4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge. @crmcgeorge @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @CanalRiverTrust ‏

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge. This is a creepy tale that kept me guessing right to the end.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for asking me to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge from the publisher. I was under no obligation to read the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I was quite excited to read Now You See Me, it sounded different and intriguing and like a book that I would enjoy reading.

The story focuses on Robin, a man who thought he was happily married until one day his wife disappeared. Years went by and he heard nothing about his wife until one day he got a phone call from a man in prison who said he had information about his wife.

Of course it wasn’t going to be so simple, he would only give the information in exchange for Robin helping him prove his innocence to a crime that he insists he did not commit.

Without pausing to think things through Robin went straight to Standedge, the town that Matthew was from and where the crime was meant to have happened. It doesn’t take long for Robin to discover that the town is still reeling from the crime and are suspicious of anyone asking about it.

But driven to find out what really happened in the Standedge canal so he can get the information he so desperately wants. This desperation gets him into a fair bit of trouble

I have to admit that I hadn’t heard about Standedge and the incredibly long canal tunnel that takes two hours to pass through, but having Googled some photos and read this book, I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to go on a boat tour through the tunnel! It certainly looks creepy and so provides the perfect setting for this spooky story.

It is definitely a tense read, and one that kept me guessing throughout. The writing is very atmospheric and I could visualise the tunnel and nearby village well. Would I want to visit the area having read the book? Hell no!

Inside the Standedge Canal. Photo from the Canal River Trust.

Blurb:

Six people went in. Only one came out…

Introducing Standedge Tunnel: the longest canal tunnel in England.

Last year six students went in, and two and a half hours later, the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students, unconscious, and the dog.

The case of the Standedge Six was largely kept from the national media. The police investigation concluded that the only remaining student, Matthew, killed his friends, hid the bodies on the boat and returned later to move them to an undisclosed location.

Matthew is in prison . . . but maintains he is innocent.

Robin Ferringham is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. So when Matthew contacts him for help with his case, promising information on Sam, Robin has no choice but to help. But can he trust Matthew?

And how will he solve the insolvable case?

About The Author:

Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

​Social Media / Website LinksTwitter: @crmcgeorge ​www.festivalofblood.wordpress.co.uk

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

And if you fancy a trip down the Standedge Canal check out the Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre for more information.

4*, blog tours, book review, series

#BookReview #BlogTour Whisper In The Night by DK Hood. @bookouture #BooksOnTour @DKHood_Author

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for one of my favourite series. These books just get better and better! You can read my reviews of previous books in the series here.

I received a copy of Whisper In The Night by DK Hood from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I’m a big fan of this series, and although the books can be read as standalone books I think that the reader really would get more out of this book if they had read as least some of the previous books. And frankly, if you haven’t read them then you are missing out!

I really like Jenna Alton, Sheriff for a small town in America. The setting is great, it is isolated but big enough to keep the Sheriff busy and the scenery and weather become characters themselves.

Poor Jenna regularly attracts attention from people would wouldn’t want, her job means that her life is often at risk and she has to use all of her skills to keep herself safe. She is lucky to have two deputy’s that will fight to keep her safe.

Which is lucky when the latest killer comes to town, picking on teenagers from the town the Sheriff department think they have a serial killer on the loose, but they have no idea at the lengths the killer will go to as they begin to suspect that Jenna herself might just be the target.

Jenna and her team race to find the killer, desperate to save the missing girls who are being killed off and some pretty gruesome ways. Once again as I read this book I wondered about the author and just how she comes up with these twisted storylines, because they really are twisted!

If you’ve read previous books in this series you will know how this book will go, but the middle bit is a thrilling ride that will keep you guessing and desperate to read more. And if you haven’t read any of this series, then why on earth not?

Blurb:

She opens her eyes and struggles to make out the dark room around her. One thing she knows instantly – her wrists are bound and she’s tied to a chair, unable to move. As she screams for help, she hears footsteps outside. He’s coming…

Fifteen-year-old Lindy Rosen has been having nightmares for weeks, waking in a panic, screaming that there’s a man in her room watching her sleep. Her parents assumed it was her overactive imagination, but when one morning they find Lindy missing from her bedroom, they’re not so sure. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.

Within hours of the schoolgirl going missing, the kidnapper reaches out to Jenna with a video of Lindy bound and tied to a chair, crying to be set free. And a simple message – you’ve got 24 hours to find her or I kill her.

Jenna’s team work around the clock to try to find Lindy before the deadline, but time runs out, and Jenna receives a devastating message. The killer has made good on his promise. He’s playing a dangerous game. And no one knows what his next move will be.

But just two days later, one of Lindy’s school friends is taken in the middle of the night and the countdown begins again.

Completely addictive from the very start, if you like Lisa Regan, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott you’ll love Whisper in the Night.

**Each Kane and Alton book can be read as part of the series or as a standalone**

About The Author:

I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine-tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.
Author Social Media Links: 

Website: www.dkhood.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dkhoodauthor/ 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author 

Whisper In The Night by DK Hood is out now and is available from:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07Q1DXRJFSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2TUjzPh

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2UVtS1U 

Googleplay: http://ow.ly/D5m630oaNFD

4.5*, blog tours, book review, debut author

#BlogTour #BookReview Dead Inside by Noelle Holton. @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @KillerReads #DeadInside

It is finally my stop on the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten. Noelle is a well known book blogger at Crimebookjunkie and she also works for Bookouture as a publicity manager. So she is very well known within the book world and when she decided to turn her hand to writing her own book she got loads of support with everyone convinced that her book would be brilliant.

That must have put a lot of pressure on Noelle, but you wouldn’t know that when you read Dead Inside. I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for such a confident debut. I received a copy of Dead Inside by Noelle Holten, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I was very excited to read Dead Inside by Noelle Holten, a fellow book blogger who writes brilliant reviews and is very well known in the book world. But I was also a little bit worried, what would I do if I didn’t like the book? Or if it was poorly written?

Of course when it came to it I didn’t have to worry, Dead Inside is a confident debut novel that is very well written and a great read.

This book is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, Maggie has just transferred to a different team, one that focuses on domestic violence. She’s looking forward to the break from murder but it isn’t long before she discovers that her new role won’t be as easy as she thinks when people start dying.

Lucy Sherwood is a probation officer, by day she works with abusers who treat women terribly and she manages to stand strong and not let them intimate her. But when she goes home in the evening, Lucy is a very different person as she is living with a man who is just as bad as those she works with.

Despite this being a Maggie Jamieson novel I felt that the book was more about Lucy and she was the one that I enjoyed reading about the most. Her job is interesting and I loved hearing about her work and how she justified her home life and staying with her abusive partner. But when men linked to Lucy start dying Maggie and her team must look at her and whether she is capable of murder.

This book really kept me guessing, I couldn’t work out who was killing these men and why. There were too many people who wanted them dead and so many people appeared guilty and potentially capable of doing it.

The writing is confident and the author’s experience of working in probation clearly shows. The domestic violence angle made me think and further understand the difficulties people have and why leaving is so hard.

I am looking forward to book two, but I really hope that Lucy will be returning too.

Blurb:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

About The Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten

Blog: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie  




Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4.5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The River by Peter Heller. @wnbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheRiver

Today it is my pleasure to kick off the blog tour for The River by Peter Heller. I read the blurb for this book and really wanted to read it, and then I saw the amazing cover and knew that I had to read it. So thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of The River by Peter Heller from the publisher via Netgalley, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

First I have to say how much I love the cover for the UK version of this book, it’s stunning and really drew me to wanting to read this book.

I love books like this, a fight for survival when you’re in the middle of nowhere with nobody other than yourself and your travel companions to get you out of there. And I love books set in the wilderness where I’m taken to a whole other world that I will likely never go to myself. So this book was already winning in my eyes.

Wynn and Jack are best friends who love spending time in the outdoors together, they have done so many times over the years they have been friends and so they know each other so well they barely need to speak as they navigate a dangerous river.

They had expected the rapids to be the risky part of their trip, but they were wrong and it quickly becomes clear that this trip will be one where they will have to fight to survive.

One thing that struck me as I read The River was how it read differently to many books, I kept thinking that I was reading a book written many years ago and then Wynn and Jack would suddenly talk about satellite phones and I was reminded that this book is set in the present and not the past.

The writing is very descriptive, I really felt as though I could see the river, hear the birds and smell the smoke as I read. The pace is slow at first and then suddenly, BAM, you’re sucked in and desperately reading to find out what was going to happen. The chapters are very long but I quite liked that and found that it fitted well with the story.

There were many things to like about The River by Peter Heller, it was a different read but one that felt so real and made so much sense. The author clearly has a vast amount of knowledge about rivers, camping and surviving in the wild and this enhances the readers experience when reading the book.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read more from the author.

Blurb:

TWO FRIENDS
Wynn and Jack have been best friends since their first day of college, brought together by their shared love of books and the great outdoors.


THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME 
When they decide to take time off university and canoe down the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they anticipate the ultimate wilderness experience. 


No phones. No fellow travellers. No going back. 


A HELLISH RIDE
But as a raging wildfire starts to make its way towards them, their expedition becomes a desperate race for survival. And when a man suddenly appears, claiming his wife has vanished, the fight against nature’s destructive power becomes a much deadlier game of cat and mouse.

THE RIVER by bestselling author Peter Heller is a gripping thriller about the beauty of the great outdoors and the dangers of the wild with a page-turning story that builds up to a shocking finale and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.

About The Author:

Peter Heller is an award-winning adventure writer and the author of four bestselling novels, including the New York Times bestseller THE DOG STARS, a Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle andAtlantic Book of the Year. Born and raised in New York, he attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he became an outdoorsman and white-water kayaker. He has travelled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru. A keen adventurer, he has navigated some of the most dangerous rivers in the world, including the Muk Su River in the High Pamirs of Tadjikistan. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he received an MFA in fiction and poetry, and won a Michener fellowship for his epic poem ‘The Psalms of Malvine’.

The River by Peter Heller is out now and is available from Amazon UK

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor @deboc77 @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheDangerousKind #1in100People

I was on the blog tour for Deborah O’Connor’s first book, My Husband’s Son quite early on in my blogging life and it was one of the best tours that I’ve done and it turned out that the author was absolutely lovely and very grateful for the blogger support. So when she had book number two out I really wanted to read it and jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour. I received a copy of The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

Wow. Having read the author’s first book, My Husband’s Son, and thoroughly enjoying it I was very keen to read her second book. While I enjoyed book one it didn’t blow me away but it was good and I was excited to see what the author was going to do next.

I was right to be excited! The Dangerous Kind is a very impressive book and I was amazed by the jump from book one to book two, this book would not have been an easy book to write but it is solid in its writing, confident in its storytelling and brilliantly clever.

I loved the idea of the radio programme that the main character, Jessamine, works on where they look at a different crime each week. But when she agrees to look into a missing mother things start to go wrong for Jessamine.

There are a few threads to this story that slowly come together and some are really not easy to read. There is a fair amount about characters who are being sexually exploited as young teenagers, this is hard to think about and could be triggering to some.

It all comes together in the end and is very cleverly done but you can be fairly sure that the road will be bumpy and difficult and at times, heartbreaking.

The book does not make the BBC look good, highlighting their history of covering up for sexual predators who worked for them. It is hard reading and adds a sense of realism to the story.

Although hard to read at times I enjoyed reading The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor and I will definitely be reading her third book!

Blurb:

One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100. Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators.

But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

About The Author:

Deborah O’Connor is a writer and TV producer. Born and bred in the North-East of England, in 2010 she completed the Faber Academy novel writing course. She lives in London with her husband and her daughter. She has not worked at the BBC.

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

blog tours, funny, guest post

#BlogTour #GuestPost 10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’Keeffe @BernardOKeeffe1 #RandomThingsTours #backablogger

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for 10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’Keeffe. I have yet to read the book but it sounds great and that’s why I wanted to be part of the tour, even though I didn’t have time to read the book yet. Instead the author has given us a fun list of things about it that will make you laugh.

Guest Post:

  • I am Irish-Italian. This means two things – Catholicism and a huge temper. I don’t often lose my temper but when I do, Vesuvius and Etna spring to mind.
  • My favourite book is ‘Not Now, Bernard’. This is because 
  • It features my name in the title
  • I read it to both my children when they were babies
  • I, like Bernard, feel I am often being ignored
  • It’s about an enormous child-eating monster.
  • I can’t drive. I tried, but it just wasn’t for me. Of the tests I failed, two involved the examiner grabbing the wheel to steer the car away from parked vehicles – in one case this was about ten seconds into the test. 
  • When I was teaching I found my ability to make two sounds very useful. The first was being able to whistle very loudly with my fingers. It’s a skill that’s served me well in all kinds of places (football matches, concerts) but a really loud whistle can have a great effect in the classroom. I can also do a very good impression of a clucking chicken. A well-timed chicken cluck can be both amusing and terrifying. 
  • Before I became a teacher I worked in advertising and was nearly recruited as a spy. Had I become one I already had a name sorted out – agent Double O’Keeffe/ OOKeeffe
  • I am named after a nun. My cat is named after the country singer Emmylou Harris
  • I hated writing school reports. I only ever wrote one I was pleased with. It was about a pupil who hadn’t been doing particularly well. It read – ‘ X has not only taken his foot off the pedal – he has got out of the car and abandoned the vehicle’.
  • I taught the banjo player in ‘Mumford and Sons’, three members of ‘Noah and The Whale’ and two members of ‘Crystal Fighters’
  • I am a huge fan of Leonard Cohen and a QPR season ticket holder – two things which reflect my willingness to look for moments of joy and hope amongst the gloom. One of my favourite Leonard Cohen lines is ‘there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in’.
  • One of my most embarrassing moments (up there with my driving tests) was an appearance on a TV quiz show. It was called ‘Masterteam’ and it was on BBC in the late 1980’s hosted by Angela Rippon. The question was ‘Of what was Senator Joseph McCarthy talking when he said ‘it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and  quacks like a duck’. The answer was ‘communist’ but for some reason I pressed the buzzer and said ‘a duck’, Everyone laughed. Angela Rippon laughed. The audience laughed. My team laughed. 

Blurb:

Ruby has had a difficult year to say the least. Just before she started Sixth Form, her father died from a heart attack. In the difficult months that followed Ruby became so depressed that she attempted suicide. She missed a lot of school, but now she’s about to go back and she’s worried. Is she well enough to get through her final year? Will the depression return? Should she apply to university? The night before term begins, Ruby finds something that makes the prospect even more daunting: an envelope addressed to her in her father’s handwriting. Inside is a list: ‘Ten Things I Hope You Do Before You Leave School’. It makes no sense. She can’t understand why he’d want her to do these things, let alone whether she’ll be able to do them. As Ruby navigates her way through UCAS, parties, boyfriends and A-Levels, she decides to give the list her best shot, but her efforts lead her into strange situations and to surprising discoveries. Will Ruby survive her last year at school? Can she do the ten things on The List? Will doing them make any difference?

About The Author:

After graduating from Oxford, Bernard O’Keeffe worked in advertising before training as a teacher. He taught for many years, first in a North London comprehensive, then at Radley College, where he was Head of English, and most recently at St Paul’s School in London, where he was Head of Sixth Form. 

He has reviewed fiction for Literary Review and The Oxford Times and, as an editor of The English Review, has written over a hundred articles for A Level students on subjects ranging from Nick Hornby and Roddy Doyle to Jane Austen and Shakespeare. In 2013 he published his first novel, ‘No Regrets’.

Website: http://www.bernardokeeffe.com/

Twitter : @BernardOKeeffe1

Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’Keeffe is available from Amazon UK.

blog tours, guest author, writing

#BlogTour The Savage Shore by David Hewson talks about How To Research A Book. @blackthornbks @david_hewson #TheSavageShore #BookResearch

It’s always exciting when a new imprint bursts onto the scenes, especially when it is an imprint that focuses on crime fiction, which is my favourite genre. So I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for the first two books by Black Thorn books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to squeeze in reading either of the books, although I really did like the sound of them both. Thankfully David Hewson, author of The Savage Shore was kind enough to write a guest post for us, about how to research a book. I’m sure that it will be interesting to those who are writers and those that aren’t. Thanks David for stopping by!

Here is a bit more about Black Thorn before the post itself. Enjoy!

blackthornbooks.com

Independent publishing powerhouse Canongate has announced the launch of its new crime fiction imprint, Black Thorn. From psychological thrillers to police procedurals, and from historical detective dramas to heart-thumping suspense stories: Black Thorn intends to seek out and publish compulsive, high quality crime thriller fiction.

Officially launching in May 2019 with 4 titles, Black Thorn will focus on a variety of crime thriller audiences, providing them with compulsive titles from both new and old authors. On 2nd May, crime master David Hewson will launch The Savage Shore, the latest instalment in his tremendously popular Nic Costa series alongside debut American author Catherine O’Connell’sThe Last Night Out. Then on 6th June master of the modern who-dunnit Simon Brett will launch The Liar in The Library and Caro Ramsay, author of the critically acclaimed DI Anderson and DS Costello series, will present The Suffering of Strangers.

How To Research A Book by David Hewson.

Before I became a novelist I was a journalist. Research – hunting down facts, sometimes ones that don’t want to be found – is second nature. I’ve written more than 30 novels over the last quarter of a century and every one of them has involved extensive research. This isn’t because I want them to be ‘true’. They’re not. They’re fiction. Even on the rare occasion I’ve included real-life characters from history I’ve never pretended they’re accurate portrayals. Writers of fiction rarely do that. Even Shakespeare mangled the truth to a huge degree in depicting Macbeth, Richard III and other historical figures in his drama.

No, research is there to provide the bedrock of a story. To kid the reader into thinking your lie is really a version of the truth. That becomes so much easier if you can talk them into becoming a part of a world they may already know just a little, then convince them they’re meeting a bigger, more colourful version of it through the cleverness of an author who knows his or her stuff.

Research, then, is a fundamental part of building the world behind a story. After all these years I have a very practical and well-established way of going about.

First… read.

Yes, writing depends on reading, something a few budding authors tend to forget. If you don’t consume the work of authors you won’t begin to understand structure, style and craft, all the things you need to write yourself. The Savage Shore is set in Calabria, the toe of Italy, a part of the country few people know, even many Italians from other regions. That made the research for this story even more interesting. I perused history books, an old academic tome about the strange society of the communities dotted away in the mountain region of Aspromonte. Then a publication from the EU which investigated the background of the local shadowy crime organisation, the ’Ndrangheta. Some tourist guides, naturally, and a century-old travelogue of the area, Old Calabria, written by a dodgy English writer, Norman Douglas, who was to die in a religious hospital Capri in 1952 after a rather scandalous life,  uttering the timeless last words, ‘Get those fucking nuns away from me.’

Head filled with facts I then start visiting my target area. You can’t fly directly to this part of Italy from the UK. The closest you can get is Lamezia Terme from Stansted with Ryanair (who lost my luggage the first time out and couldn’t give a damn). Several trips later though I had a notebook filled with ideas about locations I could pillage and a copious file of photos. Pictures are important to me because I tend to think visually. Calabria is a natural place for this. Much of the action in The Savage Shore takes place in the part which overlooks the Strait of Messina, with Etna looming in Sicily across the water. At night, in the hills, you can see the glow of the volcano. During the day eagles soar effortlessly in the breeze down to the coast. The fields are full of a fruit you’ll scarcely see anywhere else in Italy – the bergamot, a citrus used for perfume and the scent of Earl Grey tea. The Calabrians live in one of the poorest parts of the country, but they are immensely proud of what is theirs. Another local delicacy too is the swordfish which gather in the strait during summer and are hunted by harpoon using techniques centuries old, a practice which Nic Costa will face himself during the course of the book. 

Lastly, I will always take a run through local cemeteries snapping headstones. A book needs names, and there’s no better to find ones for your local characters than on a grave.

Pictures, thoughts, notes, facts, names. Those are the building blocks of a book’s world for me. Until I have them I can’t write a word because the characters I work with and the story that follows must emerge from that world, and be unique in the sense that the tale I tell could happen nowhere else.

That is definitely true of The Savage Shore. From the bergamot plantations in the hills to the harpoonists looking for swordfish in the glittering blue sea, from the hidden mountain chapels to the grimy criminal corners of the city of Reggio, this is the Calabria I wanted to portray.

Is it ‘true’?

Some of it. Not that external truth matters in fiction, only the inner: does this world feel real to the reader? Am I transporting them to a place they’ve never known, but one they can see and smell and feel and hear?

That’s the test of my kind of book. I put a lot of work in to try to make it happen. If you find your way to The Savage Shore I hope you get the scent of bergamot and the salt tang of that wonderful stretch of the Mediterranean as it runs along the ragged coastline of Calabria. It’s a magical place to be… and to write.

Detective Nic Costa finds himself a stranger in a strange land when he’s sent to infiltrate the mob in a remote part of southern Italy. 

Roman police detective Nic Costa has been sent undercover to Italy’s beautiful, remote Calabrian coast to bring in the head of the feared mob, the ‘Ndrangheta, who has offered to turn state witness for reasons of his own.

Hoping to reel in the biggest prize the state police have seen in years, the infamous Butcher of Palermo, Costa and his team are aware the stakes are high. But the constant deception is taking its toll. Out of their depth in a lawless part of Italy where they are the outcasts, not the men in the hills, with their shotguns and rough justice, the detectives find themselves pitched as much against one another as the mob. As the tension rises, it’s clear the operation is not going to plan. Is Nic Costa getting too close to the enemy for comfort – and is there a traitor among them …?

About the Author:

David Hewson is a former journalist with The TimesThe Sunday Times and the Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels including his Rome-based Nic Costa series which has been published in fifteen languages, The Savage Shore is the latest instalment in this critically celebrated series. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series, The Killing.

The Savage Shore by David Hewson is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.