Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview The Shrouded Path by @sarahrward1 5* #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Mystery #DerbyshireNoir @FaberBooks #DCConnieChilds #Series

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The Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward
Review Copy
Synopsis:

The past won’t stay buried forever.

November, 1957: Six teenage girls walk in the churning Derbyshire mists, the first chills of winter in the air. Their voices carrying across the fields, they follow the old train tracks into the dark tunnel of the Cutting. Only five appear on the other side.

October, 2014: a dying mother, feverishly fixated on a friend from her childhood, makes a plea: ‘Find Valerie.’ Mina’s elderly mother had never discussed her childhood with her daughter before. So who was Valerie? Where does her obsession spring from?

DC Connie Childs, off balance after her last big case, is partnered up with new arrival to Bampton, Peter Dahl. Following up on what seems like a simple natural death, DC Childs’ old instincts kick in, pointing her right back to one cold evening in 1957. As Connie starts to broaden her enquiries, the investigation begins to spiral increasingly close to home.

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Sarah Ward’s Derbyshire noir series. I love how each title jumps between the past and the present. Something I imagine is not easy to execute. Nevertheless, the author manages to weave November 1957 and October 2015 brilliantly. The case in 1957 does surround six teenage girls, which keeps you on your toes, remembering the various names!

The novel opens in November 1957, Bampton.
Six teenage girls enter a tunnel but only five leave. . .

In October 2017 Mina is visiting her mother on the oncology ward. Her mother is terminally ill and receiving end of life care. Then her mother claims to have seen a woman named Valerie. She urges Mina to find Valerie and makes the confession…..
‘We Killed her’
Mina is rattled by this statement but is unsure if this is an admission of guilt or merely a vision due to the end of life medication such as Morphine etc. She brushes off her concerns, but can’t ignore the conversation.
The she starts receiving warning notes……..

DC Connie Childs is back, but with Sadler away is paired up with DC Peter Dahl. Peter is new to the area and seeking a quieter pace of life.
Only in Bampton it is never quiet for long.
Despite the atmospheric descriptions of Derbyshire, we become aware a there is a prowler in the mist.

Connie and Peter’s most recent case is two potentially suspicious deaths. As the victims are elderly it is unclear if they are simply natural causes or something more sinister. In this post Harold Shipman world, Connie is reluctant to let them go without any further digging and in doing so she unearths many secrets about Bampton of yesteryear.

‘This isn’t the journey’s end, it’s the beginning’

As we jump back to 1957, we meet Valerie and we learn about the purity and punishment ‘friendship’ circle.
As Mina Discovers a photo from the past with the image of five teenage girls. One of which has clear links back to the central characters.
A secret memoir will eventually reveal the truth. But what are the secrets that lurk in the past? Why have the girls gone to such lengths to keep them secret all these years?

The secrets of the past, catch up with the elderly residents of Bampton and bring death with them. 5*

SW
Sarah Ward
Twitter
Website/Book review blog
My Q&A with Sarah ward
My Review for, A Patient Fury

***Don’t miss the other blogger on the blog tour***
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#BlogTour #Review #APatientFury by @sarahrward1 @FaberBooks #DerbyshireNoir #CrimeFiction 5* Genius

*I received an arc in return for an honest review*
Super Excited to be kicking of this blog tour, for this AMAZING novel!

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A Patient Fury by Sarah ward
Synopsis:

When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.

But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.

What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

My review:

Wow, wow, wow, if books could kill, this would be a contender. It’s almost as if Sarah Ward will rip your heart out and then politely ask to put it back in! I am absolutely blown away by this novel. Truly astounded!

The novel opens in the Derbyshire peaks, DC Connie Childs #3. Summoned to an arson, with little more information to go on, the police team are not happy. When they reach the crime scene and find a dead male, a dead child and a hanging woman.
The case takes a very gruesome turn, is this a murder/suicide?
If so who was the murderer?

DI Francis Sadler and Connie, must uncover the facts that surround the suspicious deaths. Something that may prove very difficult. They begin with a background of the family living at 42 Whitegates, Cross Farm Lane. Fire investigator Nigel Rooth assists with the forensics of the fire itself. But every single lead in the case, creates a further twist. The family consists of bad-tempered and general cantankerous old man Peter Winson. His much younger Italian wife Francesca and young son Charlie. Emerging from Peter’s past are his now adult children Julia and George, from his previous marriage. When evidence and investigation shows that not only Peter’s wife 10 weeks pregnant but that Peter’s first wife went missing in suspicious circumstances in the 1980’s.
The case becomes so much more multifaceted.

I really felt as though the complexity with this case was so extremely well written, that I can quote from my notes “Page 137 – I don’t trust anybody in this novel”. The past and the present begin to merge together whilst also creating further questions. One thing is for sure, it is completely unpredictable.
No one is whom they seem!

Sadler is convinced finding the truth remains in the present case. Whilst Connie believes secrets lurk in the families past. Whilst Sadler’s personal life begins to distract him from the case. Julia has a prowler in the midst. George becomes more and more like his father, in his responses to the police. Connie however, won’t let it go and at great risk to herself, pursues the past of the family. Is Connie right, in risking her career? Either way Connie contacts DI David Stanhope from the Lincolnshire police and begins to investigate.
Pulled up by her superior, she threatens to resign, so steadfast in her beliefs.

Any way you look at it, this is Connie’s feistiest side yet. Driven, strong, determined and likeable, everything that makes the perfect female lead. As I read on, I felt as though within an old Colombo movie. All the facts are staring me in the face, I just can’t connect the dots. I am desperately trying to figure it out, before the last few pages. But Sarah ward has other ideas and it builds to a phenomenal ending. That is not only my favourite ending of this year so far.
But possibly my favourite ending of all time!
Read this thinking it is a rural Derbyshire mystery, I dare you!
5* Genius, from me!

SW
Sarah Ward
Authors Links:
Twitter: @sarahrward1
Web site/ Blog: https://crimepieces.com/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahWardCrime/

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A Patient Fury is out on the 7th September! 🙂

 

 

 

Derbyshire Noir #2: Q&A with the very talented Sarah Ward. Author of In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw

As stated in Derbyshire noir blog post #1, I am a huge fan of Derbyshire as a setting. Sarah Ward’s novels are set in the fictional town of Brampton in the very beautiful and very real Peak District. I am a huge fan of Sarah’s writing style, the mix of era’s and time frames, keeps the reader constantly guessing. As much as I am an avid reader, I am unable to guess the endings and at the end of A deadly Thaw I was practically shaking the kindle in my hand, ssshhhhh-ing the kids and just stuck my hand in my husbands face, rather than say “I’m near the end, leave me alone!” So yes, they are very very intense reading!
I had so many questions and Sarah was kind enough to agree to a Q&A on my very new blog.

Q&A

Q) When I review books, I have my own little system for rating books. 5* genius, is a term I use for those absolutely amazing books where every page is great! I don’t get to use it as often as I’d like but such as life. A Deadly Thaw was absolutely brilliant. The writing was so clever & I couldn’t figure out where the story was going to end up. The mini cliff hangers featured throughout the novel meant I couldn’t put it down at all. What is your process of writing? How do you keep up with all the twists & turns?

A) This is an interesting question for me at the moment as I’m writing the (as yet untitled) book four in my Bampton series. With each book, at the start I tend to panic about how I managed to do it the previous time but, as I get going, the process comes back to me.

In terms of plotting, I spend my first draft getting the story down. It can often mean quite a short first draft (around 60k words) but I’m used to this now. Then, for the second draft I fill in details – mainly setting and character- and I also look at how my chapter’s end and think, ‘will my readers want to keep going’.

I belong to a book club and one of the members told me that she prefers not to read books where you’re deliberately encouraged to keep reading so she hates cliff hanger endings on chapters. So I’m trying to pull in the reader a lot more subtly.

 

Q) Derbyshire is the setting for your novels. As someone who went to secondary school in Derby & college in Buxton, I think it works brilliantly. I think the scenery & various locations make a perfect location. What made you chose Derbyshire for the setting? Is your next book set in Derbyshire?

A) I live in the middle of the Peak District and there’s so much here to inspire. That said, I’ve created the fictional town of Bampton that is very vivid in my head and I just try to incorporate elements of Derbyshire into it. For example, like real-life Bakewell, it has a strong tourist industry and lots of nice shops. Like Cromford it has a canal and remnants of the industrial revolution heritage.

The hills and landscape are real though as is the awful weather!

Q) As someone who is signed up to your newsletter, I often get a snapshot of what you are reading. What have been your 5* genius reads? Or favourites of 2016, 2017 so far?

A) Great question. I enjoyed Ali Land’s ‘Good Me Bad Me’ possibly because it was something I wouldn’t normally read. I also enjoyed Icelandic writer, Arnaldur Indridason’s latest book, ‘The Shadow District’. It’s the start of a new series for him and excellent.

I’m quite harsh with my marking. I’ve come off Goodreads and tend to score books in my head. Very few make 5 stars. Thanks for including mine in yours!

 

Q) Have any of your favourite authors influenced your writing/reading?

A) I think we’re subtly influenced by everyone we read. In terms of crime fiction, I was a huge P D James fan and I loved her descriptive prose so I suspect she is an influence on my writing. I love the tension and slight strangeness of Ruth Rendell’s world too. Other than that, I guess it’s obvious but I’ve loved Agatha Christie and read and reread her all the time.

Q) Aside from writing, what are your favourite things about being a published author?

A) Without doubt, doing events and meeting people. I love going to libraries and bookshops and meeting readers and not only talking about my own books but those of others too. It’s by far, apart from writing, the best thing about being published.

I also like interacting online with people I’ve not met in real life (like yourself) especially as I live in my own little world up here in Derbyshire.

Q) The crime fiction genre now, more than ever has seen a huge rise in female writers. In turn seeing some female writers doing phenomenally well in terms of book sales, awards & recognition for their work. I think this is brilliant & inspiring. How does it impact the genre from both internally as a writer and externally as a reader?

A) I don’t think this is a new phenomena. The great writers from the Golden Age of crime fiction (Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Dorothy Sayers) were all women. Crime fiction is a genre that we own and unlike other jobs I’ve done, I’ve never felt disadvantaged because I’m a woman.

I do, however, meet male readers who say they don’t read novels by women and so there is still a way to go. I tend to track my own reading to see if I’m covering both genders but this is for personal reasons. I’m interested in monitoring the trends in my own reading.

 

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In Bitter Chill & A Deadly Thaw are both available via Amazon and Kindle:

In Bitter Chill- Synopsis:
Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’s mother commits suicide.

Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago.

This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.*Just£3.79 on Kindle UK- 5*

A Deadly Thaw – Synopsis:
‘Gives the Scandi authors a run for their money.’ Yrsa Sigur�ard�ttir
Every secret has consequences.
Autumn 2004
In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.
Spring 2016
A year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary.

Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . .

A Deadly Thaw confirms Sarah Ward’s place as one of the most exciting new crime writers. *Just £4.74 on Kindle Uk- 5* Genus

Contact/Follow Sarah at:
Web: https://crimepieces.com/
Twitter: @sarahward1
Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/SarahWardCrime/

*Huge Thanks to Sarah for agreeing to do a Q&A on my Blog, can’t wait for the next book! I wish you much success with your future writing.