‘Well, gentlemen,’ she says, as she squints up at me in the harsh artificial light. ‘We have the body of a male, I’d guess aged between late forties and sixty, who has suffered fatal trauma as a result of being beaten with a blunt object. I’ll be able to tell you more when we get him onto the slab.’
Looking at the bloody, pulpy mess of skin, hair and threadbare clothes, I’m frankly amazed that she can tell us anything at all about the victim.
It’s July 2016 and Tyneside is basking in glorious summer weather. Recently divorced Olivia flies back to her home town for a much needed holiday and to attend Opera North’s acclaimed production of all four of Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle’ of operas, which are to be performed over six days at The Sage in Gateshead.
But, just as the international audience has arrived and the music festival is gathering momentum, the city is shocked by a brutal murder. Keen to close the investigation as quickly and quietly as possible, senior police officers convince themselves that they have their man. But ambitious, ex-Met Detective Sergeant Sam Snow is far from convinced.
When a second violent death occurs, the police investigation runs into a brick wall, until Olivia suggests a bizarre and disturbing theory. As the killings continue, it falls to Sam and Olivia to risk everything, in a desperate race to uncover the truth and to prevent further loss of life.
‘Sentence of Death’ is the first of a new, Tyneside based series of thrillers featuring Detective Sam Snow and psychologist Olivia Clavel.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Having read Spy Trap by this author I was very intrigued at this new turn of direction towards crime writing and well it is a cracking story. Set in Gateshead there is quite a bit of wicked banter between the ranks that makes it very entertaining. Detective Sam Snow is not a bloke that will bow to majority rule when it comes to investigating a case or taking the easy way to get a case fast tracked and closed. He believes in gut instinct and evidence. When psychologist Olivia Clavel arrives she completes this new and extremely likable duo.
What begins as a random over kill of an unfortunate homeless man soon develops into the question of where will this potential serial killer strike again and what could possibly link the deaths of these people. Well get belted in because this is an all action read. I won’t give away any of the plot except to say it is a brilliant story line with a rather clever murderer. This story really gets into the twisted mind of the killer with more than a glimpse of what makes someone like this tick. Nothing is random so what can seem like chaos at first glance has had every detail planned and executed to perfection.
The whole story has a good solid pace with it from the start but boy does it get faster in those last few chapters. I am very sure that this book will absolutely delight any Northern crime lovers and people local to the area. For me I was drawn to Sam and Olivia and the relationship they had, which at times made me cringe and laugh. This is a duo that I couldn’t help taking to. I really hope will come back for a second very soon.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I hail from the North of England and, since taking early retirement from my academic post, I’ve really enjoyed immersing myself in reading and writing. Essentially, I read purely for pleasure, and my single goal in writing is to produce books that people will thoroughly enjoy as a ‘cracking story.’
My first two novels are historical fiction, a genre which, in my view, almost always benefits from a close connection to something that actually happened. The inspiration for my first two books, Codename Lazarus and Spy Trap, came from little known, but truly incredible events from the Second World War. It gave me huge pleasure to adapt the courageous actions of two unsung heroes, into what, I hope, readers have experienced as exciting thrillers.
My third novel, the soon to be published Sentence of Death, represents an exciting new direction for me. It’s a crime thriller, set on Tyneside in the summer of 2016. Strangely, the basic framework for this book also comes from a real event in Gateshead at that time. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of crime fiction, and I do hope that readers of this book will agree that I’ve created an original plot for their entertainment.
Currently, I’m beginning work on my fourth book, for which I have returned to the more familiar territory of the Second World War. As yet untitled, it will once again take a virtually unknown, but extremely important story of bravery, and try to adapt it into a thrilling adventure story.