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Posts Tagged ‘Female Serial Killer’

I’m very excited to welcome you to my stop on Paul Finch’s #Strangers blog tour.  It was published by Avon Books (part of the HarperCollins family) on 22nd September and is available in both electronic and paperback formats from Amazon.

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Description:

Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life.

As PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is. 

But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come. 

Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line. 

And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it…

Always gripping. Always gruesome. Paul Finch will leave fans of Rachel Abbott and MJ Arlidge gasping for more.

My Thoughts & Review:

Shockingly, Strangers is the first book by Paul Finch that I have read, something I will be looking to remedy in the very near future – I’ve looked up the Detective Heckenburg series and will be downloading them at the weekend!

The reader is introduced to Lucy Clayburn, who has served 10 years as a uniform police officer and is keen to get into CID.  However the path to promotion is not as direct as she would have hoped after a mistake she made earlier in her career left her with a huge black mark against her name.  Seeing Operation Clearway as a way to prove her worth to her superiors, Lucy signs up despite the dangers involved.  She is determined to help catch the serial killer before she strikes again.

Refreshingly, the lead character in this crime fiction novel is a young and determined female officer.  It’s nice to deviate from the tried and tested formula of a middle aged male detective, who has issues with alcohol abuse and/or smokes like a chimney, and Lucy’s character works well in this novel.  Her maverick approach makes for a thrilling read, whilst leading her into some of the most dangerous settings.  She is a very determined police officer, but sometimes her enthusiasm can be interpreted as feckless or irresponsible, there are instances where she takes action before being in full possession of the facts.  That said, having a character that acts in this way makes the story more intense for the reader, avidly reading on to see how perilous the situation will become, utterly hooked to find out what will happen next but more importantly, if her cover will be blown.

The clever plotting of the storyline means this is a fast paced and thrilling read.  It’s the sort of book you will find keeps you reading well past bedtime – don’t make the mistake I did, thinking it would be possible to read a few chapters before bed……yes, I ended up reading into the wee hours of the next day!
The violent scenes in the narrative are well written, providing powerful detail about the criminal underworld and it’s hierarchy.  The characters involved in this were all incredibly fascinating (especially the villains), the misdirections in the plot make this a brilliant read – there is so much to keep the reader guessing and all the while Finch sneakily keeps the serial killer well hidden.

I really hope we see more of Lucy Clayburn, we need to know if she ever gets back into CID…..

You can buy a copy of Strangers here.

About The Author:

Paul Finch studied History at Goldsmiths, London, before becoming a cop in the north west of England. He then let his passion for writing allow him to follow a career in journalism. Now a full time writer, he first cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British TV crime drama, THE BILL, and has written extensively in the field of children’s animation. However, he is probably best known for his work in thrillers and horrors.

His crime debut novel, STALKERS, was a no 1 ebook best seller in 2013 and introduced DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg. This was followed last July 2013 by the sequel, SACRIFICE, and May 2014 by the third in the series, THE KILLING CLUB. The fourth, DEAD MAN WALKING, will follow in November 2014, with the fifth, HUNTED, in February 2015. The Heck series is also to be published in Germany, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, and Japan.

In addition to his Heck novels, Paul has had twelve books and nearly 300 stories and novellas published on both sides of the Atlantic. His first collection, AFTER SHOCKS (Ash-Tree Press), won the British Fantasy Award in 2002, while he won the award again in 2007 for his novella, KID. Later in 2007, he won the International Horror Guild Award for his mid-length story, THE OLD NORTH ROAD. His short novel, CAPE WRATH (Telos), was short-listed for the Bram Stoker Award in 2002, and several other collections of his stories and novellas have been published since, all of them well received by fans and readers. His horror novel, STRONGHOLD, was published by Abaddon Books in 2010, and the same year Pendragon Press published his highly rated festive terror tale, SPARROWHAWK. Paul has also written three DR WHO audio dramas for Big Finish – LEVIATHAN, SENTINELS OF THE NEW DAWN and HEXAGORA, and THRESHOLD, the pilot episode for the DR WHO spin-off series, COUNTER MEASURES. Paul’s DR WHO novel, HUNTER’S MOON was published by BBC Books in 2011.

Paul is no stranger to film either, having written scripts for several horror movies. Two of these, SPIRIT TRAP and THE DEVIL’S ROCK, were released in 2005 and 2011 respectively, while his short story THE BELFRIES, is currently being adapted in Hollywood, and his movie script WAR WOLF is under development by Amber Entertainment.

Wearing an editor’s hat, Paul is also responsible for the TERROR TALES series from Gray Friar Press, a collection of ghost and horror anthologies exploring the folklore, history and geography of the various regions of Britain.

Paul Finch lives in Lancashire, UK, with his wife Cathy and his children, Eleanor and Harry.

For Paul’s blog go to www.paulfinch-author.blogspot.co.uk
For twitter follow Paul – @paulfinchauthor

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for some interesting posts by Paul as well as more about #Strangers

blog-tour

 

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Author: Martin Connolly

Published: 1 September 2016
Reviewed: 10 September 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Pen and Sword in return for an honest review

 

Description:

A female thief, with four husbands, a lover and, reportedly, over twelve children, is arrested and tried for the murder of her step-son in 1872, turning the small village of West Auckland in County Durham upside down. Other bodies are exhumed and when they are found to contain arsenic, she is suspected of their murder as well. The perpetrator, Mary Ann Cotton, was tried and found guilty and later hanged on 24 March 1873 in Durham Goal. It is claimed she murdered over twenty people and was the first female serial killer in England.
With location photographs and a blow by blow account of the trial, this book challenges the claim that Mary Ann Cotton was the ‘The West Auckland Borgia’, a title given to her at the time. It sets out her life, trial, death and the aftermath and also questions the legal system used to convict her by looking at contemporary evidence from the time and offering another explanation for the deaths. The book also covers the lives of those left behind, including the daughter born to Mary Ann Cotton in Durham Goal.

My Thoughts & Review:

Timed to coincide with the launch of ITV’s  latest drama “Dark Angel” this publication reports the life of Mary Ann Cotton, a convicted serial killer in England in the 1800s.
I’ve long held a fascination with Mary Ann Cotton, the psychology behind serial killers is an area of interest for many and indeed when you consider the number of convicted female serial killers it is genuinely intriguing.

Martin Connolly takes a methodical approach to recounting the history of this notorious figure, extensive research has been done and is presented openly and concisely through official documentation to ascertain a chronological timeline of the events.  The inclusion of maps and photos of the local area allow the reader to physically see how and where Mary Ann lived.  The census entries along with records of birth, marriage and deaths are also good additions of the research that is presented.
By also including reports from the local newspapers at the time of the events, Connolly presents the less factual side to the tale, however he remains staunchly impartial throughout, refusing to speculate and offering plausible explanations for events wherever possible.

An utterly fascinating read, well presented and one I will be purchasing the paperback copy of asap!

You can buy a copy of Mary Ann Cotton – Dark Angel here.

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