Anne Bonny #Review Come And Find Me by @sarah_hilary #DIMarnieRome #NewRelease #CrimeFiction @headlinepg His game. His rules. Your Life at stake.

Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

My review:

This is the 5th novel in the DI Marnie Rome series. I am a huge fan of the series and I am completely hooked on the background theme within the novels. I always feel as though we are slowly moving towards uncovering what took place the day Marnie’s foster brother Stephen killed their parents.

Each novel in the series offers up small revelations in the story. It has kept me absolutely hooked! Although this novel could be read as a stand-alone. I feel that for it to be fully enjoyed, readers would benefit from the depth and build-up of previous novels.
Come And Find Me opens with a prisoner at HMP Cloverton writing a letter. There has been a recent riot at the category B prison.
Which has left several inmates hospitalised and one on the run. . .

‘To look at me, I’m alright.
But I’m not. I’m Not. None of us are’

Mickey Vokey is the prisoner on the run. He is a violent and notorious inmate, in jail for a brutal assault on a young mum. I found the portrayal of a vicious inmate and prison life to be fascinating. The themes of rehabilitation, making amends and prison cuts are explored in their relation to the plot and as it evolves. Is detention truly effective? Or does prison simply enhance a convict’s criminal skillset?

‘On a scale of one to Dennis Nilsen. . .’
‘I’m giving this a high five’

The police officers follow the clues to a derelict house. The former home of Mickey’s (now deceased) mother. They find a room covered in hundreds of polaroid photos and an open grave in the cellar. What is Mickey planning? Who is his intended victim?
There is also the backstory of DS Noah and his younger brother Sol. Sol is currently on remand in another jail and has recently become part of a local gang. With Noah desperate to keep him on the straight and narrow.
How do you protect your younger siblings, when you sit on opposite sides of the law?

The police investigate the prison officers too. Which leads them to question Darren Quayle, a baby-faced, immature and out of his depth prison officer. He offers the police an insight into life at the jail and the personalities of the inmates. Mickey’s cellmate Ted Elms also offers his thoughts and a profile of Mickey is formed.

‘He wasn’t in prison, it was in him’ – Ted Elms

The profile portrays Mickey to be highly manipulative and aggressive.
Life inside an overcrowded prison with a high rate of suicide is the perfect environment to fuel his rage.

‘Prison was the perfect place for him to escalate to full-blown murder’

The novel has various themes of prison pen pals, living conditions and young men overwhelmed with anger in their lives. For me personally, I was engrossed in the theme of brotherhood. Noah and Sol and their situation with police officer and suspect. Mickey and his sister Alyson and their disagreements regarding their mother’s property. Marnie and Stephen with their shared past and the murders of their parents.

We learn some more information about Stephen’s past, cleverly drip fed through the plot. With Stephen one of the victims of the riot’s violence, I was so desperate for Marnie to visit him at the hospital, so I could learn more. Does Marnie have the courage to ask the questions about her parent’s murder? What will she uncover?

A complex plot in a unique setting. The theme of prison riots being very accurate in the UK currently. The financial cuts in the prison system and youth detention; the plight of young men in Britain today, all real issues in the UK in 2018, sadly. The author has done a fantastic job of weaving the fact and the fiction together.
A cracking edition to the Marnie Rome series.

Sarah Hilary

***Come And Find Me is released in the UK on the 22nd March & is currently available for pre-order*** 

Anne Bonny #BlogTour A Known Evil by Aidan Conway #GuestPost @ConwayRome #NewRelease #CrimeFiction @KillerReads #DebutAuthor A serial killer stalks the streets of Rome. . .

A Known Evil by Aidan Conway

A serial killer stalks the streets of Rome…

A gripping debut crime novel and the first in a groundbreaking series, from a new star in British crime fiction. Perfect for fans of Ian Rankin.
A city on lockdown.
In the depths of a freakish winter, Rome is being torn apart by a serial killer dubbed The Carpenter intent on spreading fear and violence. Soon another woman is murdered – hammered to death and left with a cryptic message nailed to her chest.
A detective in danger.
Maverick Detective Inspectors Rossi and Carrara are assigned to the investigation. But when Rossi’s girlfriend is attacked – left in a coma in hospital – he becomes the killer’s new obsession and his own past hurtles back to haunt him.
A killer out of control.
As the body count rises, with one perfect murder on the heels of another, the case begins to spiral out of control. In a city wracked by corruption and paranoia, the question is: how much is Rossi willing to sacrifice to get to the truth?


The Not So Dolce Vita

by Aidan Conway


I sat down to begin writing A Known Evil on ‘blue Monday’ in January 2014. Setting out on a totally new and uncharted adventure seemed like a perfect way to keep any incipient blues at bay on the, allegedly, most depressing day of the year.
To the best of my recollection, up until then, I had never once considered writing a crime novel. I have always been a writer, in one way or another, on and off. My bottom drawer contains ample evidence of that – first, second and third drafts of short stories which might eventually also see the light of day.
But no crime. Poetry too, with which I had achieved a reasonable amount of success. But no serial killers, no thrillers, no intrigue.
So what inspired me? Around that time, on a friend’s suggestion, I had fallen back on reading some crime novels for pure, escapist pleasure.
Which might beg the question what was I escaping from? Rome has been my home since 2001 and before that for a brief period Sicily was too. Both places are breathtakingly beautiful, dramatic, unique, but problems there are aplenty.
Tourists continue to be drawn to The Eternal City in their droves to gaze at what I too marvelled at when I first came to the place. The mind-blowing museums, the Roman Forum, the Appian Way, the cobbled side-streets and cafes, the Bougainville and Jasmine scented air, warm summer evenings and cold white wine. The chatter and street theatre, the laid-back pace of life.
But then there is the dark side. The politics. The intrigue. The corruption and violence that most visitors will never have any cause to see or experience. The world of work. The problems of bureaucracy, and nepotism, favours, bribes and blackmail.
In Sicily one evening I witnessed a bomb go off, likely the work of extortionists. It never made the papers.
In Rome, when it snowed for a day in 2013, a regional councillor bought himself a 4×4, so he could ‘get around’, and all on party funds. Paid for by the tax payer. Paid for, in part, by me.
And why, for example, does it take two or three times as long to build a motorway in Italy than it does in France? Why does it cost three times as much? Who’s pocketing the spare change?
The Italian Court of Auditors has estimated that corruption costs the Italian economy some 60 billion Euros a year. That’s a lot of coffee and free lunches. I’d say it’s a conservative estimate.

Around the time I began the book, the first big immigration problem had also landed on the national agenda. It quickly became a ragged and soiled political football – scapegoating and blame were the order of the day. Real solutions seemed a secondary consideration. It wasn’t pretty.
I even got the odd dirty look or loaded comment when I walked into a shop and my accent wasn’t quite right. Politicians were exploiting it all and often getting away with murder. The credit crunch crisis too was biting hard. People were getting angry. So much for La Dolce Vita.
Neo-fascism too had got a shot in the arm as simple-minded nostalgia and cynical opportunism drew oxygen from what was happening in Rome and in the country as a whole. The political system was perceived as sclerotic, inefficient, ineffective and the media was in thrall either to the political parties and their cronyism or the megalomaniac ambitions of a small man from Milan who shall remain nameless.
On the positive side? At least the mafia weren’t doing much. Or were they? Cosa Nostra was keeping itself pretty much to itself (but it’s always there) while the Neapolitan Camorra and the Calabrian N’drangheta were the big kids who had burst on to the block as cocaine and gun-crime racking Naples and its suburbs spread northwards from its heartlands, following the money, following the power to Rome.
I realised I had plenty to write about. More than enough. In my work as a language consultant I had also had some access to the corridors of power, state bodies, multinationals. I got to sit down with CEOs, oil executives, undercover policemen, and maybe even some spies. You find people open up to you when you are an outsider and you are chatting one-to-one. And you’re cheaper than a psychiatrist. It can be illuminating.
And then I got my big idea. A short while after that Blue Monday, in a flash, an epiphany, I knew exactly how my book was going to end. I scribbled it all down in a flurry and knew then I had nailed it.
I just had to fill in the rest. I did. It’s been fun. I hope it is for you.

Aidan Conway
Author bio:
Aidan Conway was born in Birmingham and has been living in Italy since 2001. He has been a bookseller, a proofreader, a language consultant, as well as a freelance teacher, translator, and editor for the United Nations FAO. He is currently an assistant university lecturer in Rome, where he lives with his family. A Known Evil is his first novel.

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