Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Noir’


Published: 25 August 2016
Reviewed: 7 December 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Bonnier Zaffre in return for an honest review


In a remote corner of Lagos in Nigeria, a stranger delivers a homeless boy to an orphanage, where the welcoming staff hide a terrible secret.

At a squalid flat in the docks area of Cardiff, an early morning police raid goes catastrophically wrong. A plain clothes officer is shot dead at point blank range. The killer slips away.

Young and inexperienced, Will MacReady starts his first day on the CID. With the city in shock and the entire force reeling, he is desperate to help – but unearths truths that lead the team down an increasingly dark path…

My Thoughts & Review:

Mike Thomas is a new author to me, but when I heard that he had won around fans of Stuart Macbride’s with his writing I knew I had to try his books.
Ash and Bones is the first book by this author that I have read and it certainly won’t be the last.  I absolutely loved the gritty, fast paced feel of this novel, it kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning (a victim of “just one more chapter” syndrome).

In the beginning I was stumped to see how Mike Thomas could link the events in Nigeria and Cardiff, and part of me wanted to read on to see if he actually managed to tie them together.  But thankfully the two strands weave together to form an outstanding thriller and lay the foundations for a brilliant series featuring Will MacReady.

I won’t regurgitate the plot, but suffice to say it’s gripping, gritty and so deliciously complex that the reader cannot help but be lured in.  The characters in this felt authentic and realistic, the dialogue between MacReady and Beck was brilliant and gave a great insight into the dynamic between these two.  Seeing the ways that Beck tries to keep MacReady in hand make for entertaining reading, poor lass has her work cut out there.  MacReady is a great character, desperate to prove himself but a wee bit of a rogue when it comes to bending the rules.

When reading a novel written by someone who has intimate knowledge of the police force and crimes I always think it shows in the details they are able to include.  Mike Thomas served as a police officer for many years and this translates through his writing, giving the reader a real feel of authenticity.  It’s always a treat to read these sorts of books, as a reader you are privy not only to the workings of an author’s mind but also to the functioning mind of an ex police officer who goes to great length to ensure sufficient detail so they can to enhance your reading experience.

Thankfully, book two is coming in 2017 and I cannot wait to see where Thomas plans to take DC MacReady next!  Definitely an author to keep an eye on for the future!

You can buy a copy of Ash and Bones here.

About the Author:

Mike Thomas was born in Wales in 1971. For more than two decades he served in the police, working some of Cardiff’s busiest neighbourhoods in uniform, public order units, drugs teams and CID. He left the force in 2015 to write full time.

His debut novel, Pocket Notebook, was published by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House) and longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year. The author was also named as one of Waterstones’ ‘New Voices’ for 2010. His second novel, Ugly Bus, is currently in development for a six part television series with the BBC.

His new novel, Ash and Bones, was published in August 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre.

He lives in the wilds of Portugal with his wife, two children and an unstable, futon-eating dog.

More details can be found on the website www.mikethomasauthor.co.uk

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