Today is Day 13 of my Joffe Books Rolling Blog I hope you are enjoying them. Today in the limelight is Michael Hambling. Michael is the author of the DCI Sophie Allen series and information on this series is below but as always let us start with his thoughts on his publisher: Joffe Books.
I’ve found Joffe Books to be very supportive of my writing. The advice on editing has been great, and the company has reacted positively to any concerns I’ve had about their decisions. I’ve had absolutely no regrets about signing up with them; they are a very forward-looking organisation, responsive to both the market and to the needs of their
authors. Jasper Joffe is a very sincere person who wants the best for his authors. I didn’t hesitate when it came to re-signing my contract recently. Michael Hambling
THE DCI SOPHIE ALLEN SERIES
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
DCI Sophie Allen is Dorset’s acknowledged expert on murder and violent crime. She is 42 as the series starts, and lives with her husband and younger daughter in Wareham. Her elder daughter is studying in London. Sophie has a law degree and a master’s in criminal psychology. Her brilliant mind conceals some dark secrets from her past.
DS Barry Marsh is based at Swanage police station. He’s quiet, methodical and dedicated, the perfect foil for Sophie’s hidden fragility.
THE DCI SOPHIE ALLEN BOOKS
Book 1: DARK CRIMES
Book 2: DEADLY CRIMES
Book 3: SECRET CRIMES
Book 4: BURIED CRIMES
Book 5: TWISTED CRIMES
Book 6: EVIL CRIMES
DARK CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #1) Amazon
A young woman’s body is discovered on a deserted footpath in a Dorset seaside town late on a cold November night. She has been stabbed through the heart.
It seems like a simple crime for DCI Sophie Allen and her team to solve. But not when the victim’s mother is found strangled the next morning. The case grows more complex as DCI Sophie Allen discovers that the victims had secret histories, involving violence and intimidation. There’s an obvious suspect but Detective Allen isn’t convinced. Could someone else be lurking in the shadows, someone savagely violent, looking for a warped revenge?
DEADLY CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #2) Amazon
A young man’s mutilated body is found on top of the Agglestone, a well-known local landmark on Studland Heath
It seems that he was involved in a human trafficking and prostitution gang. But why is DCI Sophie Allen keeping something back from her team? Is it linked to the extraordinary discovery of her own father’s body at the bottom of a disused mineshaft, more than forty years after he disappeared?
Discover an intricately crafted mystery that will have you gripped from start to finish.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.
DEADLY CRIMES is the second in a new series of police detective thrillers featuring DCI Sophie Allen, head of the recently formed Violent Crime Unit in Dorset. An English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
DEADLY CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #3) Amazon
The body of an attractive festival-goer is discovered on the rocky shoreline at Peveril Point
Two women go away for the weekend, but only one comes back alive. Was it just the music they were into? And who was the man the victim met at the festival?
DCI Sophie Allen is back in charge after the emotional upheavals she suffered in ‘Deadly Crimes,’ but is she really in control? And Detective Constable Rae Gregson joins the team and immediately faces challenges that put her life in peril.
Discover a gripping and detailed mystery that will have you hooked from the start until the stunning twist at the end.
BURIED CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #4) Amazon
A GRIPPING CRIME MYSTERY FULL OF TWISTS AND TURNS
Devastating family secrets from the past. Sisters with a murderous rivalry . . .
A family move into their dream home in Dorchester: it seems perfect, particularly for their two children, but when Philip and Jill Freeman move a buddleia bush, what they find buried beneath its roots will haunt them forever.
Why have two children’s skeletons been lovingly wrapped and buried in their garden?
DCI Sophie Allen is forced to probe crimes that occurred many years before, crimes that cause emotional upheavals within the local community. In a complex investigation, Sophie Allen unearths family secrets which carry on having devastating effects to this day and risk taking new lives.
TWISTED CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #5) Amazon
A COUPLE IS FOUND DEAD IN THEIR CAR ON A REMOTE NATURE RESERVE. WHAT DID THEY KNOW THAT WOULD MAKE SOMEONE KILL TO KEEP THEM SILENT?
Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion.
Sylvia and Ted Armitage, a retired couple, attend the wrong funeral service by mistake. A month later their daughter returns from holiday to find them missing.The police make little headway in tracing their whereabouts until their bodies are found in their car, abandoned in the middle of a copse in a tranquil nature reserve. They appear to have committed suicide, but some of the forensic evidence suggests otherwise. The police slowly make progress and find several links to a shady organisation that owns a string of bars, clubs and cafes.
When another body is found in the same area, DCI Sophie Allen must use all her investigative skills to unravel the connections between these very different victims. Some of the suspects are involved in shady deals and corruption, others are masking dark family secrets. Sophie is joined by two new police officers, Rose Simons and George Warrander, who will transform her team.
DEADLY CRIMES (DCI Sophie Allen #6) Amazon
Looking for a gripping mystery by a best-selling author? Full of twists and turns, this crime thriller will keep you turning the pages until the stunning conclusion.
A young man’s body is spotted in the stormy sea off Dancing Ledge in Dorset.
Did he lose his footing in the gale force winds and fall in? Or is there a more sinister cause of death?
Detective Sophie Allen’s team discover some curious links to a suicide that happened six months earlier.
A strikingly attractive female student connects the cases. Alarming facts slowly come to light as the team probes more deeply.
Is the young woman as evil as she seems or is someone else manipulating her?
DCI Sophie Allen races against time to uncover the tragic secrets behind the crimes and stop any more deaths.
Like many writers, I have been a keen reader all of my life. I remember one day as a nine year old in the summer holidays, when I visited the local library four times in one day because a child’s ticket only allowed one book out at a time! I can even remember the plot of one book, a story about a boy taking up fly-fishing, read while sitting outside in a sunny back garden in Bristol.
I still live in the west-country, and set the location of my novels in this area. The early novels in the series are based in the Isle of Purbeck, one of the UK’s most beautiful coastal regions. But the rest of the county of Dorset does get a look in, and there are scenes set in other locations in the central south of England.
I write because I constantly create scenes, people, imaginary conversations and unusual situations in my head. I have always done so, ever since I was a child. Using the richness of the English language to set down these creations in words is a great joy. Maybe by the time I’ve edited a passage for the umpteenth time it’s beginning to lose some of its sparkle for me, but I do believe in reshaping and polishing until it’s as good as I can make it. It then becomes something about which I can feel some justifiable pride.
Who are my own favourite writers? Hilary Mantel, of course. Not just the the recent Thomas Cromwell novels, but the brilliant and sly characterisation of Beyond Black.
Doris Lessing has written some startlingly original stories over many years. I’m also a great fan of David Mitchell. He shows great creativity in all of his novels.
Another author I’ve come to admire greatly is Charity Norman. She writes about families in crisis situations and how the problem is partly resolved. I came to her books with “The New Woman”, a novel that probes the problems created by gender variance. Her other novels are equally good. Her writing style is outstanding.
Philip Pullman has written many books of startling originality, full of imaginative ideas. Not just the Lara series, but the earlier Sally Lockhart novels. One of my sons bought me La Belle Sauvage (volume one of the Book of Dust trilogy) for Christmas. I loved it, so much so that I’ve already re-read it a month later, something very rare for me. Wonderful stuff.
In crime fiction I like Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels and the books of Mo Hayder. I also enjoy Colin Dexter’s Morse and Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels.
I cannot compete with these greats, so I aim for something different. I hope that I have succeeded to some extent.