This has been a good year for all things crime. Criminally good in fact as the variety of books with all things ghoulish and deadly have been the highlight of booktrailers everywhere. Those who are brave enough to venture into places with literary links to lurid tales that is.
Let’s go on a little adventure….with some highlights from 2015
AWARD FOR THAT ‘PUNCH IN THE STOMACH’ FEELING
Tell No Tales
Set in Peterborough
Neighbour against neighbour, nobody feeling safe to walk the streets. Then the vigilantes step in…
Eva Dolan came onto the booktrail radar for a crime novel that was so much more than a crime novel. This hit me right in the stomach with its gritty realism and devastating sense of realism. A hate crimes unit in Peterborough and the nature of the crimes and the investigations which follow. This really stood out for me for the premise, the reality of the situations described in the novel, the sad reality of present day cities in and around the UK and for the fact that this is not a subject often written about in fiction – gritty gritty stuff.
AWARD FOR MAKING SMALL TOWN SCOTLAND HUGE
Set in Haddington (Banktoun)
This was a real gem to find. Not just because the author is from the place she writes about and the events in the book are based on true fact, but that it all comes together in such a unique way. Banktoun is fictional yet is based on Haddington near Edinburgh and SJ perfectly captures the sense of small town Scotland, its idiosyncrancies and the shocking events which follow. The sense of isolation and that chilling moment in the woods with someone watching will stay with me for a long time. Can’t wait to see what she writes next!
AWARD FOR FREAKY FOOTPRINTS AND FANTASTICAL FOLKLORE
Set on the Isle of Man
Now I’m really proud of myself for reading this scary one. I mean folklore and curses etc often give me the heeby jeebies to use a technical term so this book based on the Manx Halloween and a dare that went very very wrong was just the thing I probably should not have read at night. I ended up reading it into the early hours, so the chills and the atmosphere went sky high. A car went past at 3am and the dancing lights on the window almost made me scream. Thus book was that good as I was totally and utterly transported to the night of Halloween and the Manx spirits. I’m still singing the haunting song…”Jinny the witch flew over the house…” even now and am very careful about how I leave footprints in the snow when leaving a house.
AWARD FOR MOST DEAD BODIES IN A CANAL
The Harbour master
Set in Amsterdam
Daniel Pembrey was a gem to discover. He already had a trilogy under his belt so I was able to really delve into his AMsterdam and discover the dark truths of life there. A policeman who lives on a boat, the Dutch whose seafaring ways are in their blood and a murky world of power and politics and the grim reality of human trafficking. Henk Van de Pol was a fascinating man to meet, his work in the city’s police force despite his retirement was personal – this fight was personal. Daniel has captured the best and the worst of the city and made Henk one of the most intriguing characters I’ve come across in a long while.
AWARD FOR MOST INVENTIVE USE OF (Family) TREES
In Bitter Chill
Set in Derbyshire – fictional Bampton
Sarah Ward you deserve a medal quite frankly for having even a cover for your book that made me shiver. What is it about trees at night? Open the pages and there’s kidnappings and recriminations with the case taking the police back to 1978 and a suicide thirty years on connected to that date in history. There were more twists and turns with this novel than I will reveal here but it was chilling as the title suggested and I was left with a feeling of shock and awe at the denouement and the ending.
As well as being a blogger with bite, a Petrona Judge and an all round fabulous friendly person, I was privileged enough to be an early reader of this cracking crime novel and I’m excited that she is now on the Derbyshire part of the Booktrail literary map.
Join Britcrime for more fantastic authors and for a celebration to remember http://www.britcrime.com/