BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – Murder in Mind by Faith Martin #crimefiction @faith.martin_nov @joffebooks

THANK YOU very much to all the wonderful Bloggers on the #blogtour for MURDER IN MIND by Faith Martin.  Another bestseller and that is down to your help.  We cant thank you enough xx

What the bloggers thought:

Joanna Larum’s Reviews

As usual, Faith’s writing keeps the reader turning the pages, desperate for the next clue in the story and hoping that Hillary will say yes to the proposal! I would recommend to all lovers of police procedurals.  Read more here

 

Ginger Book Geek

Every time I pick up a book by Faith Martin, I know that I am going to be in for one hell of a read and so it proved for ‘Murder In Mind’.  The author’s writing style is such that she grabs your attention from the first word on the first page and before you get to the bottom of the page, you are hooked.  Read more here

 

Robin Loves Reading 

Murder in Mind is an exceptionally quick read. It is a great crime mystery where we get to see Hillary using her exceptional wits to solve this heinous crime. Character development is done quite well in this book.  Read more here

Linda Strong Book Reviews 

This is easily one of my favorite series with characters that I will not soon forget. I highly recommend starting at the very beginning, even though this one is easily read as a stand alone.  Read more here

Akamatra 

I absolutely loved it! I have yet to read a book by Hillary Greene that I did not like. In this one, the various aspects of the fiesty detective’s life almost take front center, along with the changes in her professional life with a new boss.   Read more here

Black Books Blog

This is a nice long series and it is plodding along nicely towards the end with this intriguing book.  Read more here

Mystery Thriller Week 

The plots are always spot on with every book I read in this series. One of the things I notice when I read Faith Martin’s books is how she uses a good blend of narrative and dialogue.  Read more here

 

The Quiet Geordie 

As always, running alongside the main investigation, there is a secondary plot line. The main investigation felt like a bit of a let down – I personally felt that the secondary plot took centre stage, and the main plot (good though it was) was more a bit of a filler.  Read more here

Book Worm

 

 

MURDER IN MIND by Faith Martin

Available from Amazon  UK   US   AU

Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery with a feisty female detective?

DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE IS SOLVING THE COLD CASES NO ONE ELSE COULD CRACK.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “THE WORK OF A NARROW MIND.”

Seventy-five-year-old Sylvia Perkins was found battered to death in her home in 2010, the murder weapon is suspected to be a fire poker.

Her grandson Robbie inherited everything, but he can’t be placed at the scene of the crime.

WHO KILLED THIS HARMLESS OLD WOMAN AND WHY? AND WHAT SECRETS WAS SHE HIDING?

Hillary has a new boss and a baffling cold case to contend with, not to mention a marriage proposal to consider.

Hillary Greene has returned to Thames Valley Police HQ, acting as a cold-case consultant for the Crime Review Team, looking into murders which the police have never been able to solve.

She wasn’t sure she wanted to go back. But solving crimes is irresistible for Hillary Greene.

This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to the absolutely thrilling conclusion.

THE DETECTIVE
DI Hillary Greene
An attractive, single woman nearing the landmark age of fifty, Hillary Greene was a police officer of many years’ experience (earning the rank of DI) and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knew how the system worked, and was always fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. Forced to retire early through no fault of her own, she has now returned to the force as a civilian consultant on cold cases.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “THE WORK OF A NARROW MIND.”

DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
BOOK 5: MURDER IN THE FAMILY
BOOK 6: MURDER AT HOME
BOOK 7: MURDER IN THE MEADOW
BOOK 8: MURDER IN THE MANSION
BOOK 9: MURDER IN THE GARDEN
BOOK 10: MURDER BY FIRE
BOOK 11: MURDER AT WORK
BOOK 12: MURDER NEVER RETIRES
BOOK 13: MURDER OF A LOVER
BOOK 14: MURDER NEVER MISSES
BOOK 15: MURDER AT MIDNIGHT
BOOK 16: MURDER IN MIND

Book 17 coming soon!


Author Bio

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.

BOOK REVIEW: In Harm’s Way by Owen Mullen #Crimefiction #psychologicalthriller @owenmullen6

I loved this book it is dark, gritty and has the adrenaline pumping all the way to the shocking ending. A must read for all readers who love psychological thrillers.

In Harm's WayIn Harm’s Way by Owen Mullen

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU

When no one knows you are in danger how can you ever be saved…

The Baxter house in the Lowther Hills, in Scotland, has been on the estate agent’s books for decades. Dilapidated and near-derelict, nobody is interested in it. But, for one potential buyer, the remote location and rat-infested cellar are perfect.

For the first year, Elaine’s marriage to Derek was ideal. But Derek believes she is having an affair and when she realises her husband is becoming controlling, she knows she’s made a terrible mistake.

But Elaine has a drinking problem so when she threatens to leave Derek and then disappears no one believes she has been abducted.

DS Geddes is handed the case but isn’t convinced anything criminal has taken place until a startling development comes to light.

Has Mackenzie  been abducted or has she simply left her husband?

And who has bought The Baxter house and for what purpose?


My Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hadn’t realised how much I missed Owen’s books until I read this one. I loved the Charlie Cameron series and Delaney so I was expecting good things and I wasn’t disappointed.

Mackenzie is the main character. A spoiled child who has grown into a an adult with serious issues. An alcoholic in denial know for her lies and her siblings are all out of patience with her. A dysfunctional family at its very worst Gavin and Adele have their own relationship issues and don’t really have time for Mackenzie’s problems.

Everything comes to a head at a party and shortly afterwards Mackenzie disappears. Has she simply left her husband or is something more sinister afoot?

This is a dark, gritty psychological thriller at its very best with many twists and turns along the way as we read our way to a shocking ending that will leave the reader stunned.

The evilness that some people possess while looking like a perfectly compassionate person comes across excellently in this book.

This is a fast paced adrenaline pumping read that had me reading until the early hours to get to the heart stopping ending. An excellent read and well worth the 5 stars.

View all my reviews


Author Bio

Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.

And So It Began earned a coveted Sunday Times Crime Club ⭐Star Pick.

Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; Owen still loves to perform on occasion. His great love for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home away from home in the Greek Islands where the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’, and the In Harm’s Way psychological thriller were created.

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP: Before I trust you (Ruby Baker #3) by Daisy White #mystery #crimefiction #TeamJoffeBooks @joffebooks @DEWhiteAuthor

Daisy, Joffe Books and I would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to all the wonderful bloggers who helped with the launch of BEFORE I TRUST YOU your help is very much appreciated.  xx

What the bloggers think

Black Books Blog

There are so many twists in the story with more people going missing that you struggle who committed any of the murders, or if people actually were murdered or just ran away to hide.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek

I adore the character of Ruby Baker and I took to her from the start.  She’s a lovely lass, who seems to have a great deal of success in solving crimes.  If something doesn’t seem right to her then it usually means that it isn’t.  When Ruby takes on a case you know that she is going to investigate the matter fully even if the investigation does get her into the occasional scrape or two.   Read more here

On The Shelf Reviews

I really enjoyed the setting of the racecourse and the whole racing scene, it was so realistically done with great attention to detail, especially the opening scenes of the book, I could almost picture myself there in the crowd.  Read more here

Linda Strong Book Reviews

This one grabs you from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the very surprising end.  Read more here

Bits About Books

Guest Post: Writing a mystery series by Daisy White

Joanna Larum’s Reviews

I love Daisy White’s books. The story keeps you glued to the page, desperate to find the next clue, although I have never managed to solve a case before Ruby! The characters are so believable and the stories make the trip into the 1960’s into nostalgia rather than being drearily old-fashioned.  Read more here

Turn The Page 

This is the third book in a mystery series set in 1960s Brighton, a tumultuous time of change and opportunity.  Read more here

Mystery Thriller Week 

This is a good mystery. Young Rita Stonehill commits a gruesome suicide by throwing herself in front of racing horse in Brighton racecourse. Or did she? Daisy white slowly unravels exactly who is Rita Stonehill and the shady circumstances leading up to her death. Or murder.  Read more here


BEFORE I TRUST YOU by Daisy White

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU

Do you love gripping mysteries? Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.

Rita Stonehill runs in front of the horses on a sunny day at Brighton racecourse. Why did she kill herself and is there more to it than meets the eye?

Ruby Baker is shocked to witness this dramatic event. Rita’s brother thinks she was murdered, but there’s no evidence to suggest that.
It seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide, but as a sordid love triangle emerges, is there more to it than that?
Ruby plunges into the glamorous world of horse racing to discover the truth. This is her most dangerous case yet and Rita’s death strikes very close to home for Ruby.
And then Ruby’s best friend Mary experiences a very shocking event . . .

Discover a gripping new mystery writer today. Great for fans of Agatha Christie or LJ Ross.

This is the third book in a mystery series set in 1960s Brighton, a tumultuous time of change and opportunity.

RUBY BAKER SERIES
Book 1: BEFORE I LEFT
Book 2: BEFORE I FOUND YOU
Book 3: BEFORE I TRUST YOU


My Review

This is book 3 in the Ruby Baker series.  It is the 1960s so bear that in mine when reading as opinions and safety have changed a lot since then.

This series is definitely growing on me and I am hoping for many more.

The story begins at a horse race.  Everyone is in high spirits and very excited when a girl suddenly runs out in front of the horses.  A tragic accident, suicide or murder?  There are a lot of opinions but nobody really saw anything or did they?

This is a story that moves along at a fairly fast pace and I was gripped all the way through.  There is a lot going on and that brings with it a lot of interest.  We expect competition and gambling in the horse racing world but there is a lot more going on here.

Suicide (or murder) by horse is a unique idea.  The victim was playing the field so maybe jealousy was a motive or maybe not.  The suspense builds all the way through the book and we are nearly at the end before the pieces fit together.

Ruby and her gang of amateur detectives are realistic characters that have grown and developed over the series.  There are also a couple of back stories that could make the reader feel they have missed something but apart from that the book works well as stand alone.

Adrenaline pumping suspense, twists, turns and red herrings this is an intriguing story that will keep you entertained.  5 stars from me.


Author Bio

Hi I’m Daisy White – mum, entrepreneur, and writer. I started off self-publishing, then signed YA series to two fabulous US publishers.

I’ve always wanted to write crime but none of my initial manuscripts were anywhere near good enough to show the world!

In 2016 I rewrote an earlier idea and entered it into the UK International Novel Writing Competition. It was long-listed and that gave me the confidence I needed to submit to publishers.

‘My second novel for Joffe Books, and book two in the Ruby Baker Seaside Mysteries, ‘Before I Found You’, was published in Feb 2018 and became an immediate Amazon bestseller.

Links

Website: www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DaisyWhiteAuthor/

Twitter: @DEWhiteAuthor

THE EXECUTIONER by Heather Opperman #NewRelease #Debut #DetectiveAlexReid #crimefiction #detectivebook

Today I am very excited to be sharing with you a new release. This is a debut thriller by a talented new author that I am sure we will be hearing a lot about in the future. This is an awesome start to what has the potential to be a brilliant series.

The Executioner (Detective Alex Reid #1) by Heather Opperman

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU

Alex Reid lives a charmed life.  He has a job he loves, a wife who adores him, and a home which has been featured in magazines.  As a Detective in the Serious and Violent Crimes unit in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex is fortunate to live in a country where serial killers are few and far between.

But in a whirlwind turn of events, Alex finds himself locked in a life and death struggle with a malevolent serial killer who has chosen Alex as his arch nemesis.

As the body count rises, Alex must try to overcome his own personal tragedy and loss, and go head to head with the man the media have dubbed the Executioner.

Will Alex stop him before he extracts his final revenge?

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – Love me Goodbye (Prelude #5) by Meg Buchanan @junctionpublish

Thank you very much to all the awesome bloggers on the Blog Tour for LOVE ME GOODBYE.  Your help is very much appreciated, Jill, Meg and Junction Publishing xx

What the bloggers thought:

Black Books Blog 

The book follows Adam and Genevieve as two lost souls who have both got issues in their pasts. They find each other in a bar and feel instant electricity between them.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek 

Oh my, I was hooked on ‘Love Me Goodbye’ from the moment I picked it up and started to read.  The author’s writing style is such that she grabs your attention right from the beginning and she doesn’t let you go until you have read the last word on the last page.   Read more here

Big Family Organised Chaos 

This book follows the characters Adam and Genevieve, we were introduced to Adam in the previous book as part of the band, and I love the way the books cross over each other entwining the characters from previous books.  Read more here

Sassy Redhead Book Reviews 

A story of a woman who needs a knight in shinning armor, and man who wants to feel needed and loved. Can these two find a path together and have both of their wants and needs work?  Read more here

Joanna Larum’s Reviews 

This is a delightful book to read with convincing characters and loads of excitement. I loved every page and would recommend it to all.  Read more here

Beth in a Box 

Meg’s writing is brilliant, she really tells a beautiful story and her characters are flawed to perfection.  They appear real due to their flaws.  Read more here


Love me Goodbye by Meg Buchanan

Available from AMAZON

Adam Turner is having a really bad night.
The girl he loves has gone back to her cheating fiancé.
So Adam is in a bar, aiming for oblivion

Then the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen walks in.

But Genevieve has problems.
She needs somewhere to spend the night until she can work out a way to disappear.
Then she sees Adam watching her.
He’s answer to those problems in the short- term,

From the moment they meet they both sense something special happening.
It could be amazing.
But Adam is leaving in four days.
And Geneviève has a husband.

Can they overcome the bad timing?
Will they find a way to be together?


My thoughts

This is book 5 in the Prelude series but they do work very well as stand-alone.

Stadium has been offered a contract to play in Australia for 3 months.  It is a dream come true for Luke and the others are happy to support him.  Luke is happy to escape after his philandering resulted in him being dumped by his fiancée, Tessa, and his girlfriend.  Adam holds a torch for Tessa and is disappointed that she appears to have forgiven Luke and is drowning his sorrows in a bar when in walks Genevieve.

Genevieve is on the run from her controlling husband and that brings a stong element of suspense to the love story.  Will Mason find them?

Time and circumstances are all wrong for this love at first sight relationship to work.  Adam is packing to go to Australia and Genevieve wants to go home to her parents in Uruguay.  Trying to make the most of the little time they have while keeping their eyes open for Mason the couple are up against it.

This is a gripping read that will appeal to readers of Romantic Suspense.  I am looking forward to the next book.


Author Profile

I live in Paeroa, a small town in New Zealand, with my husband and a black labrador. Most of my books are set in my home town, simply because it has a rich history, and the streets already have names, so do the rivers and the mountain nearby, and the neighbouring towns also have names, so I save time on world building.

BOOK REVIEW – Before I trust you (Ruby Baker #3) by Daisy White #CrimeFiction #RubyBaker @DEWhiteAuthor @JoffeBooks

Today I am pleased to share with you my review of BEFORE I TRUST YOU by Daisy White.  This is book 3 in the Ruby Baker series and is a ‘must read’ for anyone who loves Crime Fiction.

BEFORE I TRUST YOU by Daisy White

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU

Do you love gripping mysteries? Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.

Rita Stonehill runs in front of the horses on a sunny day at Brighton racecourse. Why did she kill herself and is there more to it than meets the eye?

Ruby Baker is shocked to witness this dramatic event. Rita’s brother thinks she was murdered, but there’s no evidence to suggest that.
It seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide, but as a sordid love triangle emerges, is there more to it than that?
Ruby plunges into the glamorous world of horse racing to discover the truth. This is her most dangerous case yet and Rita’s death strikes very close to home for Ruby.
And then Ruby’s best friend Mary experiences a very shocking event . . .

Discover a gripping new mystery writer today. Great for fans of Agatha Christie or LJ Ross.

This is the third book in a mystery series set in 1960s Brighton, a tumultuous time of change and opportunity.

RUBY BAKER SERIES
Book 1: BEFORE I LEFT
Book 2: BEFORE I FOUND YOU
Book 3: BEFORE I TRUST YOU


My Review

This is book 3 in the Ruby Baker series.  It is the 1960s so bear that in mine when reading as opinions and safety have changed a lot since then.

This series is definitely growing on me and I am hoping for many more.

The story begins at a horse race.  Everyone is in high spirits and very excited when a girl suddenly runs out in front of the horses.  A tragic accident, suicide or murder?  There are a lot of opinions but nobody really saw anything or did they?

This is a story that moves along at a fairly fast pace and I was gripped all the way through.  There is a lot going on and that brings with it a lot of interest.  We expect competition and gambling in the horse racing world but there is a lot more going on here.

Suicide (or murder) by horse is a unique idea.  The victim was playing the field so maybe jealousy was a motive or maybe not.  The suspense builds all the way through the book and we are nearly at the end before the pieces fit together.

Ruby and her gang of amateur detectives are realistic characters that have grown and developed over the series.  There are also a couple of back stories that could make the reader feel they have missed something but apart from that the book works well as stand alone.

Adrenaline pumping suspense, twists, turns and red herrings this is an intriguing story that will keep you entertained.  5 stars from me.


Author Bio

Hi I’m Daisy White – mum, entrepreneur, and writer. I started off self-publishing, then signed YA series to two fabulous US publishers.

I’ve always wanted to write crime but none of my initial manuscripts were anywhere near good enough to show the world!

In 2016 I rewrote an earlier idea and entered it into the UK International Novel Writing Competition. It was long-listed and that gave me the confidence I needed to submit to publishers.

‘My second novel for Joffe Books, and book two in the Ruby Baker Seaside Mysteries, ‘Before I Found You’, was published in Feb 2018 and became an immediate Amazon bestseller.

Links

Website: www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DaisyWhiteAuthor/

Twitter: @DEWhiteAuthor

BLOG TOUR – Error of Judgement by Roy Lewis #guestpost #giveaway @joffebooks

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Error of Judgement by Roy Lewis. This is book 2 in the Inspector Crow series. I am sharing with you a Guest Post from Roy as he talks about his thoughts when writing this book. There is also the opportunity to enter a giveaway to win a Paperback.

Error of Judgment by Roy Lewis

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU

Looking for a classic murder mystery from an acclaimed crime writer?

Discover Inspector Crow of Scotland Yard. Enjoy a beautifully told story from a time before smart phones and DNA testing. Full of twists and turns, this will have you gripped from start to finish.

A young woman is found dead in a college while students demonstrate. It turns out she was the principal’s secretary and there was more to her than meets the eye.

Who wanted her dead and why? And what does it have to do with the student revolt led by a charismatic firebrand from Iraq?

Inspector John Crow is called in and has little doubt who’s responsible but a series of surprises will make him reconsider everything.

This fast-paced mystery will have you enthralled from the start. Set in England in the late 1960s, this is the second book to feature Inspector John Crow. More coming soon.

DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY WRITER

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ruth Rendell, P.D. James and Peter Robinson.

Roy Lewis is one of the most critically acclaimed crime writers of his generation.

Giveaway

We are giving away paperbacks of ERROR OF JUDGEMENT to 2 lucky winners chosen at random on 25th October.  To enter the giveaway just enter your details here:  Giveaway entry form and you will be contacted on 25th October.

PRAISE FOR ROY LEWIS MYSTERIES

Each Lewis seems to better the last. Here is an intriguing puzzle and likely police work and a fine picture of Northumbrian society and countryside” The Times

“Roy Lewis has demonstrated an enviable range both in geography and style…a nice neat story” The Financial Times

“Lots of cunning complications embracing conservation and financial fiddles” The Guardian

“A thorough, unpretentious and immensely solid piece of work with an interesting and likeable hero” Times Literary Supplement

Tightly written, well paced and relentlessly accurate” Oxford Times

“Chilly drama with some stirring cliff hanger” Sunday Telegraph

THE DETECTIVE
Skeletally-built, mild-mannered Inspector John Crow is established in the Murder Squad in London and constantly meets hostility when he is called upon to work on murder cases in regional crime squads in Wales and the Midlands. He displays strong moral feelings, and a sensitivity which brings him into conflict with regional staff as he doggedly and successfully pursues the truth in cases where he is called in.

INSPECTOR CROW BOOKS
Book 1: A LOVER TOO MANY
Book 2: ERROR OF JUDGMENT


Guest Post – About Error of Judgement by Roy Lewis

“After my call to the Bar I taught law and wrote several legal textbooks, but when the Privy Council appointed me as Her Majesty’s Inspector (Further and Higher Education)—the youngest in the service, I turned to writing fiction. I believe I was seen as a “high flyer” in the Inspectorate but after the publication of my novel Error of Judgment I was hauled down to London and severely reprimanded by the Senior Chief Inspector for using a (fictional) HMI as a character in the book. The irony was that five years later a stranger gave me the copy I had sent to the SCI (together with its covering letter). It seems on his retirement the SCI had sold the book to a bookseller in the Lake District. Perhaps to augment his pension?”

“The polytechnics were clamouring to be redesignated as universities when I wrote Error of Judgment. In the book, the Rector of Burton Polytechnic (modelled on Sheffield Polytechnic) is seriously embarrassed by the murder of his secretary on the premises and DI John Crow finds himself involved in an unfamiliar environment—the world of higher education—as he seeks the murderer. And finds himself in personal danger, sought out by the killer as he is stalked among the deserted lecture theatres of the high rise building…

 


Author Bio

Roy Lewis is a well-established crime writer with 60 novels to his name. He lives in the north of England where he sets many of his books. He is a former college principal and Inspector of Schools who now runs business training programmes and has business interests in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. He has three children – all of them lawyers.

 

BLOG TOUR – Bring Them Home

#BLOGTOUR stop and today I am sharing with you an extract from this exciting new release: BRING THEM HOME.

Bring Them Home by D. S. Butler

Available from Amazon UK US NZ

A perfect village. A perfect crime.

When two young girls disappear from their primary school, the village of Heighington is put on high alert—and not for the first time. Called in to investigate, Detective Karen Hart is sure that parallels with a previous disappearance are anything but coincidental.

DS Hart is still reeling from a case she tried and failed to solve eighteen months ago, when a young woman vanished without a trace. She’s no nearer to the truth of what happened to Amy Fisher, but with two children missing now too, the stakes have never been higher. As she looks to the past for clues, she must confront her own haunting loss, a nightmare she is determined to spare other families.

Hart soon realises that nothing in this close-knit Lincolnshire community is what it seems. Pursuing the investigation with personal vengeance, she finds herself in conflict with her scrupulous new boss, but playing by the rules will have to wait. Because while there’s no shortage of suspects, the missing girls are running out of time…


#Guestpost #extract

‘I’m not sure about this,’ Sian Gibson muttered to her friend as they crept along the school corridor. There was no one else around as the other children had gone back to the classroom.
Emily turned around and pressed a finger against her lips. ‘Shhh. Do you want someone to hear? Mrs Morrison will go mental if she catches us.’
Sian wished someone would hear them. She wanted to get caught before they left the school grounds. Her mother would be furious if she found out she’d skived off.
It was different for Emily. She was always in trouble and didn’t seem to care. In fact, the entire Dean family were trouble, according to Sian’s mother.
Emily looped her arm through Sian’s and pulled her along. As they made their way past the line of colourful coats hanging from hooks on the wall, Emily grinned. She passed Sian her yellow coat before putting on her red anorak. Sian’s coat was only a month old, but Emily had the same anorak as last year. The cuffs were ragged, and there was a small hole by her right elbow.
She usually turned the sleeves up carefully so the other children wouldn’t notice the frayed hems, but today she was too excited to care. The girls were mounting a daring escape and leaving school a full five minutes before the bell signalling the end of the school day.
Ahead of them, the door to the playground was open. Nothing stood in their way. Sian felt her stomach tighten. She couldn’t back out now. Emily would think she was a baby.
As they left the school corridor and stepped out into the cold October afternoon, Sian shivered. She looked back over her shoulder towards the classroom windows. Their classmates would be sitting cross-legged on the floor listening to the teacher reading another chapter of The Magician’s Nephew. Sian wished she was back there in the warm with them.
Emily tugged her arm. ‘What’s the matter with you? Don’t you want to see the ponies?’
‘I didn’t say that. I just don’t see why we have to leave school early. We’ll be in so much trouble if Mrs Morrison finds out. What if she calls my mum?’
‘She won’t find out if you get a move on. Hurry up.’
Sian’s mother said Emily was a bossy little madam and she didn’t like her spending time with the ‘Dean girl’. Sian had begged to be allowed to go to Emily’s for tea and had been surprised when her mother had finally relented. She’d be having kittens if she knew they were creeping out of school early.
It was only five minutes, though. Surely that couldn’t get them into much trouble. Emily had insisted they leave school before the bell rang because she said she didn’t want any of the other children finding out about the ponies.
Emily was horse-mad at the moment. All she’d talked about for the past six months was ponies and horses. Her parents had told her they weren’t wasting money on horse-riding lessons, but Emily walked to the stables every Friday afternoon and watched Sian’s weekly lesson with her Welsh cob Florence.
Emily watched those lessons with such longing it made Sian feel guilty. Now, Emily was about to have her own riding lesson. She was glad for her friend but didn’t understand why they had to keep it secret.
Sian loved horses. There was something comforting about the smell of the stables, and stroking the soft muzzles of the gentle ponies was the best feeling in the world, so she didn’t know why she was feeling so nervous.
It was probably because she was afraid of being caught. Emily was right. She was a baby. She hated getting into trouble.
It was silly really. If anyone should be panicking about getting caught, it was Emily. After all, Sian would probably be given a stern telling off and not allowed to watch TV for a week, but if Emily’s mother found out, she’d tell Emily’s dad. Sian was terrified of Emily’s dad. He was a huge man with a temper. But his shouting and threats didn’t stop Emily getting into trouble. She didn’t seem to care.
Sian followed her friend, crossing the path and heading towards the fence that ran along the side of the playground.
The girls climbed over the wooden fence but Sian stumbled, landing on her hands and knees on top of a pile of soggy brown leaves.
Emily rolled her eyes but held out a hand to help her up.
Sian took a last longing look at the warm lights of the classroom glinting between the trees. Finally, she brushed her clothes free of leaves and bracken and followed her friend into the woods.
She’d been excited about going to Emily’s for tea. Sian’s mother always picked her up from the front gates, but Emily was allowed to go home on her own even though she was only ten. She used a shortcut along the side of the playground and the wood which led out on to Longwater Lane. But today they weren’t going straight to Emily’s house. Today they were meeting Emily’s new friend, who was going to take them to see some ponies and let Emily ride one.
At the thought of the ponies, Sian perked up a bit and walked a little faster. She shoved her hands deep in her pockets as the cold, damp October air made her shiver. It wasn’t raining, but drips of moisture fell from the branches above them, landing on their hair and coats.
‘Where’s your friend meeting us?’ Sian asked, no longer whispering now there was no one around to hear them.
‘Just through here,’ Emily said, pointing deeper into the woods. She grinned at Sian. Her eyes were sparkling and she bounced with each step like a puppy.
Suddenly she turned to Sian, the excitement on her face replaced by fear. ‘What if I can’t do it? What if I fall off ? Or the pony doesn’t like me?’
Sian shook her head. ‘Of course the pony will like you, and you won’t fall off. Somebody will hold the reins for you if it’s your first lesson.’
Emily nodded but didn’t look convinced.
Sian reached out to squeeze her friend’s hand, then both girls jumped when they heard leaves rustle in front of them.
The afternoon was dark and gloomy, making it hard to see. A prickling sensation ran along Sian’s spine as a tall, thin figure loomed in front of them.
At first, nobody spoke and then Sian stammered, ‘Is this your friend?’
Emily finally found her voice. ‘Yes, the one with the ponies.’ Emily’s voice was louder than usual.
Sian wished Emily’s friend would step away from the trees so she could see them properly, but in the next moment, she wished they’d just go away. For some reason, she felt an overwhelming need to run back to the classroom.
‘I told you not to tell anyone.’ The voice was gruff and angry.
Sian’s hands tightened into fists in her pockets to stop them from shaking. She shuffled back a few steps. Sian wanted to return to school, but she was scared for her friend. She shot a glance at Emily and saw she was frowning.
‘I’m sorry,’ Emily said. ‘It’s just that Sian really likes horses too, and she always lets me come to her lessons.’
Sian waited for the figure to reply, but for the longest time all she could hear was ragged breathing.
‘Fine. This way,’ the figure said finally, before turning around and heading deeper into the woods away from the school and Longwater Lane. Sian had never gone in this direction before.
‘Is this the way to the stables?’ Emily asked. Her voice wasn’t as loud now.
The figure walking in front of them said nothing.


About the book:

Characters

DS Karen Hart is the lead character, a woman who has struggled through a recent personal tragedy. She is a strong woman, who can be a little obstinate at times. DI Scott Morgan is her mysterious new boss, who seems as though he has something to hide. Karen wants to get on with the job, but can she put her trust in an officer who is so distant and secretive about his past?

Genre

Police Procedural

Setting

Heighington, Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire is an evocative setting for a mystery series. The wide-open farmland, quiet country lanes and tight-knit communities can hide a wealth of secrets.

Publisher

Thomas & Mercer


About the author:

Born in Kent, D. S. Butler grew up as an avid reader with a love for crime fiction and mysteries. She has worked as a scientific officer in a hospital pathology laboratory and as a research scientist.

After obtaining a PhD in biochemistry, she worked at the University of Oxford for four years before moving to the Middle East. While living in Bahrain, she wrote her first novel and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She now lives in Lincolnshire with her husband.


Book List

DS Karen Hart Series:
1.) Bring Them Home
2.) Where Secrets Lie

DS Jack Mackinnon books:
1.) Deadly Obsession
2.) Deadly Motive
3.) Deadly Revenge
4.) Deadly Justice
5.) Deadly Ritual
6.) Deadly Payback
7.) Deadly Game

Dani Oakley Books
1) East End Trouble
2) East End Diamond
3) East End Retribution

Harper Grant Mystery Series (written as Danica Britton)
1.) A Witchy Business
2.) A Witchy Mystery
3.) A Witchy Christmas
4.) A Witchy Valentine
5.) Harper Grant and the Poisoned Pumpkin Pie.


Social Media Links

Website: www.dsbutlerbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/D.S.Butler.Author/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ds_butler
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dsbutlerauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/dsbutler
Email Newsletter: http://www.dsbutlerbooks.com/newsletter/

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: