Tag Archives: Crime

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Doubleday | 2017 (2 May) | 368p | Review copy | Buy the book

Into the Water by Paula HawkinsWhen Nel Abbott is found drowned, her fifteen-year-old daughter Lena is left almost entirely alone. Her best friend Katie drowned in the same stretch of river just a few months before. Lena can hardly fathom that her mother has shared the same fate. But this bit of river in the village of Beckford is known as the Drowning Pool – women have drowned here for years, sometimes by suicide, but also by the hand of others.

Nel’s sister Jules comes to Beckford to look after her niece, and at first neither are happy about it. Jules and Nel had been estranged for many years for reasons that one sister kept quiet while the other could never understand why. The small community of Beckford is grievously troubled by yet another death in the Drowning Pool. For many it stirs up the past, bringing back painful memories of their own losses in the water. As Jules and Lena are thrown into the heart of the village’s trauma, they come to understand how far the hurt has spread and that the significance – and pull – of the Drowning Pool is as dangerous and powerful as ever.

I don’t think there are too many people now who haven’t read Paula Hawkins’ previous novel The Girl on the Train and, while I was one of those with mixed feelings about that book (review), I was so looking forward to reading Into the Water. I’m glad I did. I think that Into the Water is a cleverer thriller than The Girl on the Train, its mystery more satisfying and complex, and its characters better developed. Its structure is also ambitious and very effective.

The story of Into the Water is told from a number of different perspectives. We hear from a whole range of different people and the narrative includes first, second and third person. While I initially found it difficult to keep track of the many different voices, by the middle third of the novel I was completely caught up in the lives of its people. This movement of narrative allows us to venture deeply into these characters’ motivations, feelings and fears. There are a range of agendas at work here and so the struggle to find the truth about why so many troubled women have had their lives ended in the Drowning Pool is never straightforward. As a result we have twists and red herrings galore.

We meet lots of different people but a fair few who stand out, notably Nel’s daughter Lena, the police officer Erin, and Katie’s distraught mother Louise. But all have interesting stories to tell and it’s easy to get caught up in them. Some, though, are darker than others and there are a few which are very dark indeed. Beckford is a place with many, many secrets. The reasons why it’s women who end up in the Drowning Pool and not men are deeply troubling.

Into the Water is a very well-written and intriguing mystery. It is undoubtedly dark and troubling, overshadowed by grief, loss and cruelty. There is little relief from its mood. But it is also extremely thought-provoking and compelling. No single character dominates. Instead, it is the women who lost their lives in the Drowning Pool who haunt these pages, demanding our attention as justice and vengeance are sought.

Other review
The Girl on the Train

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

Bantam Press | 2017 (20 April) | 400p | Review copy | Buy the book

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon BoltonBella is about to turn 40 and her younger sister Jessica has the perfect present for her – a balloon ride above the beautiful countryside of Northumberland. They’ve been looking forward to it for ages. But they drift above something they shouldn’t, a crime scene. And when Jessica looks straight into the eyes of a killer, she knows full well he’s looking right back at her. The pursuit is on. He chases them from the ground, firing shots, creating panic, and it isn’t long before that balloon and everyone riding in its basket tumbles to the ground. There is only one survivor and she must run for her life.

And that is all I’m going to say because Dead Woman Walking is an extraordinary novel, exquisitely plotted, and I don’t want to give away a thing, not even the seemingly insignificant details. It all mounts up and where it takes us is somewhere I’m not going to forget in a hurry. I expected shocks and surprises but I was not prepared for this. As I said at the time, just when I’d finished it: ‘You think you know where you’re heading and then BOOM!!!’ That still sums it up for me. I thought I’d been clever, that I’d worked it all out. Ha!

Sharon Bolton is one of the most original writers of jaw dropping crime fiction about today and I could not wait to read Dead Woman Walking, especially after devouring Daisy in Chains. It did not disappoint. I’ve mentioned how good the plot is, but so too is its mood. This book has menace and dread written all over it. It is extremely tense, the action moving across the miles, the pursuit closer and closer. And the characters are fascinating – those doing the chasing, those being chased and the police. There is also a timelessness about it, contributed to by the stunning yet challenging countryside and the presence of, yes, nuns.

The relationship between Jessica and Bella is especially significant, moving backwards and forwards in time through the novel. There is such tenderness and I fell for them both completely.

I realise that this review is short and (hopefully!) sweet. I just want you to discover Dead Woman Walking for yourself, ideally knowing as little as possible. If you’ve read Sharon Bolton’s novels before then be assured that you’ll get more of what you love here and, if you’ve never had the pleasure, then do dive in with Dead Woman Walking. Although you may get hooked.

Other review
Little Black Lies
Daisy in Chains

I’m delighted to post this review as part of the blog tour. For other stops on the tour, do take a look at the poster below.

Dead Woman Walking Blog Tour

The Body in the Ice by A.J. MacKenzie

Zaffre | 2017 (20 April) | 342p | Review copy | Buy the book

The Body in the Ice by AJ MacKenzieIt is Christmas Day in 1795 and this is one of the coldest winters that people can remember. But the villagers of St Mary in the Marsh in Kent will have more reason than most to remember this particular Christmas – a body is discovered, frozen into the ice of a horse pond belonging to New Hall, the deserted grand house on the edge of the village. It’s not, though, as deserted as it should have been. Two men were spotted arriving there a couple of days before but both have now vanished. Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace as well as rector, doesn’t delay in pursuing these men but it’s not long before he realises that there is more to the murder mystery than first appeared. And matters are compounded when New Hall’s owners arrive to reclaim their ancestral home, years after abandoning it for new lives in America.

This is a time of unease. Peace has finally been achieved with America after the Revolution and independence but Britain is at war with France and this vulnerable Kent coast feels the threat more than most. And so Hardcastle and his friend and neighbour Amelia Chaytor will receive little help from the preoccupied authorities for their investigations, especially after an obvious suspect makes himself known. But, as the winter continues to hold its grip, Hardcastle is convinced that all is not as it seems.

The Body in the Ice is the second Hardcastle and Chaytor historical mystery by A.J. MacKenzie but, I’m sorry to say, it’s my first. There are links to the first novel The Body on the Doorstep but that didn’t affect my enjoyment or understanding of The Body in the Ice at all. The story stands alone very well and I was gripped from its opening icey chapter, immediately falling for Amelia and the rector (and the dog, even the rector’s sister). But, if you do want to read The Body on the Doorstep, make sure you read that first.

I love historical murder mysteries, especially those that evoke strong feeling for the times in which they’re set, and The Body In the Ice does just that with the American Wars of Independence and the war with France playing their part. I hadn’t thought before about the impact of the American revolution on families in Britain, many of whom would have been divided, but this novel brings that to the fore. But there are other big themes here, such as the treatment of black men and women on both sides of the Atlantic during these days of slavery.

But apart from all the tension and drama of the murder mystery (which is excellent), there is humour, mostly at the expense of the rector’s poor sister, Cordelia. She is a gothic novelist (currently engaged in writing The Lighthouse of Vavassal) and not above providing generous writing advice to the sister of a new arrival in the village, Captain Edward Austen from Hampshire. But Cordelia complements Amelia perfectly and I enjoyed them both.

The Body in the Ice evokes a world of Georgian country villages that revolve around their church and manor house, with a dash of smuggling thrown in as this is the Kentish coast. It is richly atmospheric and wonderfully written, with just the right proportions of domestic and national politics, murder and polite conversation. The ending put me on the edge of my seat – there comes a time when manners have to be put to one side. I will most definitely be following this series from now on. I’m looking forward to The Body in the Boat very much.

The Killer on the Wall by Emma Kavanagh

Arrow | 2017 (20 April) | 384p | Review copy | Buy the book

The Killer on the Wall by Emma KavanaghTwenty years ago Isla Bell’s life changed forever when she found the remains of three murdered people propped against Hadrian’s Wall, as if they had chosen to spend forever sitting beside its stones. More murders were to follow but the small community of Briganton was finally able to let out its breath when the murderer was caught and put away by none other than Isla’s detective father, Sergeant Eric Bell.

Twenty years on, Sergeant Bell is now a Superintendent, while Isla is a forensic psychologist, attempting to identify from medical scans what it is that makes a serial killer keep on killing. One of her subjects is the infamous killer on the wall but even outside work she cannot escape the memories of the past. Briganton is such a small village, everyone knows everybody else – the innocent and the guilty. And then it happens again. All these years later, with the murderer locked away, another body is found against the Wall. And then there’s another…

Emma Kavanagh is one of those authors whose books I long to read. She writes unusual, distinct and clever crime mysteries, each standing alone, asking questions about identity and relationships, to one another, to communities and to the places in which one lives. With The Killer on the Wall, the author has done it again. She has created yet another completely immersive and addictive crime thriller that is driven by its people and its location.

The narrative moves between stories, showing us the devastating impact of these crimes on Briganton by shifting perspectives. Most of the time is spent moving between Isla and Mina, a detective who leads the investigation into this new set of murders. While I enjoyed Isla, Mina is by far my favourite character in the book. She constantly fascinates and intrigues, not least because of her complicated relationship with her boss, Superintendent Eric Bell.

Briganton is an extraordinarily close village, edging up against the defining barrier of Hadrian’s Wall. There’s a sense that this is a place that has been around for millennia and, just as the Wall has been here for so long, so too has the evil of man. Briganton is more than notorious; it is believed to be cursed. And yet people like Isla and Mina cannot live away from it. People might leave it for a while but they always return. Such is the force of the location in this intense novel.

My one issue with the novel is in some ways a side-effect of one of its strengths – this small and remote community is all we have. While that gives Killer on the Wall its mood and intricate relationships, it also gives the story its coincidences and limited pool of suspects. It’s as if everyone we meet is either a victim, suspect or murderer. I did guess the outcome as a result. Nevertheless, this beautifully written novel is bleakly atmospheric and compelling throughout, tied to its stunning yet bleak location, and driven on by its rich line-up of characters. It’s irresistible.

Other reviews
Falling
Hidden
The Missing Hours

A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride

HarperCollins | 2017 (20 April) | 608p | Review copy | Buy the book

A Dark so Deadly by Stuart MacBrideWhen DC Callum McGregor is informed of the discovery of a body in the city of Oldcastle, Scotland, he makes the mistake of hoping that his luck might be about to change. Because Callum is one of The Misfit Mob, the place where Police Scotland dumps the police officers it’s not able to sack. But it appears that the proper police are a bit overstretched and this is a body too many for them to cope with. It’s all too good to be true, of course. The body turns out to be a mummified corpse hidden in the local tip. Callum knows how it feels.

But soon one mummy turns into two and the surprising evidence indicates that this might not be the work of a prehistoric murderer after all, but of one alive and well and thriving in the constantly rainy city of Oldcastle. It’s no coincidence that a number of young men are also disappearing. With reluctance, the powers-that-be allow Callum and his fellow Misfits to stick with the case. Being expendable and rather desperate might stand them in good stead.

What a group of characters these Misfits are, and all with good reason for hating where they’ve ended up, whether it be for taking the rap for somebody else’s wrongdoing, or for being injured, or for turning in corrupt former colleagues. They are driven by a fierce sense of injustice and this can make them very grouchy indeed with each other – especially between Dot and Watt. But they have an extraordinary leader, DI Malcolmson, known to her officers as Mother. That’s when she lets them call her Mother. Callum hasn’t quite reached that stage yet. But, blimey, she is a force to be reckoned with. And she is well supported by her second in command, the maudlin McAdams, who believes that if something can’t be said in a haiku then it isn’t worth saying.

How to describe the goings on of A Dark So Deadly? I’m not going to try. It is an absolutely stunningly rich and multi-layered novel. On the surface it might be a crime novel, with all of the pleasingly twisty and complex plotting you could wish for, but there is so much more to it than murder. This is a novel set in a fictional Scottish city but it is as real as any place on Earth, and not just because of the fantastic maps that adorn the inside covers, and the people who live in it are entirely believable and alive. Totally alive. There is so much going on, so many crimes – this is not the most contented city you can imagine – all going on at the same time and Callum and his fellow officers are deeply immersed in them all.

The officers have their back histories as you can imagine when you see how they’ve ended up, but Callum’s personal life delivers punch after punch and it’s a wonder he’s still standing. It is extraordinary. And I wanted to stand up for him so much. I felt deeply invested in Callum, and in the others, and especially in Mother whom I absolutely adored. I cannot describe in adequate words how much I loved these characters. How much they made me laugh. There might be cursing and all manner of insults but there is such a warmth behind it. Even the baddies made me care. Until they did something really bad.

At this point I should mention that Stuart MacBride is one of my all-time favourite novelists and his Logan McRae books are my favourite crime series. A Dark So Deadly isn’t part of that series and it is a completely stand alone novel. When I picked it up I felt about 10 seconds of regret that I wouldn’t be back with McRae and Steel but that feeling sharply dissipated as soon as I started reading this fabulous novel. Callum isn’t McRae and Mother isn’t Steel but I fell for them in exactly the same way and if we don’t meet them again in another novel, I will be distraught. Distraught, Stuart MacBride!

A Dark So Deadly is 600 pages long. Normally, I would argue that this is too long for a crime novel but of course this is no ordinary crime novel. In fact, I would suggest that 600 pages is far too short! I did not want it to end and I read it in two glorious days. I must also mention that the hardback is a thing of beauty. The maps I referred to earlier are gorgeous and brilliantly done. It is so hard to believe that Oldcastle isn’t a real place. Not that I want to go there…

I have no hesitation in proclaiming A Dark So Deadly to be, in my opinion, the most enjoyable crime novel that I have ever read. This is quite a statement but it is absolutely true. It’s complex, ambitious, warm and completely engrossing, tragic and funny, compelling and perfect. Do not miss it.

Other reviews
Logan McRae series
In the Cold Dark Ground

Ashes to Ashes by Paul Finch

Avon | 2017 | 480p | Review copy | Buy the book

Ashes to Ashes by Paul FinchJohn Sagan is a killer for hire and he deals out death with the utmost and coldest violence in his caravan, known and feared by many in London as the Pain Box. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenberg is after him. And his drive to catch him intensifies when one of Heck’s informants narrowly escapes from the Pain Box with her life. But the best laid plans have a habit of going wrong and Sagan dodges Heck’s trap. The rumours suggest that Sagan has fled north, to Bradburn, Heck’s hometown and a town caught in a gangland war. Heck follows but yet more death awaits him, this time in the terrible form of the Incinerator – a masked man who murders with fire.

Heck is not your ordinary detective. Instead, he is a maverick who hovers on the edges of procedure, ready to do whatever it takes to lock away evil, irritating without fail his superiors. Ashes to Ashes is the sixth novel in the series and so we’re familiar now with Heck’s uneasy relationship with his immediate boss in the Serious Crimes Unit, Detective Superintendent Gemma Piper, but new readers will have no problem picking up both their history and the tension. In Bradburn, among a new team of officers, Heck displays his usual disregard for following orders but a grudging respect grows on both sides as his unusual methods are shown to bring results.

I am such a fan of this series and couldn’t wait to read it. These books are always dark and violent but Ashes to Ashes takes this further, not just because of the nature of the murders but also because of the gangland presence throughout the novel. Nasty people walk these pages, some of whom fall foul, as Sagan and the Incinerator trawl for victims. The murders, though, are particularly unpleasant and there were a few pages that I had to skim through. The gangland aspect isn’t something that I find especially appealing in crime fiction and so I can’t say that Ashes to Ashes is my favourite of the series but that’s more my fault than the book’s.

Paul Finch is an excellent writer who has created one of the most successful and memorable figures in crime fiction. Heck isn’t perfect by any means, but he’s a man you’d want on your side, fighting for you. You know he wouldn’t give up. We learn a little more about his background here as he returns to his roots in Bradburn. It leads to self-reflection and doubt. But if ever there was a town in need of saving, in need of Heck, it’s this one.

Other reviews and posts
Hunted
Strangers
‘What seven things you should know if you want to write crime fiction’ – Guest post

‘What seven things you should know if you want to write crime fiction’ – Guest post by Paul Finch

Ashes to Ashes by Paul FinchThis week, Avon publishes Ashes to Ashes, the sixth novel in one of my very favourite crime series – the DI Mark Heckenburg books by Paul Finch. My review is on the way (the book was my holiday companion in Italy last week) but in the meantime I’m delighted to host a Blog Tour guest post from Paul Finch on the intriguing subject of ‘What seven things should you know if you want to write crime fiction?’. It is a brilliant post!

Before that, here’s a little of what Ashes to Ashes is about:

John Sagan is a forgettable man. You could pass him in the street and not realise he’s there. But then, that’s why he’s so dangerous.

A torturer for hire, Sagan has terrorised – and mutilated – countless victims. And now he’s on the move. DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg must chase the trail, even when it leads him to his hometown of Bradburn – a place he never thought he’d set foot in again.

But Sagan isn’t the only problem. Bradburn is being terrorised by a lone killer who burns his victims to death. And with the victims chosen at random, no-one knows who will be next. Least of all Heck…

What seven things should you know if you want to write crime fiction?

Well, it’s an interesting question, and certainly one I haven’t been asked before. Off the top of my head, I can think of seven things it might be useful for you to know. I wouldn’t say that these are the seven most important things, but it probably wouldn’t do you any harm to be forearmed, as they say. So here we go…

Guilt goes with the territory

This may seem a curious thing to say, but it reflects reality. By its nature, crime and thriller writing deals with the darker end of the human experience. It won’t just be routine wickedness you are exploring. Whether your lead characters are heroes or villains, they’ll be dicing with danger, skating along the edge of the abyss, doing all kinds of things that law-abiding citizens in normal life never would. Now, if you want your writing to be authentic, you’ve got to go the extra mile to ensure that you get the facts of these matters correct. That will entail lots of online research into areas you wouldn’t usually go anywhere near, such as the formation and organisation of criminal empires, the methods and modus operandi of serial killers, the anatomies of the world’s most successful bank robberies and/or assassination plots, the use and availability of illegal firearms, the impact upon human bodies of poison, nerve gas, biological weaponry, the formation of police investigation teams and the emergency procedures they follow, the complexities of drugs-trafficking, the risk and probability of terrorist attacks, the depth and breadth of those security shields that protect western cities against such catastrophic threats.

All of this is going to make fascinating reading, of course, for a security expert should he/she ever have call to examine your online activity. You will have the excuse that you’re a crime writer and that it’s all part of the game, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a tad nervous when you’re indulging in it.

You’ll be challenged on facts

Never has the phrase ‘facts matter’ been more relevant than it is to the average crime/thriller writer. One of the most basic problems you have as an author in this field is that you’re straying into a fascinating, complex world which also, rather inconveniently, happens to be real. So, for example, you may be delving into law enforcement with all the procedures, protocols and legalities inherent to that. If you think that’s tough, you may also find yourself concerned with military matters, or security issues involving international law, the intelligence services and/or spec ops deployment. Medical and forensics questions will almost certainly arise; you may need to discuss weapons, explosives and the like. But the real problem is that you’ll likely encounter real-life people who have expertise in these fields, and if you get things wrong, they may well call you to account – sometimes in public.

While it’s not incumbent on you to become a guru in these matters, it would certainly help if you did some basic research. Whatever you do, don’t wing it.

(I will add that it won’t matter quite so much with the likes of MI6 and/or the SAS, as they’ll never comment anyway, and almost certainly will be delighted if you spread misinformation about their techniques).

You can chat to those who know

Library and internet research may help you factually, but it’s often a dry process and is unlikely to hit you from left-field with cool new ideas. In contrast, speaking to someone who’s actually done unusual things in his/her life can be much more fruitful. And the good thing is, with the exception of those ultra-secret organisations I mention above, most members of the security services are happy to chat about it, though they only tend to do so if approached … so don’t feel awkward about trying to pick their brains.

Police officers or ex-police officers are particularly good in this regard. I have a slight advantage here as an ex-copper, in that they may feel they can trust me more with the really juicy stuff, but I’d be surprised if the majority weren’t willing to have a chat with any writer. There may be certain areas they won’t go if they don’t already know you, but on the whole I think they’ll be willing to talk widely and informatively about their job. Never make the assumption that they’ll think you’re silly. They won’t. Many coppers I know also read crime fiction, while others would like to write – to immortalize their own exploits – but can’t, and so become very protective of writers they form relationships with, as they see that as the next best thing.

It is not a solitary profession

The semi-mythical image of the writer slugging on alone in his/her attic, virtually penniless and with no one to call a friend, particularly does NOT apply to the crime/thriller writer. I mean, I can’t comment on the ‘penniless’ bit – that all depends on your personal circs, but you DO have friends.

In all the literary fields, I’ve never known anywhere where the networking between practitioners is quite as vibrant as it is in crime and thrillers. There are literally hundreds of authors writing this material at professional level, both at home and overseas, and they’re all doing exactly the same things you are: hammering away at their keyboards, proof-reading, flipping through websites on the research trail, chatting things over with their agents and editors – and not always to their personal satisfaction. More importantly, thanks to the internet, most of these men and women are now connected. There are all kinds of online crime-writer clubs you can join, places where friendships are made, experiences aired and info shared (and info about which publisher has a new slot available, or which editor is looking for what can be very useful indeed). This is a great way to relieve pressure, because it shows that you aren’t the only person struggling with writer’s block, or character development, or just with the sheer physical effort of trying to finish a full-length novel. Likewise, there are many crime fiction conventions and festivals you can attend, and crime-writing societies you can join. A burden shared is a burden halved and all that, on top of which a lively social life, especially when it’s crammed with folk who all share the same interest, can only improve your quality of life.

Readers can take as much as you can give them

Don’t be lulled into thinking that, just because certain subgenres within the overarching genre of crime writing are cosier than others – a good example being the ‘village green murder mystery’ – you have to handle your readers with kid gloves. In short, it’s quite the opposite.

One of the best examples of village green-style crime fiction in the modern day is the TV series, Midsomer Murders, and look at the body-counts in that, not to mention the various methods of dispatch. We’ve seen people killed with farm-tools, sliced, diced, decapitated, churned up by combine harvesters. One poor chap was beaten to death with cricket balls fired at him out of a batting machine. Crime readers, whatever style they prefer, are generally speaking a ghoulish bunch, who are here to enjoy a dalliance with the darkness. So, don’t hold back. As long as you don’t deal with death in juvenile fashion, you can, on the whole, pile on the grimness and violence. I mean, personally I’m a great believer in less being more, but I don’t think you can pussy-foot around the subject of murder, especially in this modern age when ‘true crime’ is so popular – and there ain’t nothing gorier than ‘true crime’.

So, if you feel you need to lay it on, don’t worry about the sensibilities of your readers. Lay it on.

Crime writing is a very broad church

So many people who don’t read crime/thriller fiction have complete misconceptions about it. They immediately think Agatha Christie and the traditional English whodunnit. That is undeniably there and is very popular. Sidney Chambers, the crime-fighting village vicar of James Runcie’s Grantchester Mysteries, still embodies something of that atmosphere, and his adventures sell widely. But there are other fields too. Our fictional crime-fighters, like crime-fighters in real life, vary across the spectrum – from sticklers for procedure and crusaders of correctness to embittered louts who are never any better than they need to be and subsequently walk tightropes through a world of crime and sleaze. It doesn’t even stop there; often we use hardboiled PIs as our models, the smart-mouthed heroes created by James Crumley, Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, who are no strangers to the seediest worlds imaginable and will play by any rules to win. Sometimes the villains themselves are our central characters. The violent gangland thrillers of Ted Lewis, Malcolm Mackay and Howard Linskey perfectly exemplify this.

So there you have it; we range from those quintessential leafy villages in the heart of Middle England to urban hells populated by addicts, prostitutes, contract killers and corrupt politicians.

Oh yes, we’ve got it all. Feel free to explore at random.

There is no requirement to write on the side of good

As I intimated in earlier paragraphs, we are not, as authors, bound by real-world morality.

For my money, one of the best crime thrillers ever written is Jack’s Return Home by Ted Lewis, which was published in 1970 but filmed in 1971, perhaps more famously, as Get Carter. It tells the tale of a mobster from the North of England who makes good in London, but when his brother is murdered back home, gets on a train in a quest for gangland justice. What follows is a brutal, gritty noir filled with anger and darkness, and in the character of Jack Carter, it gives us an amoral and uncompromising hero, a cold-blooded hardman who is only different from the evil hoodlums he finds himself gunning for because his personal code of ethics is marginally more admirable than theirs.

But hey, this again reflects reality. You’ve doubtless heard the phrase ‘it takes a wolf to catch a wolf’. Well, we crime authors mustn’t be ashamed of putting that into practice. Morally ambiguous heroes are often far more interesting than those goodie two-shoes of the old school. In any case, as I say… this is fiction, not real life, so it doesn’t matter anyway. If that’s what you want to do with your book, go for it.

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I can’t thank Paul enough for such a wonderful, fascinating post!

For other stops on the tour, please take a look at the poster below.

Ashes to Ashes blog tour