Today I am pleased to share with you my review of Shadow Crimes by Michael Hambling. This is book 7 in the Detective Sophie Allen series and is a brilliant addition to the series that works excellently as stand-alone. If you have any questions for Michael or would just like to chat with the man behind the story you are welcome at the Facebook Launch Party tonight (30th October) 19:15-21:15GMT the link is here
Shadow Crimes by Michael Hambling
DETECTIVE SOPHIE ALLEN IS BACK TO SOLVE HER TOUGHEST CASE
An undercover detective disappears.
A retired prison officer is murdered.
Drugs and contraband phones are out of control in the local prisons. How are they getting in?
Can Detective Sophie Allen discover the links between these crimes?
AND WILL SHE FIND THE MISSING DETECTIVE BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT?
A shadowy group with more influence than anyone suspected will stop at nothing to protect themselves.
Discover the truth in this enthralling crime mystery.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will be gripped by this exciting new crime fiction writer.
SHADOW CRIMES is book seven of a new series of crime thrillers featuring Sophie Allen, head of the Violent Crime Unit in Dorset.
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.
Dorset. A beautiful English county which includes a stunning section of the coastline, but whose beauty belies darkness beneath the surface.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
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 read more here
Book 7: SHADOW CRIMES
Books 1-3 are also available as a box set
This is book 7 but the books work perfectly as stand alone.
Sophie Allen has been promoted to Detective Superintendent and is still getting used to her new powers when a new case lands on her desk that sees her working once again with Lydia a colleague from her past.
This is a complicated case with prison smuggling becoming entangled with racial hatred and murder that strikes very close to home for the teams when one of their own goes missing.
It is a fast-paced story with many twists and turns as the 2 teams and 2 cases struggle to find a way forward. If you like the detective investigative side of crime fiction you will love this book as we follow the teams as they pick their way through the few clues they have to find a way forward. It isn’t until the end that the clues become leads and all the strands start to knit together.
The characters are complex and realistic I particularly like the part played by Danny and his family and overall the compassionate way the scenes were set.
A gripping read that keeps the readers’ interest all the way through.
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.
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.
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.
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.