Red is the Colour by Mark Fowler
‘The villains are many and there are twists and turns all the way through. ‘
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Bullying. Corruption. Murder.
It is the summer of 2002. The corpse of a 15 year old boy, missing for thirty years, is discovered in Stoke-on-Trent. The city is on the cusp of change and Chief Superintendent Berkins wants the case solved quickly.
DCI Jim Tyler has arrived from London under a cloud, moving to Staffordshire to escape his past. He is teamed up with DS Danny Mills to investigate the case, but there is tension between the detectives.
When the dead boy’s sister comes forward, describing a bright, solitary child, she points a finger at the school bullies. Important careers may be at stake.
Then one of the bullies is found brutally murdered.
As Tyler and Mills dig deeper they start to suspect a cover-up.
What is the connection between the death of a schoolboy in 1972 and this latest killing?
With the pressure building, and the past catching up with DCI Tyler, will he and DS Mills be able to put aside their differences in order to catch a cold-blooded killer?
My rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
This is the first book I have read by Mark Fowler so I was unsure what to expect.
The story centres around school bullying which is a subject close to everyone’s heart. We have, probably, all experienced it in some form either as a victim, a parent, a friend or even the one doing the bullying. It has gone on in schools for decades and I don’t think we are much nearer solving the problem now than we ever were. It was, therefore, with great interest that I began reading this book to understand the Author’s take on the subject.
The body of a teenager is found 30 years after his death. His sister blames the bullies. Sheila Dale plays the part of the loving sister, distraught to find that the brother, she loved, that disappeared all those years ago, has been dead all this time. She garners much sympathy from the police who, understandably, treat her with sheepskin gloves. She is a character it is difficult to work out and the reader is left wondering what it is that we don’t know about her.
Jim Tyler is DCI and moved to Stoke after an incident in his previous role. He has anger issues and comes across as a ‘vigilante’ type. I didn’t much like his character and there were several aspects of it that I thought unrealistic given his position. I didn’t think that a Detective Chief Inspector would have reached that position with an attitude like Jim’s. This lost the book some points.
Danny Mills has the, unenviable, task of working under a DCI with a, not very sparkling, history behind him. However, he buckles down and gets on with the job. He is the father of 2 children and he has fears his son is being bullied which makes this case much more personal for him. He is a dedicated policeman and father and is eager to please.
The villains are many and there are twists and turns all the way through. The person who is actually responsible for the death is hidden among a number of suspects and the reader is unable to sort them out. This keeps the pages turning as we are taken on a very twisted and evil journey through the minds and actions of teenagers and men who think they are untouchable.
A big thank you to Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of the unputdownable book.
Mark L. Fowler is the author of the novels Coffin Maker, The Man Upstairs, Silver, and Red Is The Colour, and more than a hundred short stories. His particular interests are in crime and mystery, psychological thrillers and gothic/horror fiction.
His first published novel, Coffin Maker, is a gothic tale set between our world and the Kingdom of Death. In the Kingdom the Coffin Maker lives a solitary existence, and every coffin he completes signals the end of a life in our world. One day he discovers that he is to be sent two apprentices, amid rumours that the devil is arriving on Earth.
Mark’s second novel, The Man Upstairs, features the hard-boiled detective, Frank Miller, who works the weird streets of Chapeltown. Having discovered that he is in fact the hero of twenty successful mystery novels, authored by The Man Upstairs, Frank has reasons to fear that this latest case might be his last.
In 2016, Silver, a dark and disturbing psychological thriller was published by Bloodhound Books. When a famous romance novelist dies in mysterious circumstances, she leaves behind an unfinished manuscript, Silver. This dark and uncharacteristic work has become the Holy Grail of the publishing world, but the dead writer’s family have their reasons for refusing to allow publication.
Red Is The Colour is Mark’s latest book, a crime mystery featuring two police detectives based in Staffordshire. The case involves the grim discovery of the corpse of a schoolboy who went missing thirty years earlier. Red Is The Colour is the first in a series featuring DCI Tyler and DS Mills, and will be published in July 2017 by Bloodhound Books.
The author contributed a short story, Out of Retirement, to the best-selling crime and horror collection, Dark Minds. Featuring many well known writers, all proceeds from the sales of Dark Minds will go to charity.
A graduate in philosophy from Leicester University, Mark lives in Staffordshire, and is currently writing a follow up to Red Is The Colour. When he isn’t writing he enjoys time with family and friends, watching TV and films, playing guitar/piano and going for long walks.