Blog Tour Guest Review – Poison on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #7) by David Hodges #poisononthelevels #netgalley #guestreview #bookstagram #crimefiction #detective @joffebooks

Today I am sharing a review by Elaine Tomasso of this great new addition to the Kate Hamblin series by David Hodges.

Poison on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #7)  AMAZON GOODREADS

 

Author – David Hodges

Publisher – Joffe Books crime thrillers and mystery

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 18th February 2020

MEET DETECTIVE KATE HAMBLIN IN THIS PAGE-TURNING SERIES FROM A FORMER POLICE OFFICER.

A YOUNG WOMAN SNATCHED FROM A FESTIVAL

A POISON PEN LETTER WRITER DESTROYING THE PEACE OF AN IDYLLIC VILLAGE

Treachery and murder await in the most deceptively picturesque of surroundings.

Tammy Logan is snatched in broad daylight by a mystery assailant after leaving the Glastonbury Music Festival. The pretty young woman disappears without trace.

At the same time, a peaceful village on the Somerset Levels is torn apart by a vindictive poison pen writer, who gleefully sets out to exploit a seemingly respectable community’s unsavoury secrets. The letter writer is driving people to take their own lives.

Kate has her work cut out solving the two cases.

Probing deeper, she soon finds herself caught up in a dark, complicated web of deceit, wagging tongues and false trails.

She realises that a shadowy figure seems to be watching her every move and is prepared do everything he can to cover his tracks — even commit murder.

Then when village residents start to die in suspicious circumstances, Kate finds that her stubborn, irascible boss, Detective Inspector Ted Roscoe, is in denial. He refuses to authorise the necessary criminal investigation.

In a heart-stopping finale Kate must find the missing young woman and will risk everything to save her life.

DISCOVER A BREATH-TAKING NEW SERIES OF MYSTERIES THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT DOWN


Review by Elaine Tomasso

I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of Poison on The Levels, the seventh novel to feature DS Kate Lewis, set in the Somerset Levels.

When Tammy Logan disappears on her way back from Glastonbury Kate is worried. Technically there’s not much she can do as Tammy is an adult and in a volatile relationship but she still decides to make enquiries. She is diverted from this by a suicide in a local village, where a poison pen letter writer is threatening to reveal intimate secrets.

I quite enjoyed Poison on The Levels which has an interesting mystery. It is the first novel in the series that I have read so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It has all the requisite ingredients – smart detective with stupid boss so a touch of office politics, a touch of humour in the dialogue, a smart, twisted perpetrator who always seems to be one step ahead, plenty of action and a thrilling, dangerous finale. I don’t know why as this seems right up my alley but it didn’t spark any real sense of involvement in me. I think it just seems a little glib and clichéd. Kate’s boss DI Ted Roscoe seems to oppose everything she does – because he’s old school? Her husband seems to think of nothing but food although he’s supposed to be insightful (didn’t see any sign of it in this novel). The perpetrator, whom we hear from frequently, is straight out of central casting. Kate, who is referred to as Maverick, wouldn’t know a procedure if it smacked her on the head.

On the other hand I liked the hunt for the poison pen writer which is a bit more imaginative and perhaps a little old fashioned in this computer age but curiosity inducing. Unfortunately it was over too soon.

Poison on The Levels is a solid read.

Read Elaine’s review on Goodreads via this link


THE DETECTIVES
Kate is a feisty, young police detective, with a dynamic approach to her job. She is plucky and tenacious, but prone to being impetuous and headstrong, which often lands her in tight spots and does not exactly endear her to her crusty boss, DI Ted Roscoe.

In stark contrast to Kate, her detective partner, Hayden, is an overweight, untidy ex-public schoolboy, with a pompous, laid-back attitude, which drives her to distraction. But he is also highly intelligent, with a keen, analytical mind and a practical, reasoned approach to everything, which, with a prevailing wind, can sometimes act as a brake on his partner’s more impulsive actions.

THE SETTING
A patchwork of fields, peat moor and marshland, dotted with picturesque villages and criss-crossed by man-made irrigation ditches or rhynes, the Somerset Levels covers an area of about 160,000 acres between the Mendips and Quantock Hills, in the County of Somerset. Sparsely populated outside the local towns of Bridgwater, Glastonbury and Street and prone to flooding, it is a haven for wild life, a wild, secret place with an atmospheric brooding stillness, which creeps into the very soul; a place where the booming call of a bittern or the beating of an owl’s wings in the mist is bound to fire the imagination of any self-respecting crime novelist, whose thoughts will invariably turn to… murder.

THE AUTHOR
A former police superintendent, with thirty years’ service. Since ‘turning to crime’, he has received critical media acclaim, including a welcome accolade from Inspector Morse’s creator, the late great, Colin Dexter, and he is now a prolific novelist with eleven published crime novels and an autobiography on his police career to his credit. His previous police experience has enabled him to provide a gritty realism to his thrillers and his Somerset Murder Series, featuring feisty female detective, Kate, and her partner, Hayden, has gone from strength to strength, attracting interest in the United States as well as in the UK.

DETECTIVE KATE HAMBLIN MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: MURDER ON THE LEVELS
Book 2: REVENGE ON THE LEVELS
Book 3: FEAR ON THE LEVELS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE LEVELS
Book 5: SECRETS ON THE LEVELS
Book 6: DEATH ON THE LEVELS
Book 7: POISON ON THE LEVELS


Murder on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #1)  

MURDER ON THE LEVELS a gripping crime thriller full of suspense (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 1) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 15th  May 2019

Detective Kate Hamblin is doing surveillance on the Somerset Levels, trying to catch a crazed arsonist. She leaves the van for a moment. Then it goes up in flames, killing her two colleagues.  Kate is accused of abandoning them and is excluded from the murder hunt and effectively suspended from duty.  She is desperate to nail the killer herself and clear her name. She risks all by entering into an unholy alliance with the murder team’s chief suspect.


Revenge on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #2)

REVENGE ON THE LEVELS a gripping crime thriller full of suspense (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 2) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 15th  May 2019

TWISTER IS BACK AND HE WANTS REVENGE.  Two years ago psychotic undertaker Larry “Twister” Wadman disappeared after blasting two police detectives to death with an incendiary device and embarking on a murderous rampage across the Somerset Levels. For most, memories have dulled, but the sole survivor of the carnage, Detective Kate Hamblin, cannot forget.  Then a prostitute’s body is found dumped in a coffin in Twister’s now derelict funeral parlor, dressed in a police uniform.  Kate realizes that her old enemy is back, and out to get her.


Fear on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #3)

FEAR ON THE LEVELS a gripping crime thriller full of suspense (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 3) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 15th  May 2019

Kate returns from a disastrous honeymoon, only to be plunged into a macabre murder investigation.  A teenage girl last seen leaving a party at the height of a local scarecrow festival is found strangled and partially stripped in her own barn.  The gruesome crime is an exact copy of the 150-year old murder of peasant girl, Martha Tinney, alleged by superstitious locals to have been committed by a spectral scarecrow, nicknamed Strawfoot.  Kate and her colleagues desperately try to track down the copycat killer, it becomes apparent that he has no intention of stopping at just one murder, and now, he’s developed an unhealthy interest in Kate herself…


Killer on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #4)

KILLER ON THE LEVELS a gripping crime thriller full of suspense (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 4) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 15th  May 2019

THE TOUGHEST CASE OF KATE’S CAREER.  Missing journalist Ellie Landy is found in the River Parrett by a news crew covering the worst floods the Somerset Levels have suffered in living memory.  A paperback is found by the woman’s bed with a mysterious inscription mentioning “Sandman” and a time of day.  Police assume it is an accidental drowning. Kate disobeys orders from the top and probes the death, as she suspects this was no accident.  When another woman dies in suspicious circumstances, Kate finds herself drawn ever deeper into a nightmare of murder, treachery and perversion.


Secrets on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #5)

SECRETS ON THE LEVELS an addictive crime thriller full of twists (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 5) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 30th  May 2019

Detective Kate believes that her own number is up when she finds herself staring at the wrong end of a double-barrelled shotgun on a sodden stretch of Somerset marshland.  She’s on the trail of villain Lenny Stallard who has just broken out of prison. He was serving time for the murder of the elderly wife of a colonel during a robbery at their country residence near Bridgwater.  Revenge appears to be the motive and for DS Lewis’s superiors it is a cut-and-dried case as the bodies of trial witnesses begins to mount up. But it’s all a bit too convenient.  Kate might have been taken off the case but the surprises are not over yet. And she never gives up in her quest for the truth.


Death on the Levels (Kate Hamblin #6)

SECRETS ON THE LEVELS an addictive crime thriller full of twists (Detective Kate Hamblin mystery Book 5) by [HODGES, DAVID]Author – David Hodges

Genre – Crime Fiction

Publication Date – 1st August 2019

A PSYCHOTIC SERIAL KILLER TARGETING OLDER WOMEN: THE AUNTIE KILLER. An eccentric letter arrives at the police station from a man threatening to kill his aunts. Detective Kate and her colleagues don’t take it seriously.  But an elderly woman is found strangled in her home. “RIP Auntie” is written on the floor in red lipstick.  Then another older woman is murdered.
With a major police manhunt underway, it becomes clear that they are up against a very dangerous serial killer, who is engaged in some kind of personal vendetta. An adversary who will not stop until he has achieved what he set out to do.  But as she tries to get into the mind of the perpetrator, she finds he’s something of a chameleon and always seems to be one step ahead of the police — and this is not the only problem she has to deal with. She finds herself at odds with her boss over what she perceives as a crucial link between their man and a now derelict orphanage.  And another victim will die if Kate can’t track down the killer.  Whose aunt will pay the ultimate price next?

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