Revenge is a dish best served cold. A great combination of intrigue, mystery and even a touch of the supernatural, this whodunnit is filled with a fair few climactic twists. DI Charlie Moon returns having to work against the grain after his suspension from duty, even hiring the help of a local journalist to solve this gruesome murder. While the conclusion may have ended abruptly, it culminates in the ultimate karmic retribution. Jenny Francis manages to capture both the idyllic countryside and the brutality of injustice in one swoop of her pen. An enjoyable read.
by Suswati Basu
DI Charlie Moon is charged with investigating the death of a man found in the middle of the woods. He is identified as Sean Mattox, a small time criminal. He's been shot multiple times at close range. Moon finds that Mattox was obviously killed elsewhere, but he can't find any ties to the area.
Moon turns to his good friend Jo Lyon, a journalist. She finds a link, albeit a small one, to a case of rape and to a missing girl from years prior.
Who is The Watcher ... the man who wanders the woods covered in gray? Is he a witness ... or a subject? Or is he the ghost that the locals believe he is?
Moon discovers lots of surprises during his investigation. He's also got some authority problems. His supervisors seem to be looking for a reason to dismiss Moon for any reason they can come up with.
Are his supervisors involved in this case?
This book seems to have a bit of everything ... murder, greed, power, revenge. There's never a dull moment and there are twists and turns that lead in one direction and then another. I enjoyed the characters, especially Moon. He's a bit of an old-fashioned detective, plodding from door to door and person to person to find the clues needed to solve the case. There is just a touch of his personal life and I rather liked that he bought his wife a bouquet of flowers after a small dust-up. I love the cover.
Many thanks to the author / Troubador Publishing Ltd / Netgalley for the digital copy of BLOOD TIES. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
by Linda Strong
A page turning thriller. Quick paced and easy to read in one sitting. Would certainly recommend and can't wait to read more in the series.
by David Bedrock (NetGalley reviewer)
This is the second in the Detective Inspector Charlie Moon series. This book finds him and his troublesome nature at odds with his superiors and investigating the murder of a man, Sean Mattox, in the local woods.
After being stonewalled by the force in Mattox’ area of origin about a possible suspect and seemingly unable to gather any usable information about the deceased, Charlie goes to his old friend, Jo Lyons, a newspaper reporter. He asks her to check out this possible suspect on the q.t. He smells a rat at the other precinct.
With the help of a witness who lives nearby the suspect, Moon tracks his quarry. This short novel, (only 187 pages), ends very quickly and abruptly, but not without a bang. The ending is brilliant – can I say I loved it?
I want to send a many thanks to Netgalley and Troubador Publishing for forwarding to me a copy of this nice little book to read.
by Joyce Fox (NetGalley reviewer)
I received a free electronic copy of this British novel from Netgalley, Jenny Francis and Troubador Publishing Ltd in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
I am always up for a Charlie Moon novel, be it our American Charlie, or this Brit. This is the second novel from Jenny Francis, but completely stand-alone. I am sure that you will want to read The Silent Passage (2014) as well.
Charlie with the assistance of his pal Jo and some fine old American blues and jazz cassettes, and despite the disgruntled grumblings from his police force superiors, attempts to follow the clues leading up to the death of slightly seedy Sean Maddox in the middle of the woods. Can it possibly tie into the unsolved rape of a local girl several years ago? I love it when Karma is a major player.
This is a fast, interesting read that I am happy to recommend to my friends and family. Again, thanks!
by Bonnye Reed Fry
The writing duo that is Jenny Francis are back with another clever DI Charlie Moon novel; the second in this series that I have read.
To say Charlie Moon is unconventional is like saying Sherlock Holmes has a drug habit. He is universally supported by his team in the task force Team Penda. However, he is held under constant scrutiny by his seniors who has little faith in him or his methods.
A particularly nasty murder is given to Moon and his team and it has serious implications for the police when a known thug is thrown up as a suspect. Moon is warned off when his boss hears of this tenuous connection. Charlie realises he has to approach his investigation tangentially but there in lies another problem as his methods got him suspended the last time he went rogue.
As well as the current murder enquiry the writing jumps back to other characters who live in the area where the body would be found.
I like this approach when it is done well and in these novels I have found it has been handle well with the reader engaged fully into the plots unravelling.
Moon is a great example of a detective leading a crime thriller in an original way. I love the fact he is a loner, that he takes himself off to think or nimble on his favourite bought baguette.
He has a good rapport with others like DS Thompson and here is a fine example that gives me a genuine smile: "Moon .... making a mental note to have another word with Thompson about referring to dead bodies as cadavers." A bit of a running joke I think.
So a must for fans of crime murder mysteries, these books are not the usual and familiar offerings in this genre but a new and interesting development.
by Richard Latham
The 2nd DCI Charlie Moon book is just as enjoyable as the first: Silent Passage. Charlie, as always, is still trying to avoid his boss, Willoughby, as much as he can. Having been suspended a couple of years ago, he still feels like he's walking a professional tightrope. When a body is found in the woods, shot to death, Moon and his team are finding it impossible to find anyone in the area willing to admit to knowing the victim, who was a smalltime crook.
We go back and forth between Moon and Tim Stafford who has rented a house in the woods and goes for long daily rambles around the area. He lost his longtime job and is trying to decide what to do with the rest of his life.
As with the first book, I loved the atmosphere of area and Charlie Moon, albeit not an easy man, is still likeable, He is a bit of a loner, likes to eat his lunchtime baguette in the car, looking at the view and tends to forget to answer his boss' emails or give him updates.
The feel of the story with the shadowy 'ghost'; the estate behind the wall guarded by a huge dog, and owned by a particularly nasty, secretive former boy band manager, as well as the question of who Tim is, gives one a a nice dark mystery with quite a satisfying ending. I will definitely read no. 3 in the series, looking forward to it!
by Hannelore Cheney
Careers authors Patricia Scudamore and Hilton Catt are the writing team behind the novels by Jenny Francis.