Posted in Blogging

I’m sensing a bit of a theme here…

Let’s see, one I’m currently listening to, one I’m currently reading, and the third recently catapulted itself to the top of the TBR pile.

I’m guessing there’s a bit of a theme to my reading of late ūüôā





“Them bones, them bones, them dry bones, them bones, them bones, them dry bones, them bones, them bones, them dry bones, now…”


Posted in 12 Words, Author Q&A's

12 Words with Luca Veste

Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Scouse heritage, married with two young daughters, and one of nine children. He is the author of the Murphy and Rossi novels, with the third in the series – Bloodstream – released October 2015. The first in the series – Dead Gone – was also published in Germany and Czech Republic

Part psychological thriller, part police procedural, the Murphy and Rossi novels take place in the city of Liverpool. Taking in both sides of a contrasting city, they explore the changing landscape of Liverpool and “bad” things which can happen within it.

Today he takes on the 12 word challenge.



Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC: Then She Was Gone is the fourth in your series about DI Murphy & DS Rossi, what can you tell us about it?

LV: A prospective MP goes missing. His sordid private life points to revenge.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

LV: Days and nights spent worrying with infrequent bouts of clarity.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

LV: Even those writers with years of experience worry about the next one.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

LV: Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre

LOC: why?

LV: A masterclass in crime fiction. Great writing, great characterisation, great plot twists.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

LV: Wake up in Roma, eat all the food, read and watch TV.

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week?

LV: Steve Cavanagh only moisturises his head 

(LOC: If you want to find out why, check out the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone Podcasts)

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: You’ve just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just a Walking¬†Stick, Six helium balloons and a Monkey. ¬†What do you do?

LV: I make the monkey do his best Charlie Chaplin impression.



Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He’s tipped for the very top … until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician – and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.

Posted in Blogging

Harrogate Countdown – Noir At The Bar

Nestling itself neatly after everyone starts arriving, and before the opening party, if you’re in Harrogate from Thursday check out the latest in the Noir At The Bar Franchise. ¬† It’s showcasing some great authors, plus you’ll get the chance to meet me! ¬†I’ll be hanging suspiciously around the bar…..


Posted in Blogging

The ubiquitous end of year wrap up.

Well that’s 2014 over, and what an amazing year that was!

Picture by Fenris Oswin –

Of course the highlight for me will always be my now fianc√© proposing to me at the end of a panel during this years Theakston‚Äôs Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.¬†He couldn’t have chosen a¬†more fitting venue and I will be eternally grateful to the 2014 festival chair Steve Mosby, and the rest of the festival planning committee for helping¬†to make this happen.

Not only that but, I’ve also got the good fortune of being able to re-live the moment whenever I want, as the download of the panel itself (In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream) is available to buy from the festival website and the recording has his proposal (although not my squeaked out answer) on the end of it. That ¬£3 purchase was definitely one of my best of the year!

Picture by Fenris Oswin –

That was closely followed by appearing with friend and editor Chris Simmons on this year‚Äôs ITV3¬†Specsavers Crime Thriller Club TV show. Not only did we have two fabulous days out in ‘that London’, meeting new and interesting people, catching up with author friends and laughing with Bradley Walsh, we also WON.

Closer to home it‚Äôs been great for me to see this blog really start to increase its traffic (I’m still hoping to break that magic 1,000 followers before the end of the year – sitting at 976 as I write) and getting the opportunity to participate in the blog tours of some¬†brilliant crime reads…

wpid-screenshot_2014-10-21-11-12-03-1.pngBlood Dimmed jacketV Coverwpid-screenshot_2014-10-25-02-49-51-1.png

Then of course there were also these fabulous books


20140527-165933-61173231.jpgLand Of Shadows – Rachel Howzell Hall

I have read several highly accomplished¬†debut novels this year, but this is one that sticks in my mind.¬† Homicide Detective Elouise¬†Norton is someone I’m keen to hear more about. Tough and driven, yet¬†at times insecure.¬† With a fascinating setting on the ever changing border of a gentrifying Los Angeles, it’s a great debut.

wpid-screenshot_2014-09-11-00-59-25-1.pngThe Girl On The Train РPaula Hawkins  

“To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I‚Äôm doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.

Just goes to show”

¬†Not published until Jan 15th 2015, I am jealous that so many of you have such a fabulous book yet to read and experience.¬† I urge you all to grab it as soon as it comes out, as I guarantee it’s going to cause quite a stir.

V CoverVendetta РDreda Say Mitchell 

In a distinct change of direction to the race against time thriller, Mitchell has produced a gripping read, with cracking characters, storylines and a great deal of style this series could really see her giving Simon Kernick a run for his money.

wpid-2014_07_25_08.24.01.png¬†Dead Men’s Bones – James Oswald

The fourth and latest of Oswald’s books featuring Detective Inspector Tony McLean. With its supernatural twists on the standard police procedural, this is one series that just gets better and better with¬†Dead Men’s Bones¬†proving to be the best yet.

The Killer Next Door – Alex Marwood

Dark, chilling and impeccably plotted, it’s an interesting insight into the secrets that lurk behind closed doors, how¬†little notice¬†we all take of the world around us and asks the question just¬†how well do we ever really know our friends and neighbours?¬†

These few aside there a¬†are¬†plenty more¬†delightful, intriguing and thrilling books out there, and many of those that are currently featuring on an awful lot of top 10 lists this year are staring at me mournfully from my on the verge of collapse to be read pile.¬† I’m looking forward to being able to sit down and catch up with just a few of them over the coming months.

My end of year tally for books read came to a grand total of 123 missing out by more that I would have liked, on beating last years total of 130, so I’ll be going all out to exceed both of these numbers next year.

Here’s looking forward to and wishing you all a fabulous,¬†book filled 2015.

Posted in Blog Touring, Reading, Reviews

The Dying Place – Luca Veste

Once inside…there’s no way out

A fate worse than death…

DI Murphy and DS Rossi discover the body of known troublemaker Dean Hughes, dumped on the steps of St Mary’s Church in West Derby, Liverpool. His body is covered with the unmistakable marks of torture.

As they hunt for the killer, they discover a worrying pattern. Other teenagers, all young delinquents, have been disappearing without a trace.

Who is clearing the streets of Liverpool?

Where are the other missing boys being held?

And can Murphy and Rossi find them before they meet the same fate as Dean?

We all know about them, have seen the stories, listened to the news and watched them gather. Some of us have been on the receiving end of their actions. ¬†The ‘feral youths’, the lost and disenfranchised children society doesn’t have any time for. ¬†We’ve all judged them, silently, passively, perhaps vocally. ¬†But who are we to judge?

The Dying Place is the second outing for Detective Inspector David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi and maintains the dark undertones of Dead Gone with the pair searching for a vigilante cleansing Liverpool’s youth community. ¬†Murphy, still scarred from his run in with a serial killer is walking a fine line trying to keep his marriage together when the first body is found. As the body count increases the tension ratchets up rapidly and when a policeman is shot in the line of duty, Murphy knows he must do all he can to catch this killer before more people die.

What follows is a trail of violence and a shocking final showdown that left me with quite a lump in my throat.  The Dying Place is superbly written and will have you asking moral questions not just of the characters, but of yourself.  It also succeeds in keeping you guessing as to the real identity of the villain before it is revealed and ensures you want to do nothing more than keep turning those pages until the story plays out.

It’s a fantastic follow up to an amazing debut and highly recommended for all crime fiction fans. The Dying Place is Out Now for Kindle, and available in Paperback from December 4th 2014

Posted in Blogging

My best books of 2013

You see what I did there? Top Five & Top Ten book lists are great don’t get me wrong, but what happens if I can think of six standout books of the year or can only get up to say four, or nine? and how do I say one is so much better than the other that it deserves to be No 1 and the other No 5?

So here in no particular order and of no significant number are the books I read this year that have left enough of an impression on me that I consistently recommend them to anyone who asks what they should read.

The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald


To paraphrase an old catchphrase when it comes to The Cry, “Ignore what it says on the tin.” ¬†I’ve recommended this book to a lot of people, even lending my own copy out several times. ¬†Most have read the synopsis on the back and said “it’s not for me.” ¬†To them all I have said one thing, “trust me, just read the first few chapters…” ¬†It’s all I’ve ever needed to say. ¬†The book has been devoured and enjoyed by everyone. ¬†It’s one of those times when the old adage rings perfectly true.

“never judge a book by its cover.”

Dead Gone by Luca Veste

I was privileged enough to be given a copy of Dead Gone by Luca back in July and whilst the paperback isn’t out until next year, the e-book is already available so I’m personally classing it as a book of 2013. ¬†Don’t be surprised however to see this touted around everywhere next year as a ‘book of 2014.’ Expect to hear it talked about a lot,¬†it is simply that good.

Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason

20131219-081658.jpgIf this is the only Indridason book you ever read you’ll be disappointed, not at the book per se as it’s a decent standalone but at the fact I recommended it. ¬†The reason for that is simple, this is a book for hardened Indridason fans, only if you’ve followed this series from the beginning can you appreciate it in its fullness for its completion of a story. ¬†Compare it to being a devoted fan of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot¬†then finally reading ‘Curtain‘ and you’ll have an inkling at just how great this book really is.

The Stranglers Honeymoon by Håkan Nesser

Apparently The Stranglers Honeymoon is book nine of ten Inspector Van Veeteran books and the latest translated into English. ¬†I say apparently, because I’d never read one before. ¬†The good point is I really didn’t need to have read them to enjoy this. ¬†The better point? ¬†I’m now in the middle of sourcing the other eight.

Posted in Reviews

Dead Gone – Luca Veste

DI David Murphy is a haunted man with a tragic past, out to prove his worth. After being given what appears to be a straightforward murder enquiry, with the help of DS Laura Rossi he sets out to do just that. What they discover is a shocking tale of psychological experimentation, drugs, kidnap, torture and the deranged outlook of an enquiring and evil mind.

Dead Gone truly is a dark and disturbing novel, and an amazing debut. From the moment you pick it up it draws you in, and as you progress, every turn of the page becomes more eager than the one before. Full of twists in the tale, it’s well constructed, will keep you guessing all the way through, and leave a lasting impression once you reach the end.

I personally devoured this book in just a couple of sittings, as I genuinely struggled to put it down. Not helpful if you have chores to do or if you’re supposed to pick the kids up from school, but everything you want from a good book.

Dead Gone is published by Avon, and is released on Kindle Dec 5th, with the paperback copy available next month, and if you’re quick, you may still be able to pre-order the kindle version for an amazing 99p