Firstly I would like to thank Helen Claire of BLOODHOUND BOOKS for inviting me to take part on this BLOG TOUR for BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD by OWEN MULLEN
Gavin Law was a whistleblower.
Now he’s missing.
Just another case for Glasgow PI, Charlie Cameron, until he discovers there is more to Law and his disappearance than anyone imagined.
Wallace Maitland, the surgeon responsible for leaving a woman brain-damaged may have abandoned his sacred oath and become a killer. Did the hospital which refused to accept responsibility for the tragedy have Law silenced permanently? Or, with his wife little more than a vegetable, has David Cooper, believing he has been betrayed yet again, taken justice into his own hands?
Charlie comes to realise the world of medicine can be a dangerous place.
Across the city, East End gangster, Sean Rafferty is preparing to exploit the already corrupt city council in a multi-million pound leisure development known as Riverside. The project will be good for Glasgow. But not everybody is keen to work with Rafferty.
With more than money at stake, Sean will do anything to get his way. His motto, borrowed from his old man, is simple. Never take a no from somebody who can give you a yes.
If that means murder, then so be it.
Charlie has crossed Rafferty’s path before and lived to tell the tale.
He may not be so lucky a second time.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
I was so excited when I heard that Owen Mullen had the third book in the Charlie Cameron P.I. series completed, having already read the first two novels when they first came out, and oh boy it was definitely worth waiting for. I love Scotland and with each of these books I just feel like another layer has been exposed, another dimension that exists in Glasgow that I don’t really think about. One that I hope never to really find myself in.
At a push you could read this novel as a stand alone but don’t. The characters have become like old friends and there would be times that although you will get the gist of why they are like they are with each other, it would be like missing the punch line. Talking of punch lines I love the humour in these books, Owen Mullen’s can be pretty wicked at times, making me laugh at not always the appropriate moment.
In this book Charlie again takes on a missing person case to find Surgeon Gavin Law but seems to lack motivation to be honest and at first he believes that he just fled an inevitable scandal. Now for me one of my very favourite characters from the series takes quite a role in this book, DS Andrew Geddes. He is extremely frustrated with his boss after a man’s death by hanging is dismissed as a suicide, when he has that gut feeling there is far more to it than that. Things for Andrew just don’t add up, so he calls on his good friend Charlie to take a look. Now Charlie is more than happy to help his friend out having got fed up of banging his head against the proverbial brick wall with the missing person case. This in turn brings one of the most vile characters from the series back into play too East End gangster Sean Rafferty. You just don’t EVER upset Sean and you NEVER say no!
I am in heaven. The atmosphere just became charged because Charlie sometimes just pushes too far. What a brilliant book, loved each one but I think this is my favourite so far. Already need my next Charlie fix.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
School was a waste of time for me. Or rather, I wasted time; my own and every teacher’s who tried to get me to work. It took twenty years to appreciate what they were telling me. Life has rules. They aren’t written down but they exist nevertheless. I got that. Eventually. But by then I was thirty five.
Along the way I missed an important clue. At ten I won a national primary schools short story competition – and didn’t write anything else for forty years.
SMART BOY WANTED
As a teenager my big obsession was music. Early on I realised if I was successful I would probably be rich and famous and pull lots of girls.
So how did that turn out?
Well, you haven’t heard of me, have you? And this morning I caught myself worrying about the electricity bill. So the short answer is: one out of three ain’t bad.
Running around the country in a Transit van with your mates is fun. It’s your very own gang. You against the world. Until you fall out and the dream lies bleeding on the dressing-room floor.
When that happened I went to London
[everybody from Scotland goes to London, it’s like first footing at New Year, or ten pints of lager and a vindaloo on a Friday night; a sacred tradition]
and became a session singer. I also started gigging with different bands on the circuit.
Back in Scotland – most of us come back with wild tales of great success, none of them true – I wondered what I should do with myself and didn’t have to wait long for the answer. Her name was Christine. We got married, I went to Strathclyde Uni and got a bunch of letters after my name, and toughing it out at Shotts Miner’s Welfare, or dodging flying beer cans at the Café Club in Baillieston, was in the past. The long hair was short now, I wore a suit and pretended to like people I didn’t like because we were ‘colleagues’.
After many adventures I started my own marketing and design business and did alright. Christine and I were very happy, we travelled all over the place; India, Brazil, Botswana, Nepal, Borneo, Japan. One day I suggested we move. To the Greek islands. So we did. We bought land and built a beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Then the pan global financial crash happened, years of fiscal carelessness finally caught up with Greece; the exchange rate dived and the cost of living in Paradise went through the roof.
I had to do something. Then I remembered the short story competition. I had been good at writing, hadn’t I?
I wrote another short story called The King Is Dead…the first thing I’d written since primary school. When I typed the last word [Christine taught me to type] I held the pages in my hand then started to read. An hour and a half, rooted to the chair unable to believe what was in front of my eyes. For four decades I had shunned a god given gift. And as I read I started to understand why. It was awful. Not just bad. Bloody terrible.
But I kept going.
And now, eight years and seven books later, three literary agents plus two I turned down [they were reading a different book] I am a writer. My books are on Amazon. People buy them and come back for more.
One seasoned London agent has predicted I am destined to be ‘a major new force in British crime fiction.’
So is the moral: follow my example, find something you’re good at and stick with it. Hardly. I didn’t, did I? Do it your own way; it’s your life.
If you enjoy reading my novels please leave a review, it is immensely helpful and greatly appreciated.