Steve Regan Undercover Cop Series by Stephen Bentley

Who the F am I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop

‘Crime Fiction About An Undercover Cop By a Former Undercover Cop’ is roughly how the blurb goes on the Amazon listing for my latest book ‘Who The F*ck Am I?’

The title may be a tad controversial to some, but it is part of the very fabric of an infiltrator. Identity confusion among undercover agents is a medically recognised condition.

It is Book One in a trilogy featuring Steve Regan, a fictional British undercover cop. The action takes place mainly in the United Kingdom but also takes the reader to Miami and Boston in the United States.

The book is available from October 31, 2017 in both Kindle and paperback through Amazon. It will also be available in other eBook formats through Smashwords and at most other online book stores.

The blurb also makes the claim, “This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!

 

 

 

 

Undercover

 

 

 

From author, Stephen Bentley, comes a fictional undercover cop, Steve Regan, following on the success of his true crime undercover cop memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Steve Regan, undercover detective, is tempted by the riches of drug smuggling so he can be free of debt, police bureaucracy, and help a loved one. He wonders whether he can go ‘rogue’ and cross the line.

Regan gets involved in one deal with a Miami-based drug lord. But is everyone who they say they are?

Short, fast-paced, high-impact entertainment, from an author who knows  how to suck you into a story.”

This novella was inspired by two gangsters I met in real life while undercover. I harboured thoughts about them for many years and felt obliged to deal with those thoughts in this fictional work. I believe I can safely say that is a first!

 

 

 

 

 

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As the author and a former undercover cop, I do not profess to know with certainty if my claim about it being a “first” is fact. I mean the claim: This surely has to be a first! Crime fiction about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop!

I could argue, in line with another former profession of mine (lawyer), that it isn’t a claim at all – merely a hypothesis. Pedants may argue there ought to be a question mark following “has to be first.” Possibly, they are correct.

But in any event, whether claim or hypothesis, it intrigues me. So, a challenge to all readers of this blog post – tell me if I am right or wrong about it being the first fictional work about an undercover cop written by a former undercover cop. At least I ask you to leave a comment letting us know your thoughts.

There is a reward for the best comment left – one free copy of the book featured here and a free copy of my bestselling memoir ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story.’

Please note there can only be one winner and the prizes will be provided in any eBook format of the winner’s choice.

The winner will be judged by the author on the basis of the insight provided by the commentator, the originality of the comment, and any tendency to humour gains extra marks 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Bentley

 

 

Notes For The Blog Owner

Stephen Bentley BIO

Former UK Detective Sergeant, undercover cop, barrister (trial counsel). Now a writer, author, and blogs at HuffPost UK.

Author of ‘Undercover: Operation Julie – The Inside Story’ – an Amazon UK bestselling book about his undercover days on one of the world’s largest drug busts.

Lives in the Philippines, enjoys the beaches and a cold beer and follows “his team”, Liverpool Football Club from afar.

Amazon link: Who The F*uck Am I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: The Call by Amanda Fleet

 

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What if your ex-boyfriend called you desperately asking for life-or-death help?

 
Summer Morris gets a phone call from her ex-lover Patrick begging for help. But he’s cut off before he can give her all the details.

He’s in deep trouble. She would have been happy to never hear from him again, but can she really refuse to help a man whose life is in danger?

Patrick turns out to have many enemies who might want him dead. He’s been working in Malawi and uncovered a scandal. He’s involved with a powerful woman. And he’s borrowed money from the wrong people. And that’s just for starters.

Along with an off-duty policeman, DS Stewart, Summer gets swept into Patrick’s world of lies and deceit, in a desperate race against time to find him alive.

Who is behind Patrick’s disappearance and can Summer find out before it’s too late?

 

 

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Eight Things You Might Not Have Known About Amanda Fleet Until Now


1. She spent 20 years lecturing in human physiology at university before a serious health issue made her reassess her life, and leave to focus on writing. Most of those years were at the University of St Andrews, where she also did her undergraduate degree.

2. Naturally ambidextrous, she generally writes with her right hand, but all of her lab books were written left-handed during her PhD after RSI in her right prevented her from being able to hold a pen.

3. She helped to set up a charity in Malawi that works to help homeless children stay in education. The charity buys uniforms and school supplies, pays school fees and helps to support any remaining family to keep the children off the streets.

4. She never drinks coffee, but drinks oceans of tea. Her favourite tea is Fortnum and Mason’s Earl Grey, for its hint of smokiness along with the bergamot.

5. She once did a charity lecture for medical students, dressed as Braveheart, wearing her husband’s kilt. The outfit was completed by blue face paint and a plastic sword, which she used as a pointer during the lecture. Amanda is English, incidentally. The irony was not lost on her.

6. A stationery addict from an early age, the has a cupboard full of notebooks and another full of fountain pen ink. She probably owns more notebooks and ink than she will be able to use in a lifetime.

7. She has ‘O’ levels in Art and Latin. One has been much more useful than the other!

8. She loves a good ceilidh. Strip the Willow (conventional or Orcadian version) is her favourite dance.

 

 
 

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AUTHOR BIO

Amanda Fleet is a physiologist by training and a writer at heart. She spent 18 years teaching science and medicine undergraduates at St Andrews University, but now uses her knowledge to work out how to kill people (in her books!). She completed her first degree at St Andrews University and her doctorate at University College, London.

She has been an inveterate stationery addict since a child, amassing a considerable stash of fountain pens, ink and notebooks during her lifetime. These have thankfully come in useful, as she tends to write rather than type, at least in the early stages of writing a book.

During her time at St Andrews, she was involved with two Scottish Government funded projects, working with the College of Medicine in Blantyre, Malawi. While in Malawi, she learned about the plight of the many street children there and helped to set up a Community Based Organisation that works with homeless Malawian children to support them through education and training – Chimwemwe Children’s Centre. It was this experience that helped to shape the Malawian aspects in her first novel, The Wrong Kind of Clouds.

Amanda lives in Scotland with her husband, where she can be found writing, walking and running. The Wrong Kind of Clouds is her début novel and was published by Matador in early 2016. It will be re-published by Joffe Books.

 

Twitter @amanda_fleet1

 

Blog Tour: Brass in Pocket by Stephen Puleston

Brass in Pocket cover

 

 

 

Brass in Pocket: Inspector Drake #1 by Stephen Puleston

It is the middle of the night …The road is deserted …A killer is waiting …

Two traffic officers are killed on an isolated mountain pass in North Wales. Inspector Drake is called to the scene and quickly discovers a message left by the killer – traffic cones in the shape of a No 4.

The killer starts sending the Wales Police Service lyrics from famous rock songs. Are they messages or is there some hidden meaning in them?

Does it all mean more killings are likely? When a politician is killed Drake has his answer. And then the killer sends more song lyrics. Now Drake has to face the possibility of more deaths but with numbers dominating the case Drake has to face his own rituals and obsessions.

Finally, when the killer threatens Drake and his family he faces his greatest challenge in finding the killer before he strikes again.

 

 

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Inspector Drake

Detective Ian Drake is an inspector in the Wales Police Service and is based in the northern division headquarters near Colwyn Bay on the coast. North Wales is a large area that stretches from the coast to the border with England. It is an area rich in history and great scenery.

 

 

Wales

 

 

 

Book 0.5: The Devils Kitchen (a prequel novella)

Book 1: Brass in Pocket

Book 2: Worse than Dead

Book 3: Against the Tide

Book 4: Dead on your Feet

Book 5: March 2018

Amazon Goodreads

 

 

I know good crime fiction when I see it and Brass in Pocket certainly is. Stephen Puleston’s writing has a certain realism that can only be explained by experience. After reading so many books you begin to recognize the author’s craft and things that make them unique.

The story is one thing; but how the story is altogether different from one person to the next. I consider this a kind of “brand” of storytelling which is almost synonymous with voice. I really like how Puleston tells his story.

 

 

 

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Did you think north Wales was a safe place?

Full of castles and glorious scenery?

Then think again.

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR BANNER - BRASS IN POCKET

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Puelston

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:

I write mysteries and thrillers.

I have published the first novel in a series featuring Inspector Drake based in North Wales and also the first in a series with Inspector John Marco based in Cardiff. The first Drake mystery is called BRASS IN POCKET and the second WORSE THAN DEAD. The third, AGAINST THE TIDE and the fourth, DEAD ON YOUR FEET.

Before turning to crime fiction I had written three other unpublished novels and you can read about my writing and about Wales, one of the most beautiful countries in the world, on my website http://www.stephenpuleston.co.uk/

I was brought up on the Isle of Anglesey, off the North Wales coast and went to school in Holyhead. After a degree in Theology from London University I decided to train as a lawyer and returned to work in the practice run by my father on Anglesey. For many years I worked as a lawyer in a small practice representing clients in the criminal courts and doing divorce work all of which has given me valuable raw material for my novels.

I still live and work in North Wales where the Inspector Drake novels are set.

 

Connect with Stephen Puleston

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Blog Tour: Murder of the Bride by Faith Martin

 

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Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

Book description

 

MURDER OF THE BRIDE by Faith Martin

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

Then meet DI HILLARY GREENE, the police woman with a nose for the truth.

DI Hillary Greene is called out to attend a suspicious death at Three Oaks Farm in the picturesque village of Steeple Barton.

The large farmhouse is filled with music and revellers, but when she steps into the farm’s large cowshed, Hillary finds a dead bride. Dressed in a gorgeous and sumptuous white gown, the young, beautiful redhead had clearly been strangled.

But not everything is what it seems, and the victim turns out to be at the centre of a web of jealousy and intrigue in the close-knit village. Many of the villagers have a motive for murdering her but they’re not giving up their secrets easily.

Can Hillary discover the real reason for this brutal crime and cope with the spiralling revelations about her dead ex-husband?

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

MURDER OF THE BRIDE is the third in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire. 

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

 

 

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THE LOCATION
North west Oxfordshire is farming country, and parts of it belong to the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty. Here the river Cherwell wanders through buttercup-strewn water meadows, where both sheep, horses and cattle graze. Spotted with woodlands, meandering narrow country lanes, and home to re-introduced soaring red kites, buzzards and other abundant wildlife, its thatched cottages and ancient farmhouses could be featured on any number of chocolate boxes. But don’t be totally fooled — it’s very much a working environment, and farmers are out in all seasons, tending their crops and livestock. And under the bucolic surface, dark secrets lurk.

 

 

Wooden arrow sign pointing destination OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND

 

 

THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

 

 

 

 

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

DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
MORE COMING SOON!

 

The DI Hillary Greene series is a very interesting series written by Faith Martin. She does a marvelous job of painting the dynamics of the investigators, but I always enjoy the POV of Hillary herself. Faith knows how to weave a well written mystery in style with a touch of humor. From the first book, Murder on the Oxford Canal, the series gets better and better. Read on!

 

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Author photo

 

 

Author Bio

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

 

 

 

Blog Tour: Murder at the University by Faith Martin

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MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY by Faith Martin

Looking for a brilliant murder mystery with a feisty female detective?

MEET DI HILLARY GREENE, A POLICE WOMAN WITH A THIRST FOR JUSTICE AND A COMPLICATED CAREER

A pretty French student is found dead in her room at an exclusive Oxford college. Everyone thinks it is another tragic case of accidental drug overdose.

But Detective Hillary Greene has a nose for the truth. She quickly discovers that the student had been up to some very unusual activities.

With a shocking cause of death found, the case becomes a high-profile murder investigation.

Adding to the pressure, Hillary’s nemesis is transferred to work with her at the station.

Can Hillary keep her cool and get justice for the unfortunate student?

MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY is the second in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

 

THE LOCATION
The Oxford Canal meanders through the beautiful county of Oxfordshire, sometimes joining up with the rivers Cherwell and Thames, and flows past the world-famous university city of Oxford. Unlike many canals which are practically ruler-straight commercial waterways, built to help transport goods and heavy traffic before the advent of the railways, the Oxford Canal is a more winding and natural-looking body of water, and is a haven for wildlife and wildflowers. It has several romantically-named locks on its length (such as the Three Pigeons Lock, and Dashwood Lock) and boasts the ominously-sounding Somerton Deep Lock, which often terrifies first-time boating holiday-makers.

 

THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence, she is currently under investigation on account of her recently deceased, and definitely corrupt husband (Ronnie Greene). But adversity has never stopped her from doing her job.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW.”
 
DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES

BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
MORE COMING SOON!

 

 

 

 

Author photo

 

 

Author Bio

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

 

 

 

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Blog Tour Interview with Ben Thomas

(1) Which genre do you enjoy writing most? 

I love writing the Hillary Greene novels, as I’ve written more with her as my
main character than any other kind. I think, of all my fictional creations, I probably know her the best. However, I grew up reading Agatha Christie, and through her, the other great writers of the golden age – Crispin, Sayers, Allingham, et al. And so I love the ‘proper’ classic whodunit genre, with the larger-than- life amateur sleuth, the well-hidden clues, and the classic locked-door or other baffling mystery to solve. Not to mention the red-herrings! Which is why I wrote the Joyce Cato mysteries. But they’re very hard to plot, and they’re very nerve-wracking to write, because you’re always aware that you might disappoint a reader if they figure out the puzzle. With Hillary Greene and police procedural novels, it’s more about characterisation, setting, and the weaving of a story line around a team, doing a job of work. Both are very satisfying to write (and read, I hope!), but in different ways. (Having said all that, I started out writing romance, when I was young and dewy-eyed, and writing about handsome sexy men, in exotic settings wasn’t exactly a hardship!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2) What’s the most challenging thing about writing?

I think there are several challenging things about writing. And being your own boss is definitely one of them. If you get up in the morning, and you don’t feel like writing, it’s very easy to just take the dog for a walk, or play some music and mooch around the house doing nothing in particular. Alas, that doesn’t get chapter six written! And if you don’t write that, you can’t finish the book. No finished book means no royalties, and then the electricity gets cut off! And you can’t even blame the boss…… On the other hand, there is a definite creativity involved in writing (you’re not producing bootlaces on a machine, after all) and sometimes if you’re not in the mood to write, forcing yourself to do so produces work that isn’t of the quality that makes you happy. So you have to learn the difference between just being lazy, and not having the attention of the muse! Also, you’re very much alone when you’re writing a book (I know that may sound a cliché, but it is also true.) When you type in the words ‘Chapter One’ on a blank computer screen it’s just you, your imagination and the blank screen. And nobody but you can fill it. So you have to develop a certain amount of self- belief that has to carry you through. And sometimes – especially if things aren’t going well, or you hit a rough patch, or are flirting with writer’s block, then you can feel that you’re the only person on the planet daft enough to be doing this writing thing!

 

 

 

The 3d guy got over the challenge

 

 

 

 
(3) Name your top three crime shows or movies.

I love Midsomer Murders, Poirot and Rebus.

 
(4) Who are your top detectives?

I love the golden-age sleuths – both in the UK and USA. I’m currently reading
Nero Wolfe, for instance (Rex Stout’s marvellous creation.) But in my to-be read pile I also have Patricia Wentworth’s Maud Silver books, Lee Child’s latest, and some Kate Ellis and Elly Griffiths novels. I read widely (mostly crime) but can’t hack horror (too chicken!)

 

 

 

 

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(5) What inspired you to write crime novels?

I trained as a secretary, and when I left college, worked for 5 years at Somerville College in Oxford. But my parents had a very bad car accident, which mean they needed a carer, so I left work and stayed at home. But I needed to do something creative, and decided, since I devoured crime and romance fiction as a reader, I might as well write my own novels (as you do!) After practising for 3 years or so, I plucked up the courage to send one to a literary agent who snapped it up! My first novel was published in 1993, and I’ll soon hit the 50 published novel target.

 

 

 

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(6) What’s the difference between a DI and a DCI?

Ah – what is the difference between a DI and a DCI! That’s something Inspector Morse often ruminated upon! I think DI Hillary Greene would say the difference was in the pay packet! But I think a DCI has to be more of a pen-pusher and administrator than a detective, which is why I think Hillary isn’t all that fussed that she’d doesn’t get promoted.

 

 

 

Inspector removing a white card with Inspector sign from the inn

 

 

 
(7) Who is Hillary Greene?

Hillary Greene is a local girl who grew up in Oxfordshire and got a degree in
Literature, but who joined the force and went up through the ranks. I think she is fiercely loyal to her colleagues, but doesn’t wear rose-tinted glasses and can be somewhat cynical about her job at times. She’s had a lot of experience, and taken a lot of knocks, but won’t let it get her down. She enjoys removing bad people from society and will put up with all kinds of excrement in order to carry on doing so. She has to have a sense of humour (so she does) and she has to look out for number one sometimes (so she does) but she’s a good friend to have in your corner when things get rough. She makes mistakes, but can move on from them, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She has a somewhat odd relationship with Commander Marcus Donleavy, so is trusted by both the rank and file and –to some extent – her superiors, who she views with a somewhat jaundiced eye.

 

 
(8) Would you like to be in her shoes solving crime?

No – I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes, solving crime. I’d be scared witless! And totally incompetent. Hillary Greene is all the things I’m not!

 
(9) What’s the relationship like between Hillary and DCI Phillip Mallow?

Hillary and DCI Phillip Mallow are good friends. They’ve known each other for years and like each other (most of the time.) They’ve never had romantic feeling for each other. Hillary sees him as her boss, too, and can sometimes keep him at arm’s length, when she needs to. For his part, Mellow Mallow knows that she’s his best investigator, and uses her as such, but also cares about her as a friend, and will do his best to protect her, when necessary. But her perspicacity can sometimes get on his wick, as he can’t pool the wool over her eyes, when he’d sometimes like to.

 
(10) What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a Joyce Cato novel, whereby my sleuth, travelling cook Jenny Starling, is staying at an Inn in a Cotswold town, and solving the murder of how an actress was drowned and murdered in a local pond, in front of over 50 witnesses – with nobody having seen how it could be done!

 

 

Connect with Faith Martin

Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Author photo

 

Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!

 

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Murder at the University

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@MTW_2018

www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Blog Tour: His Third Victim by Helen H. Durrant

His Third Victim

 

 

Hello book lovers!  I’ve had an great opportunity to participate in a  blog tour for His Third Victim, which I’m still reading. However, I did get a chance to interview the author. Check it out below!

 

 

Book Description

HIS THIRD VICTIM by Helen H. Durrant

A BRAND NEW STANDALONE DETECTIVE MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT

A man is shot dead and his body is dumped on the moors. Hisarm is stamped with the Chinese symbol for sorry.

There have been five unsolved murders with the same hallmark. The police can’t find any motive or connection between the victims.

Bella Richards was close to the murdered man. She lives with her five-year son and has begun a new life in the local area.  But although clearly grief-stricken, she is not telling the police everything she knows.

Detective Talbot Dyson wants his most trusted inspector on the case. But DI Matt Brindle is out of action. He was badly injured and his sergeant was killed in a criminal ambush.  He is drawn into the investigation and must decide whether he wants to go to back to his old life.

What is the real connection between the victims and who will be next?

This is a detective mystery full of twists and turns, with a stunning edge-of-your-seat ending.

 

 

Interview with Author Helen H. Durrant

 

 

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Author Bio

OVER 500,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series 

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled. 

 

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else! 

 

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is. 

 

 

 

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Name three things that led you to write crime novels.



I have wanted to write since I was ten years old. Had no idea what though. It began with the name ‘Calladine’ and an idea – (which I have never used!) Crime novels are almost all I read – it’s been that way for years.

 

 

What kind of work did you retire from?



I was a lecturer at a local education college. The subject – Computing. I had come from a programming background, so mostly taught a language called ‘COBOL’. Since the advent of ‘Windows’, COBOL is not as popular. We are going back to pre DOS times.

 

 

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Was it difficult retiring from a full-time job to writing full-time?



No. I was ready to retire. I’d worked at the college for twenty years or more. Although I loved the job and the students, it was time to go. Writing was still something I might get round to. The name ‘Calladine’ was still messing with my head. Eventually I knuckled down and got on with it. No one is more surprised than me at the speed I turned out those first three books in the Calladine & Bayliss series, or at their popularity once I was taken on by Joffe Books.

 

 

 

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What was your process writing the plot for His Third Victim?



I got the name first – Matt Brindle. And I knew where I wanted him to live. I don’t plot everything in detail. There are times when the characters forge their own way ahead. The house – Brindle Hall, is based on a real place. It is a house with gardens and petting farm that I have taken my grandkids too frequently. So we have been a couple of times this summer while I’ve been working on the book.

 

 

“There are times when the characters forge their own way ahead.”

 

 

 

Why was this book a standalone? 



I wasn’t sure how it would be received. But …. Things seem to be okay at this point, so – I am already thinking about a second in the Matt Brindle series.

 

 

Name some positive experiences writing this book.



The days out with the kids and wandering around the villages of west Yorkshire – endless teas in cosy tearooms!

 

 

tea-1090672_960_720

 

 

 

Did it turn out the way you envisioned it?
Yes, I think it did.

 

Do you have any favorite quotes?

No.

 

 

What are you working on next?



Currently – DI Greco 4. Followed by Calladine & Bayliss 8 and then the next Matt Brindle. They are all WIP. Most of Greco 4 is complete, C & B – three chapters in and Matt Brindle 2 is in my head!

 

 

 

Young man with Work in progress mark over his head

 

 

 

 

Connect with Helen!

Links

Twitter | Facebook | Facebook page | Website | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

Don’t miss the rest of the blog tour! 

 

bLOG TOUR BANNER

 

Blog Tour: Deadly Lies by Chris Collett

deadly-lies-3

 

 

 

DEADLY LIES by CHRIS COLLETT

Discover a new detective in a tough city. DI Tom Mariner thinks he’s seen it all, but now he faces an investigation which will push him to his limits.

Journalist Eddie Barham is found dead in his home. A syringe in his arm and a note by his side reading, ‘No More.’

Open and shut case of suicide? Not for DI Mariner. Hours before, he saw Barham picking up a prostitute in a bar. Mariner discovers Barham’s younger brother, Jamie, hiding in a cupboard under the stairs.

Jamie must have witnessed his brother’s death, but his severe autism makes communication almost impossible. Mariner is determined to connect with Jamie and get to the truth. And is the journalist’s death related to his investigation of a local crime kingpin?

What other dark secrets does Jamie hold the key to and can Mariner keep his relationship professional with Barham’s attractive sister, Anna?

In a nail-biting conclusion Mariner races against time to prevent more lives being lost.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the first book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

 

 

Silhouette of writer

 

THE SETTING
Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

 

 

 

Green Road Sign -  Birmingham, England

 

 

THE DETECTIVES

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.

Police Constable Tony Knox has recently transferred to the West Midlands force and finds himself back in uniform following an undisclosed transgression. A scouser with the gift of the gab, and an irrepressible ladies’ man, Knox is initially wary of the inscrutable DI Mariner, but, when a need arises, is grateful for his unquestioning support and the lack of curiosity about his personal life.

PRAISE FOR MARINER
I really couldn’t put it down’ Raw Edge Magazine 

‘Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character. This is a fitting follow-up to her debut and reassures the crime fan that the police procedural is in safe hands. More, please’ Yorkshire Post

 

 

Chris Collett really knows how to reel you into a good story. From the first page, it simply flows effortlessly until you’re lost within a world of Deadly Lies. I’ve been enjoying reading a few detective mysteries based in England recently. It’s like a breath of fresh air, new blood, and new characters to keep me satisfied.

This has everything you’d want in a book. A gripping mystery, developed characters in the midst of a well written plot ready for consumption. I’m definitely gamed for more of Collett’s work.

 

My rating

 

Four golden stars isolated on white background

 

 

 

Connect with Chris Collett

Twitter | Website | Linkedin

 

 

Chris Collett

 

Chris Collett grew up in a Norfolk seaside town where she worked in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). Graduating in Liverpool, Chris has since taught children and adults with varying degrees of learning disability, including autism. She is now a university lecturer, with two grown up children, and lives in Birmingham; DI Tom Mariner’s ‘patch’. She has published short stories, teaches creative and crime writing and is a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

The first five DI Tom Mariner books will be released in revised editions by Joffe Books in 2017/2018.

Find out more at http://www.chriscollettcrime.co.uk

Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewrtingtrain.com

Interview with John D. Bethel Author of Blood Moon

 

Blood Moon

 

 

 

J. David Bethel is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. He has been published in popular consumer magazines and respected political journals. He is the author of Evil Town, a novel of political intrigue that is receiving praise from a number of Washington opinion leaders

 

 

 

“Truth is stranger than fiction”…Mark Twain

 

 

“This was a story well worth telling.”- Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

Questions and Answers for Mystery Thriller Week

 

How did you come across this story and what compelled you to tell it?

The details of the crime came to me from Ed DuBois.  Ed runs a security firm, Investigators, Inc., and had been brought into the case by a mutual friend of Marc Schiller, the victim.  Ed read my novel Evil Town and enjoyed it, and when he wanted to explore the possibilities of having a book written about the crime, he contacted me.

Initially, Ed wanted a true crime book written to counter the treatment the real story was getting in a movie that was being made of the crime, “Pain and Gain.”  Ed was serving as a consultant on the movie and grew disenchanted with the “black comedy” slant being applied to the script.  I wrote a treatment of the book but when it became apparent a true crime book could not be written and published in time to provide a balance to the movie, that project was abandoned.

I had become intrigued by the crime, especially by the courage of the victim, Marc Schiller, and Ed’s determination to get the “bad guys.”  Schiller’s survival of 30 days in captivity during which he was brutally tortured, and had every single penny of his substantial estate extorted, was a story that was too compelling to ignore.  My wheelhouse is fiction so I went to Ed and Marc and asked if they’d mind if I treated the story as fiction, hewing close enough to the real events to convey the true horror of what Marc endured and how Ed worked skillfully to solve the crime.

With resources like Marc and Ed, and a story of human will and courage, how could I go wrong?  Marc agreed to add another layer to the book by writing the Foreword and Ed wrote an Afterword.

 

 

 

Courage

 

 

 

What was your first reaction after hearing what happened to Mr. Schiller?

Astounded. Dumbstruck. Horrified. All of which grew into admiration and respect for the courage that Mr. Schiller displayed is surviving the ordeal, and for Mr. DuBois who was like a dog with a bone until the case was solved and the perpetrators brought to justice.

 

 

“Sometimes the wheels of justice grind slowly.” -Terry Waite

 

 

 

What was it like working with him?

Marc Schiller and Ed DuBois were very giving of their time and very open about their experiences. Without their cooperation Blood Moon would never have been written. I am in their debt.

Marc Schiller has written a first person account of his experience that readers can find at: Pain and Gain- The Untold True Story

 

 

 

 

What was different writing this book compared to your other novel?

The books are different genres, Evil Town being a political thriller.  Other than that, there really wasn’t much of a difference in the writing or the creative process.

For Blood Moon, I worked with a story line that had some markers for me to follow since I was inspired by a true-to- life crime.  I also had some traits I could instill in the main characters by studying the ways Marc and Ed dealt with their challenges.  Developing the characters of the antagonists was a little different since I don’t think like a psychopath.  Putting myself in the shoes of Dario Pedrajo and his cohorts was disturbing.  But by playing them off against the courage and actions of Suarez and Stevens, and having the antagonists react in the extreme opposite of civilized, empathetic human beings, I think these characters are believable as multi-dimensional human beings, if very evil human beings.

For Evil Town, I mined my 30-plus years in politics to add dimension, reality and, hopefully, to create a compelling story that takes a look behind the curtain at how Washington and the political system work.  My experience provided me with markers along the way much in the same way as did those I followed in writing Blood Moon, thereby allowing me to create believable scenarios and characters.  A former member of Congress, Jim Lightfoot put it this way in his review of Evil Town:  “For those of us who have been there and lived the political life it is easy to attach the names of people we know and/or have known to David’s characters. I think you will find that part of the fun when you read his book.  Perhaps you will also pick up a little understanding of the high stakes poker is played with your life and income by thousands of faceless bureaucrats and unscrupulous politicians whose only goal in life is re-election.” 

 

 

 

Writer

 

 

 

Is there a certain theme employed in Blood Moon?

If you’re referring to a “message” or “takeaway” that I intentionally incorporated into the novel, then “no.” I had a compelling story to tell and I told it.

That said, Blood Moon – simply in its telling — is an account of good versus evil. There is evil in this world; evil that most of us will never have to deal with and cannot possibly imagine. There are also people like Marc and Ed (as represented by Recidio Suarez and Nolan Stevens, respectively, in the novel) who are courageous enough and good enough to stand against it and defeat it.

At any time Schiller/Suarez could have succumbed and said “to hell with all this pain and indignity” and laid down and died. That, believe it or not, would have been the easy way out for him. DuBois/Stevens could have given up when the authorities wouldn’t cooperate with him to find the psychopaths, and he could have gone on to another case, but he refused. He put himself at risk and stayed on it until his efforts forced the police to do their job.

 

 

 

Justice on Wooden Piece Arranged by Businessman

 

 

 

Are all your books based upon true stories or current events?

To date my novels have been based on true stories or current events. The novel I am currently working is not; however, it is told around events occurring during the final days of World War Two. For more on this see my answer to the final question.

 

 

Why did you decide to write fiction?

The novels of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald entranced me and demonstrated how brilliantly-written fiction could gobble readers up and transport them to another place and time. And the storytelling ability of Stephen King showed me that a good tale could pull the reader into the story, increase their heartbeat, cause them to perspire with fear and anticipation, and come out the other end invigorated.

Plus, I have an imagination that plants stories with me that I feel compelled to write about. I’m cursed with a very active imagination.

 

 

 

Conceptual Light Bulb (Set) - Imagine

 

 

 

What are you working on next? 

I am working on a novel set in a small Midwestern town during the final days of World War Two.  The gruesome murder of a local family starts an investigation that opens a door onto the national stage of politics and treason.

 

 

I wanted to thank Marc Schiller for his courage, Ed DuBois for his service, and John D. Bethel for taking the time to tell this story. It is truly a story of survival, hope, and justice.

-Benjamin Thomas

 

 

If you haven’t done so already, purchase Blood Moon on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads account. 

 

 

 

Crime Division: How to Achieve Accuracy by Stephen Bentley

There is nothing so annoying as reading a book or watching a movie and finding inaccuracies in things like police and courtroom procedures.  I am not a pedant but I prefer accuracy in my own writing and that of others, whether the result is within the pages or up on the screen.

As a former UK detective and a barrister, trial counsel to Americans but we got to wear those wigs and gowns, I have an advantage in my own writing to portray accuracy.

So how does a crime writer without the same advantage set about achieving accuracy?

Continue reading “Crime Division: How to Achieve Accuracy by Stephen Bentley”

Crime Division: Suspending Disbelief in the Age of Digital Wonders by Heinrich Bohmke

 

I cast an idle eye over the TV in my landlady’s living room. A handsome cop in a car enraptured her. The cop radioed his partner back at HQ to tell his wife he’d be back late that night.

‘That’s rude’, I mumbled, ‘… text her yourself’.

The camera shot widened and, from the shape of the car, I saw the era predated the mobile phone. My landlady snorted.

“OK then”, said I, leaving the rent money on an expectant table. Fingering the remote, she turned the volume up as I edged out the door.
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Photo: Pinterest: Fargo Season 2

Continue reading “Crime Division: Suspending Disbelief in the Age of Digital Wonders by Heinrich Bohmke”