Anne Bonny #BlogTour #BookReview & #GuestPost Fingerprint Technology ~ Poetic Justice by @RCBridgestock @DomePress #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #Series #Yorkshire

Poetic Justice by R.C. Bridgestock
Review Copy

When Detective Jack Dylan heads home after a residential course, he has no idea that an extraordinary succession of events is about to turn his life upside down. A vicious, unprovoked attack is just the start. Soon his wife is dead and his step-daughter – dangerously depressed – is being expelled from university for drug use. And at work, two teenagers have gone missing.

An ordinary man might break under the strain, but Dylan is no ordinary man. He knows that his survival depends on him carrying on regardless, burying himself in his work.

He is determined to pursue the criminal elements behind the events – both personal and professional – whether his superiors like it or not. And, as his family disintegrates around him, a newcomer to the admin department, Jennifer Jones, seems to offer some sort of salvation.

Life may have changed, but nothing will stand in the way of Dylan’s quest for justice.

My Review:

The prequel novel opens at the scene of a fatal car accident, the female passenger is announced DOA. It isn’t until the vehicle is discovered to be that of Jack Dylan’s, that we become aware of the significance of this accident.
It will be an accident which will change Jack’s life forever….

‘If I can’t have you, then no one else will either’

The novel then jumps 10 days previously to the car accident, to show the build up to the accident. Also the rocky relationship between Jack and his wife Kay.
We learn that Jack had recently attended a police residential course. Whilst Kay has been dealing with an obsessive admirer.

The novel also deals with the grooming of two local school girls from the Field Colt Children’s Home. I think it is exceptional brave of the authors to tackle this very modern crime. A crime that has been exposed as being widespread across the UK, including police/councils in northern England, the Midlands and the south.
How do grooming gangs establish control? How do they ensure their prey remain silent?

“The protectors are turning out to be the abusers” – Jack Dylan

This is a police procedural with incredible depth. I felt as though all the dominant characters within the story were dealing with their inner demons. From Jack and his police work, to Kay and her admirer, to Isla and her coming-of-age at Uni and new police admin recruit Jen from the Isle Of Wight.
With the car crash the personal lives EXPLODE!

Between the grooming case, car accident & personal lives of those involved, their are heart-breaking moments a plenty.
Can Jack solve the mystery of the car accident whilst supporting his daughter in the aftermath of her mother’s death?
Can the police involved track down every individual involved in the grooming of local teens? will the powerful and elite endeavour to cover the scandal up?

‘I want not stone unturned in this case’  5* 

Guest Post ~ Fingerprint Technology: 

“You left your ‘dabs’ at the scene mate that’s how we know you were there,” said many a Copper to a suspect.

Bob spent thirty years as a career detective in West Yorkshire Police retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent (SIO), the Senior Investigative Officer in charge of major crime, including murder. During that time he witnessed, and was grateful for, the advancement of forensic technology into what would become known after his retirement in 2003, as the digital age. I also worked for seven-teen years in the administration department in the same police force and at one point my role was the administrative support to the Process Sergeant. Sowerby Bridge Police Station was the HQ of Calder Valley Police – as seen in the award-winning BBC police drama Happy Valley, which we were storyline and police advisers. In the process sergeants office I watched daily suspects / pris-oners fingerprinted by police officers, using the old roller and inkpad.

Brief timeline fingerprint identification:

Juan Vucetich, an Argentine Police officer in 1892, made the first fingerprint identification at a crime scene. He also opened the world’s first fingerprinting bureau in Calcutta, India in 1897.
The first United Kingdom Fingerprint Bureau was founded in Scotland Yard in 1901.

Around 1870, French anthropologist Alphonse Bertillon devised a system to measure and record the dimensions of certain body parts of the body. These measurements were reduced to a formula, which theoretically would apply only to one person and would not change during his / her adult life.

In 1880 Dr Henry Faulds, in Tokyo used fingerprints to identity someone who had left a stray bottle lying around. He matched the fingerprints left on the bottle with a laboratory worker.

In 1892 bloody fingerprints left on a doorframe were used to identify a murderer in Argentina. During that same year, certain police groups started keeping fingerprint files.

In 1901 after the success in Argentina and India, Scotland Yard began questioning whether it would be a useful system for England.

The Bertillon system was generally accepted for thirty years until an event in 1903, when a man named Will West was sentenced in the US, and it was discovered at this time that another prisoner at the penitentiary had Bertillon measurements that were nearly the same, intact similar enough for them to be identified as the same person. Upon investigation it was discovered that the other per-son, William West, was Will West’s identical twin brother.

In 1905 the American military branches began using fingerprints. The National Bureau of Criminal Investigation also began keeping track of the fingerprints on file and in 1924, with the advancement of technology, cataloguing fingerprints in America. By 1971 they had over 200 million fingerprints on file.

In 1990 with the advancement of technology, programs began using Automated Fingerprint Identifi-cation Systems. The AFIS scanned and sorted fingerprints electronically.

But, we can go back as early as China – 200 BC – where Chinese records from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) include details about using handprints as evidence during burglary investigations, would you believe?

Of course there are other visible human characteristics we can use to identify people such as facial features, but these tend to change considerably with age, however fingerprints are relatively con-sistent. Barring injuries or surgery causing deep scarring, or diseases such as leprosy damaging the formative layers of friction ridge skin, finger and print features have never been shown to move or change their relationship throughout the life of a person (and injuries, scarring and diseases tend to exhibit telltale indicators of unnatural change).

Did you know:

1. Fingerprints are one of the last things to disappear when you die, the friction ridges are remarka-bly long-lasting even if a body has been in water.

2. Fingerprints can grow back.

We have known criminals who have purposely used methods, including harsh chemicals to remove their fingerprints so they wouldn’t leave evidence at the scene of a crime. What they actually did was make themselves even more unique.

More common, are those who do not want to leave fingerprints at a scene and will use less painful methods such as wearing socks on their hands – a typical trait of a burglar who also doesn’t want to look suspicious by carrying Marigold type gloves in his pockets, should they be stopped and checked, and possibly be accused of ‘going equipped to commit crime’.

When I took on the role of ‘Property Clerk’ at SB in 1988 this did not just include looking after the ‘Connected and Miscellaneous’ property such as firearms, monies, and drugs seized by the police but also victims’ and prisoners’ property for future court purposes. I was puzzled in the beginning as to why there were so many socks and gloves seized until I was told that it was a telltale sign if a prisoner had no socks on his feet when caught. That this might mean they had been discarded post crime, near to the scene. What the offender didn’t realise was if the police found them, and turned the plastic gloves inside out they would find the perpetrators fingerprints! A certain type of glove used consistently by a perpetrator will also link a series of crimes for the investigator.

Brothers Alfred Edward Stratton, and his brother Albert Ernest Stratton were the first men to be con-victed in Great Britain for murder based on fingerprint evidence. Both were executed at 9am on 23rd May 1905 at HM Prison Wandsworth.

Thankfully gone are the days when I had to cover the prisoners’ hands in ink with a roller. Carefully roll each finger 180 degrees on a fingerprint form which noted each finger individually, and press the palm down, including the beginning of the wrist on the reverse. Even with socks or gloves covering the hands some perpetrators, when climbing, caught the lower part of the palm, or the wrist became uncovered and they would leave a much-coveted mark for the police officer.

This operation was not easy with a cooperative prisoner, but can you begin to imagine how hard it was to take fingerprints this way from an uncooperative one?

image 1

Fingerprint forms for both hands would then be sent through the police internal mail system to HQ,where they would be examined. If the quality was not good enough or errors had been made then the forms would be sent back to the officer for them to see the suspect concerned again, to take another set of prints. The subsequent scanned prints against unidentified marks lifted from crime scenes of crimes have great success.

We touched on the AFIS system (Automatic Fingerprint Identification System) and a National data-base IDENT 1: The United Kingdom’s central national database for holding, searching and compar-ing biometric information on those who come into contact with the police as detainees after being arrested. Information held includes fingerprints, palm prints and scene of crime marks.

This was, in my time, only able to be achieved in the bridewell but revolutionary technology now en-ables mobile units to use the electronic devices that are no bigger than an iPad without the mess or fiddle-fuddle. An officer simply placed the hand of a suspect upon the screen and the computer does the rest. If the suspect is recorded the officer will have their correct details quickly.

image 3

Apart from fingerprints and palm prints, the soles of bare feet, toes and ear prints have been used successfully.

So the process of fingerprinting has been brought into the twenty-first century but it doesn’t stop here. We are very proud to say that work being done by West Yorkshire Police (the force where we spent our collective 47 years service), and Sheffield Hallam University are presently developing something called Mass Spectroscopy. In simple terms they vaporise the sample, and then fire it through an electronic and magnetic field.

How this works: particles of different mass behave differently under these conditions, which allows the team to identify molecules within the print and from this they are able to assist the investigator with the following:

Male or female / understand if a person touched or taken drugs / ingested substances which also may assist in identifying the lifestyle of the individual.

In the past marks (fingerprints) lifted from crime scenes were sometimes deemed ‘not good enough’ for court purpose – typically a smudged mark. These ‘rejections’ that didn’t achieve the required standard were useless, and annoyingly for the officer on the case, they wouldn’t be accepted as evi-dence and included on the case file against the accused.

Mass spectroscopy deals with this in a positive way, and ultimately the gap that the perpetrator may have previously slipped though will be sealed, and the marks will now be good enough for the courts.

The new technology will also be a useful tool in the investigator toolbox for identifying an unknown offenders’ characteristics – it may not give the police the offenders name but it will point them in the right direction ie. man, woman, drug user…

Ever advancing technology helps the investigator to link criminals to crime scenes.

And my view on that?


R.C. Bridgestock

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***

#BookReview Innocent Blood by @DStuartDavies #2 #DIPaulSnow #Trilogy

Innocent Blood by David Stuart Davies

A child’s body found in woodland. Parents torn apart by grief. But this is only the first victim in a series of apparently motiveless crimes. Detective Inspector Paul Snow, heading the enquiry, must discover the pattern and reveal the chilling truth as a cunning and violent murderer becomes desperate and even more unpredictable. Haunted by secrets of his own, the complex DI Snow races against the clock, following a murderous trail that leads all the way to a dark and shocking climax.

Innocent Blood, set in Yorkshire in the 1980s, is the second in the gritty series featuring DI Paul Snow and maintains the high level of tension and dramatic surprises of the first, Brothers in Blood.

My review:

Innocent Blood is the second novel in the DI Paul Snow trilogy! The plot follows a series of child murders in Yorkshire in the 1980s. Snow is still battling to keep his secret and the case grows more and more intense.
The case will strike close to Snow’s secret. Can he maintain his cover?

The prologue opens in autumn 1984, with a drunk driver involved in a coach crash. There are a series of children’s screams and you quickly become aware, this is no ordinary crash!

Spring 1985, Snow is leading the arrest on a violent murderer. When a call comes in about a missing little girl! Snow arrives at the parent’s house to discover their nine year old daughter Gillian has been missing overnight. It isn’t long before a call comes in and a body matching the description has been found at Mollicar woods.

The body is badly beaten and bruised. Pathologist Chris McKinnon ascertains the death is via strangulation, with no obvious sexual motive.
What is the motive? Who murders young girls and leaves their bodies in the woods?

As the reader we become aware Snow, is still battling his demons. To hide his homosexual feelings, this is something that will lead Snow, down a dark path! There are a series of chapters from the killers perspective, they make for haunting reading but offer little in the way of motive. What is it, that this killer wants the police to see?

A week passes with no progress and then the killer strikes again! Snow needs to fine the motive and quickly before more young girls are snatched and killed! Eventually, through further investigation Snow uncovers the pattern/motive. When he does, it becomes apparent it ties in with the coach crash! With two survivors left, Snow must protect their lives at all costs.
But deep in the shadows, another disturbed man lurks and he wants revenge on Snow……..

This novel sets the series up perfectly for the third in the series Blood Rites. Which is set to be released this November 2017.
A thoroughly good historical crime fiction read! 5*

*My review for Blood Rites, the third novel & new release was blogged earlier today!*

#BlogTour #Review 5* and Q&A #BloodRites by @DStuartDavies @urbanepub @urbanebooks #NewRelease #CrimeFiction #DISnow

*I received an arc via the publisher, in return for an honest review. I read/reviewed the novel, before I agreed to organise the blog tour*

Blood Rites by David Stuart Davies

Blood Rites is a Northern thriller set in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in the 1980s featuring Detective Inspector Paul Snow. DI Paul Snow has a personal secret  He is a homosexual but is desperate to keep it secret, knowing it would finish his career in the intolerant police   of the time. As this personal drama unfolds, he is involved in investigating a series of violent murders. All the victims appear to be chosen at random and to have no connection with each other. After the fourth murder, Snow is removed from the case for not finding the killer but continues investigating the matter privately. Gradually, Paul manages to determine a link between the murder victims, but this places his own life in great danger. Can Paul unmask the killer as he wrestles with his own demons?

My review:

This novel opens with a very thought-provoking quote:

“Homosexuals then had three choices.
One. To conform to society’s expectations.
To marry and have children.
Two. To be celibate
Three. To live a double life, fraught with danger – of violence or blackmail – and to live it alone”
John Fraser in his autobiography close up

As stated numerous times on my blog. I have a deep love for diverse novels. This one, and namely Detective Inspector Paul Snow immediately caught my eye. The idea of a protagonist being a senior police officer, a secret homosexual in an era, when there was little freedom to be gay.
I had to know more…….

The novel is set in 1980’s, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. In the months leading up to Christmas 1985. The novel opens with a killer having returned from a murder. The killer appears perfectly nonchalant about his crimes and although the chapter is short, it sets the sinister tone.

Three months earlier, DI Snow is courting local headmistress of the all-girls Catholic school, Matilda. Having invited her to a police function, he feels self-conscious and uptight. It would appear DI Snow has threes persona’s public, private and secret. I really warmed to Snow, despite his complexities. I found him to be a straight-laced, career copper with justice on his mind. The eternal struggles to deal with his homosexuality, show he has an inner depth. Knowing that marriage, would be to don a marital straight jacket, but also wanting to advance his career in the police force and desperate not to be considered a ‘nancy boy’ within the ranks. He entertains the idea of a long-term relationship with Matilda.

Across town, on the same night. Local delinquent and trouble maker Barry ‘Bazzer’ Donovan assaults a man and leaves him unconscious in the street. Unfortunately for Bazzer it would be his last criminal endeavour, as he is mown down by a drink driver and killed instantly. The victim upon learning of Bazzer’s death via the local newspaper, feels elated in the news and it sets of a series of sinister murders to follow.

The first domino has fallen

The murders all have a vigilante theme, amongst them. With no victim, truly being an innocent soul. The first murder, is of known wife-beater Sammy Tindall, found stabbed in the stomach multiple times. The police are bemused as to who would kill Sammy? And why? The following story of Maureen ‘Mandy’ Sullivan a teenage abuse victim, on the cusp of suicide, makes for heart-breaking and vivid reading. I had tears in my eyes, as her personal pain seeped from the pages. With news of this suicide, the killer wants vengeance and he knows exactly from whom to extract it.

Snow continues to act as a straight man, which is all new territory for him. He battles on investigating his case. With seemingly no leads and little in the way of evidence. He knows the murders are linked. But how? How is the killer choosing the victims? Chief Constable Clayborough applies added pressure, demanding progress. Then Matilda brushes Snow off, after the return of her out and proud gay brother Roger and everything suddenly becomes far more multifaceted.
One thing is for certain, someone is cleaning up the streets of Yorkshire, one scumbag at a time……….

This is a novel, with a case as complex as the characters it features. It is very cleverly put together and the ending left me astounded! It is at times very dark, but the characters really get into you head and you become desperate for the case to unravel.
DI Paul Snow is an incredible protagonist and won me over entirely! 5*

Yorkshire man’s mantra: see all, hear all and say nowt.


Q) The novel opens with a very poignant quote. What was the inspiration behind including this quote?

A) The quote is:

‘Homosexuals then had three choices.

One. To conform to society’s expectations. To marry and have children.

Two. To be celibate.

Three. To live a double life, fraught with danger – of violence or blackmail – and to live it alone.’

It comes from Close Up, the autobiography of the actor John Fraser, who, incidentally, played Lord Alfred Douglas in the 1960 movie of Oscar Wilde’s life, opposite Peter Finch as the great man himself. Although we now live in somewhat more enlightened times, even as recently as the 1980s there was so much prejudice and suspicion, which caused great pain and hardship for people, as the recent Gay Britannia programming on BBC TV has shown so brilliantly. I feel a great affinity with the gay community who, in my experience, comprise some of kindest and most creative and cultured individuals I know. I felt that the quote reflected something of the situation my lead character Paul Snow experiences.

Q) DI Paul Snow is quite a captivating character; he is so unique and multifaceted. My brother is gay and therefore I often read novels with a gay protagonist or a gay theme. A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale being one of my all-time favourite novels. How did you create DI Paul Snow and what was the motivation behind his hidden sexuality?

A) With Paul Snow I wanted to reveal how difficult it was for him to deal with his own innate emotions and tendencies in a responsible job which he loved. At this time, exposure would destroy his career.

I spoke to two people who had been in the CID in the 1980s about the extreme prejudice faced by officers then, and felt there was something I could say about it. Even in these liberated times, away from the glitz of show business, gay people can still feel the harsh wind of prejudice and censure.

Q) I am a huge fan of diverse novels; I think they represent society in a realistic light. I read a wide range of novels with a BAME & LGBTQ theme. As writer, how important is diversity to you in the various genres of literature?

A) I don’t think of it consciously as I’m a very instinctive writer. I also write in a cinematic fashion – in other words I see my characters and scenes unfolding before me as though they were in a movie. I do actually just pick up a pen or hit my key board, start writing and see where I’m led. There must be some subconscious distillation of influences and selection going on in my poor brain but I just try to write the best story I can and luckily some amazing characters have arrived to help me. I don’t sit down and say, ‘I’m going to write a novel about’, or ‘I see such and such an anniversary is coming up in three years, I’ll pitch a novel about that theme’ – I’m not that clever. I don’t plan – I begin with a concept, an idea, just an opening sentence or scene or a theme and see where it leads me. The characters and events just tend to pop up.

With the Blood trilogy, I thought there was a story to be told about prejudice in the 1980s and, as a crime writer, a policeman was the obvious choice to tell that story.

In The Scarlet Coven, my crime and black magic novel set in New York in 1936, my lead character Simon Finch was in a tricky situation and the black private eye Patrick Murphy just popped up out of my imagination fully formed to help him. He was to be only a subsidiary character but he took over and actually became the third member of the detective trio.

My World War II series features Johnny Hawke, a disabled former policeman who had turned private eye after an accident in the army in which he loses an eye meant that he couldn’t continue active service.

I guess I like to write about rounded human beings in extremis, and some of them are individuals who could be seen by the mainstream as outsiders. We can all identify with feeling ‘other’ – certainly they face challenges and some form of discrimination, though I wasn’t really aware that was what I was doing when I wrote the books – this Q&A is making me see things I didn’t realise were there!

Q) 1980s Yorkshire provides the period and location. What made you decide this was the perfect era and setting for your novels?

A) I chose the 1980s because this was a time before so much technical policing really came into its own – the use of DNA profiling and really serious forensics. I’m not particularly fond of such detail – I’m a broad brush person – and would struggle to research and write about that kind of investigation. I like the dramatic interaction between individuals. Policing then involved much more face to face detective work rather than relying on science to provide the clues and lead them to the culprit.

I chose Yorkshire because that is where I live. I hope something of the essence of the place seeps through without it being spelled out. I hadn’t written about the area before and I liked the idea of placing a detective in my home town. Morse has his Oxford; Rebus has his Edinburgh; and Snow has his Huddersfield!

Q) The plot is set in the build up to Christmas 1985, as this is due for release on 9th November, it is the perfect Christmas purchase, for the crime fiction fan. Do you write in the season that the novel reflects? Does this help you to feel inside the plot?

A) Thank you for suggesting that people might like something nasty in their Christmas stocking. I hope some of you may follow up that suggestion!

I can write any time about anything – I use my imagination, dredge my memory or watch films which I feel might inspire me. I don’t necessarily have to be in a place or have experienced something in order to write about it. The contrast between the so called jolly season and the grim events in the novel appealed to me. It’s a kind of blood on my shiny Christmas tree baubles sort of thing. And I wanted snow to be on the ground at the climax which I believe will shock most readers.

Q) The sinister murders in the novel, have a theme of the victim being deserving of death. How did you come up with this motive? Was it inspired by a real life murder?

A) Here was another serial killer, but I didn’t want your cliché crazy man. I wanted him to have a reason to kill and the victims to be in one sense diverse and yet having a tenuous connection. The challenge is to keep that connection hidden for as long as possible from the detective and, indeed, the reader. I pondered how this could come about and the idea came to me. Without giving the game away, I liked the irony involved in creating this killer!

Q) Finally, what is next for you and what are you working on currently? Can we the readers have any sneaky snippets of news?

A) My next book with Urbane is The Mystery of Throate Manor, which features a grown up Oliver Twist (now a solicitor) and the Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins, investigating a murder mystery. In this novel I have attempted to tread the same path as Dickens by blending dark tragedy with scenes of comedy, romance and the grimness of the times. I don’t seek to emulate Dickens’s style; that would be doomed to failure, rather to echo the spirit of the great man. That is what I have always done with my Sherlock Holmes novels, which, I hope, remain true to the spirit of Conan Doyle but not necessarily the letter – I try to bring something fresh to it.

I have just finished another Sherlock Holmes novel: The Instrument of Death and am thinking about returning to my wartime detective Johnny Hawke (Johnny One Eye) moving him into the post-war austerity of the 1950s for a suitably grim tale!

DSD: Thank you so much for the opportunity to chat. I really enjoyed it and love your blog and what you do to support books.

*Huge thanks to David Stuart Davies for taking the time to complete a Q&A for my blog! I wish you every success with the release of your novel Blood Rites.

David Stuart Davies
Author Bio:

David Stuart Davies is an author, playwright and editor. His fiction includes six novels featuring his wartime detective Johnny Hawke, Victorian puzzle solver artist Luther Darke, and seven Sherlock Holmes novels – the latest being Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Legacy (2016). His non-fiction work includes Starring Sherlock Holmes, detailing the film career of the Baker Street sleuth. David has also penned a Northern Noir trilogy of gritty crime novels set in Yorkshire in the 1980s: Brothers in Blood, Innocent Blood and Blood Rites.

David is regarded as an authority on Sherlock Holmes and is the author of two Holmes plays, Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act and Sherlock Holmes: The Death and Life, which are available on audio CD. He has written the Afterwords for all the Collector’s Library Holmes volumes, as well as those for many of their other titles.

He is a committee member of the Crime Writers’ Association and edits their monthly publication Red Herrings. His collection of ghost and horror stories appeared in 2015, championed by Mark Gatiss who said they were ‘pleasingly nasty.’

David is General Editor of Wordsworth’s Mystery & Supernatural series and a past Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. He has appeared at many literary festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe performing his one man presentation The Game’s Afoot – an evening with Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle. He was recently made a member of The Detection Club. Moved this higher up the piece as it is the trilogy we are promoting.

Authors links:
Twitter: @DStuartDavies
Via Urbane:



#BlogTour #Review #WhenAKillerStrikes by @RCBridgestock @caffeinenights #CrimeFiction #NewRelease #TeamDylan

*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*

Blog tour poster
When A Killer Strikes by R C Bridgestock
“Boss, we’ve got a body”.

Detective Sergeant Vicky Hardacre, greets him at the scene, but what awaits them behind the blood red door of Colonial House is undoubtedly a murder. The approach identifies several prime suspects. But who is telling the truth; and who is lying?

Before the killer can be caught, another body is discovered, this time in a putrefying mixture of mud and slime, lain among the remnants of decaying food within a waste-bin shelter. Now it’s the task of the man in charge to make the call.

Are the two murders connected?

There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by working long hours, within strict budgets, and the usual pressure from above to obtain quick results.

However, Dylan is distracted by personal matters, with Jen being keen to seal the deal on a renovation project. He suggests they delay finalising the purchase; until he discovers the significance of the house, and that it’s about to be demolished.

In his absence, Jen’s pleas for help from his estranged siblings are answered, resulting in hidden secrets coming to light, as Dylan continues, through a twisting and turning plot, to ensure justice is done in respect of the murder victims, whose bright hopes for the future were cruelly snatched away.

My review:

I am a huge fan of the DI Jack Dylan series and I have read every novel in the series! I love the northern setting of Harrowfield Town and the northern dialect scattered throughout the novels. The series are very much police procedural but DI Jack Dylan’s private life, with wife Jen often gives the novels a softer and more realistic feel. It is easy, to get the sense you are reading a true-story of a crime rather than a crime fiction series.

The novel opens with a suspicious death at colonial house. Dylan and Jen are still left reeling from their personal grief from earlier in the series. Jen has her heart set on moving home, a new home, a new start and a new life.
But being married to a copper is far from an easy lifestyle!

The victim is 14-year-old Patti Heinz, she is a local star on account of her gymnastic abilities. She is found strangled, naked and possibly raped by her stepfather Elliot Black at her home. The team begin to collect the evidence, organise door to door interviews and request press officer Connie Seabourne keep the case, on the down low. The last thing the police need, is the press clambering for dirt on the victim and harassing the family. A post mortem is organised to establish the facts of what happened to Patti.

Aware that Dylan can give no information to local/national journalists. That doesn’t stop a local journalist giving him a tip off with regards to Patti’s relationship to her stepfather. The journalist states that Elliot was controlling of Patti, dominated her gymnastics career and had an extensive collection of photos of her.
Did Elliot murder Patti? Was the mother aware of a abusive relationship? One thing is for certain Patti’s family are now under intense scrutiny from the police.

Across town in Harrowfield, Jen busies herself with viewing potential properties. With Dylan working longer and longer hours Jen is left to manage the house sale and move alone! Jen’s character took move of a step back in this particular novel. I really missed her usual wit and conversations with Dylan. They form such a brilliant couple, I missed the family drama and hope for more in the next book in the series!

As the team continue to investigate potential suspects. They discover that there are many men, with a the potential to cause Patti harm. From the lonely teenage neighbour who watches her every move via his telescope. To a rejected love interest and local pervert. The team also investigate her gym teacher and coach. But the DNA evidence collected from the scene begins to rule out more and more of the suspects………

So who killed Patti Heinz? And why?

When a young male walks into the police station and confesses to the crime. The team wonder if this is just too easy.
Is he mentally ill? A liar? Or delusional? Or is he really Patti’s killer? Comprehensive examinations of Patti’s mobile phone and laptop reveal images of another unknown male.
But who is he? And why does Patti have topless images of him on her phone?

The case delivers twist and turns galore. There is a crisis on the team, when a copper is arrested for drunk driving in a CID vehicle. There are hints and clues drip fed into the novel about Dylan’s childhood. Something we the reader, know very little of. It becomes quite clear it was far from a happy childhood and I hope more is revealed further in the series.
When another dead body is found stuffed in a bin. Dylan is put under extreme pressure to solve both complex cases. There are insinuations, which reference a previous case, so those new to the series may struggle to grasp how they fit into the bigger picture. But for #TeamDylan fans, it adds to the drama and hype, for what is an action packed ending!

Tremendously recommend the DI Jack Dylan series and I am already looking forward to the next in the series! #TeamDylan 4*

bob & Carol
R C Bridestock aka Bob & Carol Bridgestock
Authors links:
Twitter: @RCBridgestock

About RC Bridgestock:

Bob was a highly commended career detective of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. During his last three years he took charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents, over 50 suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. He was also a trained hostage negotiator dealing with suicide interventions, kidnap, terrorism and extortion.

As a Detective Inspector he spent three years at the internationally acclaimed West Yorkshire Police Force Training School where he taught Detectives from all over the world in the whole spectrum of investigative skills and the law. On promotion to Detective Superintendent Bob was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force. He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks, including winning the much coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.

As a police civilian supervisor Carol also received a Chief Constable’s commendation for outstanding work.

The couple are the storyline consultants on BAFTA winning BBC One police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott & Bailey.  Carol started and chaired the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle in 2008, along with Bob where she created an annual charitable community writing competition to inspire others of all ages.

The couple pride themselves on being up-to- date on past and present day UK police procedures, and as a result Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and national and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents etc. And they have taken part in Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I.

Together they can be regularly seen as speakers at a variety of events in the literary world and work with colleges and schools in providing writing seminars and workshops. Three RC Bridgestock trophies are annually achieved by students.

*Bob & Carol are a fantastic couple, who contribute a wealth of support to various charities. I truly wish them the best of luck with the release of #WhenAKillerStrikes and thank them for the opportunity to be part of their #BlogTour*