The Needle House: DS Lasser series volume one. (The DS Lasser Series Book 1) by [Roughley, Robin]


The West Pennine moors, endless miles of unspoilt, windswept beauty. A haven for the weekend walker, and nature lover. A playground, for those with disposable income.
Though when the mutilated remains of a fourteen-year-old boy are discovered, it becomes apparent someone is using the desolate landscape as a killing field.

When seventeen-year- old Jenna Fotheringay writes to author Patrick Fossey, she hardly imagines he will take an interest in her research. Unlike many of the girls in the nearby town, she is in no hurry to lose her virginity and gain a cocaine habit. Rather, she spends her days at the local library, searching old microfiche films, and devouring all she can about the Radfield family. Weekends are spent with her grandfather scouring the local countryside. Searching for clues, which will shed light on the powerful landowners who once owned great swathes of the countryside, including the farm, she now calls home.

When Fossey agrees to pay her a visit, Jenna is in some kind of heaven. Although when she takes Fossey to the old gamekeeper’s cottages, neither of them is prepared for the horror that lies within.

Ronnie Fotheringay is a farmer to the core, dark earth beneath his fingernails, money in the bank and bailer twine holding up his trousers. A man raised on the land who adores his only granddaughter. He sowed the seeds, which instilled in her a love of the past. Now in his twilight years he lives for the times they share, the long walks and imparting of knowledge which Jenna, absorbs with relish.

At first, he is delighted when Fossey takes an interest in her research. Yet as fear begins to grip the local community, Ronnie begins to wonder if it was a mistake, as the writer starts to delve into a history Ronnie would sooner lay buried.

Like the town, DS Lasser feels jaded, frayed around the edges, and losing interest in a job he no longer sees as relevant. Families live hand to mouth, fathers spending years on the dole, mothers eking out an existence, supplemented by the occasional win on the bingo, and their offspring running wild.
A town on the skids, no jobs no money, and no hope.
So, when Billy Jones fails to return home it is hardly earth shattering news. A family of thieves, and piss artists, the father and eldest son are doing time and young Billy is rapidly following suit.

As clues are unearthed that lead directly to the Radfield family, Lasser becomes convinced they have found their man.
Ashley Radfield, last of the local aristocracy, a man who has led a life of privilege and undeserved respect. Now along with his ageing father he lives in the rambling manor house. Paint peeling from the windows and weeds in the gutter, mothballed rooms, and a huge kitchen like the cutting room of an abattoir. For the Radfields the days of prosperity and huntsman’s balls are a distant memory.
However, when another body is revealed, Lasser’s convictions are thrown into turmoil. It is all too easy, the clues too convenient, someone is playing a vicious game, someone with a burning hatred for the Radfield family.
As the long hot summer ends and the nights grow longer, Lasser finds himself in a race against time as he tries to unravel the dark secrets that bind the two families. Secrets stretching back over four decades, blackmail and murder reaching out to ensnare the innocent as well as the guilty.



This is the first novel in a series that has grown and grown to where followers are waiting patiently and impatiently for number 13 to be released. I am one of those people, but when I started reading The Needle House I never used to review books, now I have a blog and swore that I would review the best books that I have read. This is one of them. The whole series sits in my number 1 spot.

The book starts scary so get comfy with your back against something solid and your eyes so that they can see all doors and windows ok? Then you are ready to read. The author Robin Roughley tells it as it is, no going easy on you as a reader, just straight in there. Oh and there is humour, very dry Wigan humour that just creases you up. I found myself laughing at moments that I thought is it appropriate? but yes it is in these books. So straight away your heart will be racing and then you think, this is only chapter one! Well this is how it is just pure adrenaline pumping with short bursts to get your breath back.

The story is brilliant with different threads that are each entertaining thrilling interesting and darn right bite your nails down to your knuckles kind of chapters. Robin Roughley always gives his characters a real feel with them, like you know someone like them, they have feelings and with such vivid descriptions of each one you feel every emotion with them. You will probably keep guessing throughout the novel who is responsible for all that is happening as the body count mounts up, I was wrong but all the facts are there as you are reading.

The novel can be read as a stand alone but really I am sure I will find you waiting patiently or impatiently with me one day for the next in the series to come out. This was a great debut novel and the whole series just simply can’t be touched. You will be in for an amazing ride, because this isn’t the end, this is just the beginning.



Robin Roughley lives in Wigan in the the North West of England (God’s coal bunker) though he hopes to one day be released for good behaviour.
He is the author of eleven crime/thriller novels featuring DS Lasser. The novels are set between the run down streets of a northern town and the beautiful yet desolate west Pennine moors.
If you love your crime fiction crammed with square jawed heroes driving flash cars and glorious women who shimmer with inner light, then the DS Lasser novels are probably not for you.
However, if you prefer your characters to be flawed, with a sprinkling of dandruff and old acne scars,the plots to be laced with dark humour, then give them a try.
1 The Needle House
2 The Way that it Falls
3 Tethered to the Dead.
4 Twisted
5 More Equal than Others
6 Vanished Beneath
7 Riven
8 Bad Self
9 Crave
10 Moment Back
11 Conspiracy of Ravens

12 Dark Necessities
Please feel free to contact me at you can also keep in touch via facebook Robin Roughley author, or twitter @robroughley or at
Many thanks for taking the time to read the books and I look forward to hearing from you.



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