup

Songs of Innocence - Book Cover

Source: Review Copy



A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest – assignment yet…


From the moment I started reading Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates I was utterly gripped. Although I haven’t read the first two books in the series, which I will soon be rectifying, I thought that this novel could easily be read as a standalone and I had no problems in settling into the story. Anne’s writing has a wonderful flow to it that makes the reader really concentrate on the plot and the characters. This book is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton.

Set in 1994, two boys discover the body of a young Asian woman in a pond at their local park. Detectives investigating the case believe that the woman has committed suicide, but journalist Hannah Weybridge is soon pulled into the mystery when a member of the victim’s family contacts her and asks her to look into the case. And as Hannah’s investigations progresses it appears that foul play may have been committed.

Hannah absolutely fascinated me. We are given some information about previous cases that she has worked on during her career as a journalist and it really made me want to go back and start the series at the beginning. I have really enjoyed books recently that have featured journalists as main characters, and I have now added Hannah Weybridge on that list as well. I also really liked the relationship that she had with her daughter, Elizabeth which gave a very human aspect to her character and it made her really likeable.

In her latest novel, Anne tackles topical issues in her writing and in her current book she looks at forced marriages within the Asian community. Although the book is set twenty years earlier, these are still issues which are prevalent today.

Songs of Innocence is engaging and really well written. I’ll certainly be looking out for books by Anne Coates in the future. Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to review.

Publisher: Urbane Publications

Publication date: 24th May 2018

Print length: 360 pages



songs of innocence

#RubiconBook by Ian Patrick blog tour @IPatrick_Author @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

Rubicon Cover

Source: Purchased Copy


Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.

Sam Batford is an undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.

DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.

Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.


ian patrick

Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police. He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes. Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.
Rubicon is his debut novel published by Fahrenheit Press. He now lives in rural Scotland where he divides his time between family, writing, reading and photography.


Rubicon is a smart, fast paced thriller by Ian Patrick which delves into the criminal underworld, exploring drug trafficking, gang culture and corruption in the police force. This book is for you if you enjoy your crime fiction gritty and with plenty of action. I’m really looking forward to reading more from Ian Patrick.

We are introduced to Sam Batford, a corrupt, undercover officer working with the metropolitan police. He is tasked with investigating crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino, but Sam has different motives to his boss, DCI Klara Winter who is determined to bring the gang lord to justice. Unknown to Klara, Sam has his eye on Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply and he makes it his mission to get his hands on it.

This was such an exciting read. At first, when I read the blurb of the book, I wasn’t sure if it was quite going to be my cup of tea, but I was quickly proven wrong. I became swept up in Sam Batford’s dangerous and risky world which was surprising at every turn. I wanted to learn more about Sam and I was really excited to see how the story would develop. He is a very different character to character’s I have come across before in crime fiction and he made this book feel very fresh. Ian Patrick is a writer who has clearly done his research and this comes across well in his writing, you can see where his own experience of working as a police officer and a detective has shaped some aspects of the story.

The visual aspects of this book were excellent and I think that this is a story that will translate well to the big screen; I have heard that Rubicon has been optioned by the BBC which I will definitely be keeping an eye out for.

Rubicon is a book which you can easily lose an afternoon to. If you’re looking for something that is different which will take you on an exciting ride, I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Emma Welton at Damppebbles for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Publisher: Fahrenheit Press

Publication date: 21st August 2017

Print length: 231 pages



Rubicon banner

Last Goodbye by Arlene Hunt blog tour @arlenehunt @bookouture


Source: Netgalley


Every couple has their secrets …

‘The woman’s body lay on the bed, hair fanned out in a golden halo, blue eyes open. On the table stood an unmistakable sign: a bouquet of bright yellow roses…’

On a freezing January morning, a young couple is found dead in their cottage in the quiet Dublin suburbs. When Detective Eli Quinn arrives at the scene his stomach drops. It’s the second double homicide in as many months where the killer has left a bunch of yellow roses.

Tucked between the thorns is a little card, with an image of a broken heart. There’s no doubt the killer is trying to send a message, but what do the flowers mean? And can Eli figure out the killer’s motive, before they strike again?


Last Goodbye is the first book in a new series by Arlene Hunt featuring detectives Eli Quinn and Roxy Malloy. It is a chilling crime novel that will keep you gripped. Arlene Hunt’s writing has a hugely addictive quality to it and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for her books in the future.

Set in Dublin, when a couple are found murdered in their home, in hair-raising circumstances, it reminds detective Eli Quinn of previous, unsolved murders which took place months before and he fears that the killer will strike again. The killer has left a bunch of yellow roses and a card with a broken heart. Are they sending a message to the police? The killer is dubbed ‘The Sweetheart killer’ by the media and the police know they will have to act quickly before another body is found.

Last Goodbye is an excellent, solid police procedural. It has a really intriguing premise: a killer appears to be targeting people in love, but for what reasons? Straight away I had to know more about what this book was going to be about and I was instantly hooked. Arlene introduces us to some great characters in Eli and Roxy. At the beginning of the book I did think that I wasn’t going to like Roxy, I think this was due her thoughts on working with a younger detective, Cora Simmons and she seemed a very reserved character who preferred to work independently. But as the novel progressed she was a character who I became invested in, especially as she tried to make her voice heard in her attempt to get justice for the victims.

I haven’t read a book by Arlene Hunt before, but she has definitely impressed me with Last Goodbye, there were some jaw dropping scenes in this book and she really made me feel for her characters. I can’t wait to read more from her. This is a brilliant start to a new series. Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance review copy and to Noelle Holton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 22nd May 2018

Print length: 304 pages



It Was Her by Mark Hill blog tour @markhillwriter @TheCrimeVault

It Was Her: The breathtaking thriller where nothing is as it seems (DI Ray Drake) by [Hill, Mark]

Source: Review Copy


Do you want a thriller where nothing is as it seems?

Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.

Did she do it?

Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.

Did she kill them?

As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.


When I read Mark Hill’s debut His First Lie (previously titled Two O’clock Boy) I thought it was one of the best debuts that I had recently read and it had one of the most compelling openings lines. So I was really excited to read his second book, It Was Her, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. Mark knows how to get the attention of his readers with captivating plots and characters.

DI Ray Drake and his colleague DS Flick Crowley are still reeling from the events which took place at the end of the previous book. Ray is clutching onto his career which is threatening to pull apart at the seams after his secret was discovered. But he soon finds himself embroiled in a murder case when a couple, who have recently returned from holiday, are found dead in their home. And soon more bodies are found. It appears that the killer is targeting people in the safety of their own homes and Ray and his team fear that more bodies will be discovered. And what has the case got to do with the death of a young boy twenty years earlier?

Mark Hill’s books are for you if you like your crime fiction dark and full of surprising revelations. What makes It Was Her really interesting is the relationship between Ray and his colleague, Flick. Unlike the rest of their team, Flick knows Ray’s secret and so there is tension simmering around them all the time as Flick is unsure if she should come clean about what she knows, which could potentially destroy both of their careers.

The mystery at the heart of the book was really compelling. The characters that are central to this part of the plot were fascinating to explore, and I really liked the depth that Mark gave them in his writing. There are some really well written scenes where I could feel the tension, and I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Creating tense scenes is certainly one of Mark’s strongest writing skills.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the second book in the DI Ray Drake series. I’m intrigued to see what Mark Hill will write next. Thank you to Millie Seaward at Little Brown for sending me a copy of the book to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 17th May 2018

Print length: 448 pages




Absent by Emma Salisbury blog tour @emmasauthor @LoveBooksGroup

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Absent by Emma Salisbury and I have an extract of the book to share with you today.



The worst things happen in plain sight.

When he stopped a serial killer in his tracks earlier in the year he thought that would be the end of it, but for DS Kevin Coupland his nightmare has just begun.

A child’s body is discovered hidden in a bag, kicking off a major investigation for Salford Precinct’s murder squad. Soon the National Crime Agency roll into town and Coupland is under strict instructions to play nice.

He’s got enough on his plate to worry about politics. A shock discovery in his personal life is starting to take its toll, causing him to make decisions that bring him to the attention of the powers that be for all the wrong reasons.

DS Alex Moreton returns from maternity leave to find her partner deeply troubled, but with a cold case to review she’s in no position to prevent him hitting the self-destruct button.

As he hunts down the child’s killer Coupland is forced to reflect upon his own life and find an answer to the question he’s been avoiding. Is it possible to accept the things you cannot change?


She’d stepped out in front of him from nowhere. Slam! Some daft mare wearing earphones plugged into a smartphone. He’d seen her on the pavement’s edge, hadn’t expected her to step out. He thought that she’d seen him; his brain hadn’t computed the oblivion she was in. Music blaring, head full of last night’s date, she’d turned her face in his direction, locking eyes with him as he gripped onto the steering wheel, a look of surprise on her face, her mouth forming an O shape. He jammed his foot down on the brake. Hard. The car’s tyres squealing as it came to a sudden halt. He swore; the smell of burning rubber enveloped him as he jumped out of the car.

‘I – I’m OK!’ the young woman stuttered, rubbing her hip, the only part that had made contact with his vehicle. Walking wounded. Nothing more than a cold compress and a stiff drink needed to fix her. Thank Christ he hadn’t been breaking the speed limit. ‘I’m sorry,’ she added, ‘for stepping in front of you like that. Got a lot on my mind.’ He stared at her then. Words forming in his head he didn’t want to say out loud. His glare said it all, spoke volumes in fact. Her sheepish smile froze; instead of telling her it was OK, that he was partly to blame so let’s call it quits, he kept on staring. The woman backed away, wondering if the solemn figure was one of those road rage nutters who carried a baseball bat round in the foot well of his car, ready to explode any minute.

‘You OK love?’ someone called out. A crowd had formed, do-gooders and nosey bastards, hard to tell one from the other where he was standing. She moved towards them nodding her head, grateful for the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, while looking sideways at him all the time. Already someone was ushering her into a café, patting her on the back like an obedient dog. Another tosser had their phone out, taking photos of his registration number. The blare of a car horn reminded him he was holding up the traffic. He turned to the vehicle behind him, raised his middle finger in the driver’s direction, staring until the other fella looked away. He climbed back into his car, put on his hazard lights to let the impatient twat behind him know he wasn’t going anywhere as he reached into his pocket for a cigarette. He lit it, sucked on it greedily, stared into the distance for what seemed like an age before slamming his fist down hard onto the centre of the steering wheel.

Again. And again. And again.


Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to take part in the tour. And if you would like to purchase Absent you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Amazon Media

Print length: 254 pages




Dying Truth by Angela Marsons Blog Tour #bookreview @WriteAngie @bookouture

Dying Truth: A completely gripping crime thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8) by [Marsons, Angela]

Source: Netgalley


How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.


This is one of the hardest reviews that I have had to write recently. Not because I didn’t enjoy the book, far from it, but I was just left in awe of Angela Marson’s talent. After finishing the latest book in the Kim Stone series, I felt that whatever I wrote couldn’t do the book justice. Prepare yourselves fellow readers; if you’re a fan of these books, this is going to be a tough read, it will leave you reeling.

Kim Stone is responding to a call after reports that a young girl is on the roof of a school nearby threatening to jump. But by the time Kim arrives at the scene to try and take control of the situation and save the young girl’s life, the girl is already dead. As Kim tries to work out the facts, she comes to the startling conclusion that the girl may have been murdered. But she has to fight to be granted permission to investigate the case as the force is keen to brush it under the carpet as a tragic suicide. As Kim’s investigation into the young girl’s death deepens, she uncovers evidence that it may be linked to exclusive clubs within the school. As the body count rises and other student’s lives are put at risk, she makes it her mission to stamp out whatever it is that is going on.

One character who I think particularly shone in this book was Kev Dawson. We learn a lot more about Dawson’s history in this book and as the team continues to investigate what is going on at the school, a bond forms between him and a student there, Geoffrey. Geoffrey reminds Dawson very much of how he was when he was Geoffrey’s age. Dawson’s character development in this book was one of the most interesting aspects to explore, and it was something that I wasn’t expecting from him.

Whenever I read a new Angela Marson’s book, it always reminds me how much I love Kim Stone as a character. She is a detective who will root for you no matter your background. This is portrayed early on in the book when there is little determination from her team to investigate the death of the young girl, but Kim is determined to fight her corner, and she is quick to remind her team of their duties.

This is another excellent addition to this series. It is a tense read that will keep you guessing, and it will keep your eyes glued to the page. Dying Truth is another top read from Angela Marsons.

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the advance reading copy and to Kim Nash for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 18th May 2018

Print length: 399 pages



Dying Truth - Blog Tour

Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone blog tour @OrendaBooks @doug_johnstone

Faultlines final Cover aw_preview (1)

Source: Review Copy


A brilliantly constructed piece of speculative crime fiction, Fault Lines is also a psychological thriller and a classic whodunit, in which every cast member is a suspect, and the next blow can come from any direction.

In a reimagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch – the new volcanic island – to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery of his corpse secret. Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she ll be exposed, Surtsey s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact – someone who claims to know what she s done…


In Doug Johnstone’s Fault Lines, he has re-imagined the city of Edinburgh, where twenty-five years ago a tectonic fault opened up and a volcano rose up in the Firth of Forth. For our protagonist, Surtsey who is a volcanologist, this gives her unprecedented access to a field of research. But when Surtsey arrives at The Inch one evening to meet her lover, Tom, who is also her boss, she is shocked to find his dead body. Surtsey keeps quiet about the discovery as she is keen to keep their relationship under wraps, but someone saw Surtsey up on The Inch that evening and they soon begin to target her. Was Tom’s death a tragic accident, or was he murdered? Someone is convinced that Surtsey knows more than she is letting on and they are determined to prove it.

I’ve become a fan of novels that blend genres in recent years. In Fault Lines it feels futuristic but there is a mystery at the heart of it. Surtsey’s life begins to spiral out of control after she discovers Tom’s body and she is hit by a wave of traumatic events. Although I found her character difficult to warm to at times, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her as she was hit by each new dramatic turn.

The Inch very much became a character in its own right. Doug Johnstone described the volcanic island so well, especially the terrain around it and this is what made this novel so very different and original.

Fault Lines is an imaginative psychological thriller that reels you in from the opening pages. If you’re looking for something that is unique, you really need to try this book. Thank you to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for sending me a copy to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 28th February 2018 (kindle) 22nd May 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 300 pages



 FINAL Fault Lines blog poster 2018 (1)

Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey Blog Tour @IsabelleGrey @QuercusBooks

Wrong Way Home

Source: Review Copy


A cold case leads DI Grace Fisher on the hunt for the most dangerous killer of her career – but after twenty-five years, can she really be sure she will get to the truth?

The same night a local hero saved two people from the burning Marineland resort in Southend, a young woman was raped and murdered minutes from the scene of the fire, the culmination of a series of brutal rapes in the town. The killer was never found.

Twenty-five years on, new DNA techniques have blown the cold case open. DI Grace Fisher relishes the prospect of finally catching the culprit, but when the evidence doesn’t point to one clear suspect, she must reconstruct the original investigation. Any suggestion that the Essex force was less than thorough at the time could alienate her colleagues and destroy her chances of reaching the truth.

Grace finds her investigation shadowed by a young true-crime podcaster backed by veteran crime reporter Ivo Sweatman. As pressure mounts she cannot afford to be distracted. She knows that a cold-blooded killer is slowly being backed into a corner, and a cornered predator is often the most dangerous of all…


I have always been fascinated by cold cases. How can a perpetrator evade justice for years? Someone in their family, or someone who is close to them must know what they have done, how can they stay silent? Sometimes all it takes is for one person to look at a case with fresh eyes and join the dots together, assisted with the use of modern policing.

In Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey, DI Grace Fisher and her team are re-investigating a twenty-five year old cold case, in which new DNA evidence has been uncovered. In 1992, a young woman, Heather Bowyer, was raped and killed, the police never tracked down her killer. Now the police are hoping that they can finally nail their suspect, a quarter of century after he murdered his victim. The police also believe that he was responsible for other attacks which took place in the same area. But proving his guilt might be even trickier than Grace Fisher and her team thought possible.

What I really like about this series, is that the settings are fairly local to me; Southend is just a half hour drive away from where I live, so I could quite easily picture the scenes. The book is mainly told through Grace Fisher’s perspective but we also hear the story through a series of podcasts which are produced by twenty-five year old, Freddie Craig. He is hoping to shine new light on Heather Bowyer’s murder and believes he has a special connection to the case as he was born on the same day she died. Over the last few years we have seen a rise in true crime podcasts and through these podcasts the general public have attempted to solve crimes that have taken place. Isabelle kept me wondering if Freddie was going to get to the truth first. The plot moves along at a fast pace as each new secret about the family at the centre of the mystery is uncovered and there are surprising revelations.

Wrong Way Home is a well plotted crime novel that pulls you into the heart of the mystery. The DI Grace Fisher series is one that I highly recommend. Thank you to Hannah Robinson at Quercus for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: Quercus

Publication date: 17th May 2018

Print length: 384 pages



FINAL Wrong Way Home Poster

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings blog tour @MandaJJennings @HQstories

Source: Review Copy


Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.

If only she lived at The Cliff House…

Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.


I became a huge fan of Amanda Jennings’ writing when I read her previous novel, In Her Wake, nearly two years ago now, so I was excited to see what her follow up would be. The Cliff House is an evocative and mesmerising piece of fiction with a dark undercurrent. Amanda makes the setting feel so real, and she draws you into Cornish landscape, I could easily picture the scenery around me.

Sixteen-year-old Tamsyn has always been drawn to a property built at the top of the rugged, Cornish cliff face, known to her as The Cliff House. The house holds very poignant memories for her as she used to visit it with her father before he died and they would often swim in the pool when the family who owned it weren’t staying there, without their permission. Tamsyn becomes obsessed with the family who live there, the Davenports, who travel up from London to spend the holidays in Cornwall. To Tamsyn their life is full of glamour; it is the image of perfection. But their lives aren’t what they quite appear to Tamsyn, and as she becomes embroiled in their family troubles, it becomes harder for her to let go.

Amanda writes her characters so well; like Tamsyn, I became captured by The Cliff House, especially in the opening chapter in which Amanda so brilliantly sets the scene through Tamsyn’s eyes as she stares at the house through her binoculars. Edie Davenport was a fiery and perplexing character, the relationship that she has with her parents is an interesting one, and it was one of the main hooks of the novel as Amanda slowly peeled away the dynamics in their relationship. I wanted to find out what was really going on in their lives.

As Tamsyn and Edie Davenport became friends, I did wonder how she would fit into Edie’s life; I kept imagining scenarios inside my head as I wondered if their friendship was going to work as they both come from very different backgrounds and mix in different social circles. Tension simmers on every page as their friendship develops and as the drama in Edie’s family life begins to unravel.

Amanda Jennings has written a superb novel. Her writing never fails to draw me in. The Cliff House is haunting and spellbinding, I loved it. Thank you to HQ for sending me a copy of The Cliff House to review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Publisher: HQ

Publication date: 17th May 2018

Print length: 384 pages




Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley blog tour @RebeccaJBradley

I’m thrilled to welcome author and former police detective Rebecca Bradley onto my blog today to share her Road to Publication as part of the blog tour for her new stand-alone novel Dead Blind. Rebecca also runs her own successful blog, where she often gives advice to crime writers by talking them through police procedure and she also offers a police fact checking services


How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?

Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.

As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.

But it’s a killer he will never remember.

The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.

Can he escape with his career and his life intact?




Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?

I’m quite lucky in that ideas do tend to come to me anywhere. But, I have to write them down or they can float away and be forever gone, so I have an ideas notepad on my phone where I store them all. Ideas can come from overheard snippets of conversations, clips from the television, news or research articles or reading other books. I can read something and my mind will go off on a tangent with an idea.

What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?

With my first book, Shallow Waters, I was what is called a pantser, where I sat down and typed it straight to the screen without a plan. I knew the beginning and the ending, but I had no idea how it got from one to the other. I just typed my way there. It took me so long and was so arduous that I decided I would train myself to become a plotter and I have. And I much prefer it. The writing process is a much easier process now I have some kind of map to follow.

How long does your first draft usually take to write?

This is quite a difficult question because it seems to be evolving all the time. I finished work as a police officer under a medical retirement and it took some time to adjust to life outside the force as a writer. Ill health meant I found it difficult to find my rhythm for writing. Because I live with a lot of pain, I had to write around it. Books were taking about a year to write, then six months and now I’ve just finished the last one – a first draft only (not for anyone to see!) – in four months. I’m finding my feet, my routine.

Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?

I don’t celebrate as such, but I do feel a huge sense of achievement. I’ve created a whole new world that didn’t previously exist and now, to me, these characters are living and breathing and have real troubles. I’ll give myself a day or two and then I start work again!

Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?

I’m going to leave this first draft (the one I’ve just finished – Hannah 4 ) for a month before I look at redrafting it. And in that month I am going to start another first draft. Another standalone.

How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?

This is also a difficult question. Some first drafts have been in better shape than others. I will do my revisions and edits to get it into the best shape I can get it into. Then I send it to a structural editor who will then send me their advice and I do that work. So, it can take a few months for this process.

At what point, prior to publication do you find the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?

I’m not a particularly nervous writer. I was in the beginning. But, I’ve settled down and now, I trust in the process. I accept that not all readers will like my work. After all, I don’t enjoy every book I read, doesn’t mean it was a rubbish book. Once it’s out there, it’s no longer my book and anyway, I’m busy getting on with the next one! Saying that, about halfway through the first draft I do hate it and think that I can’t write, if that counts?

How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?

Having said the above, I don’t read reviews for long, but I do read the early reviews, just to see how it is going to be received in general. And of course, like all writers, I want it to be liked and the good reviews make me feel all warm and fuzzy. But, the negative reviews just roll off my back. I read them and then go back to what I was writing next thing I’m writing. It really is just a part of the process. I know it makes me a little unusual and maybe people don’t believe me. But, I genuinely don’t get upset about it. Now, if the book was completely slated and not a single review was positive, then I might feel differently. That would knock my confidence. I would wonder if I was doing the right thing being a writer. But, having negative reviews as well as positive ones, I can’t complain.

How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?

A day or two. I can’t wait. The stories are creating a queue in my head. The ones that are really itching to be written didn’t even need to be written down in my notebook. They stay in my head and needle at me constantly. The next but one, a new series I’m going to write, that has been needling at me for a while now. I’m looking forward to writing that one.

And finally how do you celebrate publication day?

I celebrate by engaging with my readers. If they’re on social media I talk to them and thank them for their support. I wouldn’t be able to do this if it wasn’t for them.

Thank you for having me Jacob!


Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to answer my questions and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. If you would like to purchase a copy of Dead Blind you can do so by clicking the link below.