The Searcher by Tana French, published by Penguin #review #blog @PenguinBooks @VikingBooks #TheSearcher #NetGalley

Another fabulous book from Tana French. I almost pulled an all-nighter with this one! If you want a book that transports you to another land, then this is it. Beautiful descriptions of rural Ireland, the brogue and deep characterisation that drops you there.

Book Description:

‘One of the most compulsive psychological mysteries since Donna Tartt’s The Secret History‘ THE TIMES
The Searcher by [Tana French]
UK link

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.

Our greatest living mystery writer weaves a masterful tale of breath-taking beauty and suspense, asking how we decide what’s right and wrong in a world where neither is simple, and what we risk if we fail.

Seen through the eyes of a former Chicago police officer, Cal Hooper buys an old shack and attempts to rebuild his life. Peace does not come easily and a young visitor makes it near impossible for Cal to enjoy his retirement. A missing sibling must be found and the mystery takes time to solve. He must tackle getting the information he needs both sensitively and skilfully, and tiptoe around the nuances and eccentricities of local customs.

There is much meandering around conversation, getting to know the villagers and their customs. In essence the book is a slow burn with undercurrents of graver things and threats that would keep a normal person at home. No so with Cal. He is detailed oriented with patience that would put a nun to shame. He needs to get the lie of the land before making decisions and he’s remarkably adept at winning most of the locals around. He also has a life in the US, whether or not he’s trying to forge a new one in a foreign land. He has worries. His daughter for one and an ex-wife who is on his mind and on his nerves.

The locals, equipped with their secrets and foibles are handled realistically and you can’t help liking and disliking a few. Cal might have appeared to have missed a few tricks, but he is persistent in a somewhat leisurely way. Trey is an enigma and the more we learn the more chilling the story becomes. The book is not terrifying, nor is it challenging. I would put it at the comfortable and evocative end of the spectrum. But that’s me. For those who have issues with animal cruelty, there are scenes that may be hard to read.

The writing style, as with all French novels, is impeccable with an easy poetic flow I’ve come to enjoy. The only issue I had with this one is it was a little slow getting off the ground. But what I find a tad tedious — champing to get to the action — others will find fascinating. I don’t take off stars for this. Authors have their own way of drawing out the plot of which French is an absolute master.

The Searcher: A Novel by [Tana French]
US link
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (October 6, 2020)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2020
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B08681BNKV

WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT TANA FRENCH

‘An engrossing, unpredictable, beautifully written mystery’ SOPHIE HANNAH

‘To say Tana French is one of the great thriller writers is really too limiting. Rather she’s simply this: a truly great writer‘ GILLIAN FLYNN

‘French offers a masterclass in unreliability‘ SUNDAY TIMES

‘I’m a big fan of Tana French‘ IAN RANKIN

The Wych Elm should cement French’s place in the first rank of great literary novelists‘ OBSERVER

‘This book confirms Tana French as [crime fiction’s] biggest contemporary star‘ GUARDIAN

Terrific – terrifying, amazing, and the prose is incandescent‘ STEPHEN KING

‘Another one of her rich psychological thrillers that will work its way under your skin’ LUCY MANGAN, STYLIST

‘This mystery about family, memory and the cracks in both will haunt you for a long, long time‘ ERIN KELLY

‘A tale of flawed characters, complex relationships and elusive loyalties. Subtle and powerful‘ CHRIS HAMMER

About the Author

Tana French

French grew up in Ireland, Italy, the US and Malawi, and has lived in Dublin since 1990. She trained as an actress at Trinity College Dublin and worked in theatre, film and voiceover. She is the author of IN THE WOODS (winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Macavity and IVCA Clarion awards), THE LIKENESS, FAITHFUL PLACE, BROKEN HARBOUR (winner of the LA Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and the Irish Book Award for Best Crime Fiction) and THE SECRET PLACE. She lives in Dublin with her husband and two children.

Other books by Tana French

Crime, One Book at a Time

I’m absolutely thrilled to share NEW BOOK NEWS about my fourth book, Dead Cold, which will be published on June 16th, 2017. I will be providing a cover reveal nearer the time on my Facebook page and Twitter page, so feel free to check in regularly at the following links.

Facebook

Twitter

Not only is there a new Detective Temeke book to add to the collection but book 2, Night Eyes, is on a special deal at the moment of only 99 cents.  If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, don’t delay. Its a short promotion and will finish at the end of this week.

Night Eyes-new (2) FINAL FINALBookBub

If you are a BookBub member, feel free to follow me here for updates on all new books and special deals which we usually run three times a year.

Researching the books

The research for the Temeke books just keeps getting better. At the end of this month I will be graduating from the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Department CPA where we learned all about laws of arrest, search and seizure, property crimes, gang unit, active shooter, defensive driving, traffic unit and my personal favorite, dispatch. After completing three ride-alongs with Sheriff’s deputies we are now able to do a fly-along with Metro 1 and 2, two helicopters that serve the county.

Having graduating from the 50th Albuquerque Citizen Police Academy last year made all these classes possible. A big thank you to the boys and girls in blue who have taught us so much and who continue to teach me every time I see them.

As a member for Stand True For Blue, an organization that helps the families of fallen police officers, I will be helping with their newsletter. This includes officer interviews, taking pictures of events and writing up after event articles. I am excited to be a journalist in the community after being buried for three solid months in my writing cave. Even as I type this, I have just completed chapter 1 of Book 5.

Claire Helicopter

On a different note, I would like to thank author Jean Gill who very kindly took a few of the Temeke books with her on a tour to Wales this year. Selling some of her sumptuous historical fiction novels (and other genres) at the Llandeilo Lit Fest, she was rubbing shoulders with great writers such as Christoph Fischer, author of the World War II bestseller, Ludwika. Thank you Jean for allowing Detective Temeke to take a seat at your table.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books.

banner 9th hour (2).jpg

For those who have bought book 3, Past Rites, we would like to let you know there is a new and improved cover out now.  We felt this one added the right amount of ‘mood’ to the story without crossing over into another genre. I hope you like it too.

Past Rites (2) FINALFor All New Book News

For all New Book News Sign up to Claire Stibbe’s New Release Mailing List here

(Simply cut-and-paste the link into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)  

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’ll be back with more news soon.

 

 

 

Description of Past Rites

Lies hurt. Truth kills.

Four years after the tragic suicide of Alice Delgado, eldest daughter of Albuquerque’s top racing driver, her younger sister, Lily, is reported missing and two of her peers are found dead. Detective Temeke’s investigation leads him to a private boarding school on the Rio Grande where the discovery of occult practices and an ancient book ignite a chain reaction of heartbreaking truths and demonic attacks.

What madness connects these girls to a ruthless killer? Against a background of simmering police tension and mounting victims, detectives Temeke and Santiago are in a desperate race to learn the truth before it’s too late.

Past Rites is a dark and gripping novel that challenges heartache and reveals the truths about our hidden demons.

Spread thick with winter chill, Stibbe delivers a richly textured, breathtaking novel that gives us an insight into the dark places of the psyche. Some secrets can never be buried. Litouture Café.

Excellent third novel. Fans of psychological fiction will enjoy Claire Stibbe’s original and unnerving portrayal of the darker side of human nature. Dr. Marco Storey, PhD in Narrative Theory & Criticism.

Vividly and believably drawn characters that are the series hallmark. It should be put at the top of every “to be read” pile! Paul Henderson, Crime Fiction New Mexico.

Watch out for more from Detective Temeke and Malin Santiago

 

 

Please vote for The 9th Hour!

Thank you so much for all those who have voted on The 9th Hour and Chasing Pharaohs, both longlisted for the Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, in Crime Fiction, Thriller Fiction and Historical Fiction.

indie-award-voting

For those who would like to vote, click on the links below to find The 9th Hour, scroll down to the categories. Crime and Thriller are available and The 9th Hour is listed under both. Check the box next to the Book, scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the VOTE button. It will take you to another screen which shows a list of all the books chosen this year.

Voting is open until Saturday.

The 9th Hour in Crime ~ eepurl.com/cdnpEj

The 9th Hour in Thriller ~eepurl.com/cdnpEj

Tight Plot, Great Characters, Great Writing.

Thank you to Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Author for her amazing review of The 9th Hour.

Set in colorful New Mexico, The 9th Hour successfully combines the intense investigation to find a serial killer before he strikes again with the inner workings of the killer’s mind. Into this mix comes a British born detective of African descent and a killer obsessed with Nordic mythology. Stibbe’s ability to bring these diverse elements together shows skilled writing. Her ability to do this effectively, holding the attention of the reader shows real talent.
Detective David Temeke brings a passion to his investigation that is softened by his sense of humor. Teamed with Malin Santiago whose mother was Norwegian and who speaks the language, Temeke has personal issues that crop up during the investigation. Malin has a somewhat dark past herself and struggles with demons of her own. While giving the characters an added dimension, Stibbe manages to keep these side stories from interfering with the plot; finding the serial killer before he claims another victim.
Providing insight into the workings of the police department investigating the crimes, Stibbe builds a tight story with characters that evoke emotions from sympathy to downright disgust.
The character that elicits the most sympathy is Darryl Williams, a distraught father dealing with the worst tragedy a parent can face, the murder of a child. As Williams deals with his loss and the difficulty of raising his remaining daughter’s, the reader is drawn along, sharing his pain.
The story moves forward smoothly, the tension grows, and just when you think everything is about to be resolved, bang; along comes another dark surprise. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a fast paced and dark detective story. I also look forward to more investigations with Detective Temeke and hopefully his partner Malin Santiago.

Consider also voting for Chasing Pharaohs: A Novel of Ancient Egypt for Best Historical Fiction: eepurl.com/cdnpEj – Scroll down to Historical Category and find Chasing Pharaohs in the listings.

chasing-award-indie

Thank you for voting. You ROCK!

A Warm Welcome to author Angela Wren

AEWBlackWhite (2)I’m really excited to welcome author Angela Wren today who is here to talk about her favorite scene from a book called ‘In this House of Brede’ by Rumer Godden.

Angela has written her own book Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

Messandrierre was published by Crooked Cat Publishing in December, 2015 and is currently available in Kindle format.

For background information on Angela, see her bio and book blurb below.

Author Bio

Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life.

I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.

Favorite Scene

I’d be hard pressed to say that the scene I want to talk about is my favorite because it is so very sad. Read on and you’ll understand why.

The book is ‘In this House of Brede’ by Rumer Godden. Published in 1969, it is one of around 60 that Godden wrote in her long career, which ended at the age of 91 in 1998. She is perhaps best known for her novels, ‘The Greengage Summer’, ‘Black Narcissus’ and ‘An Episode of Sparrows’. All of which, along with ‘In this House of Brede’ were adapted for film, although not all of the original titles were used.

Philippa Talbot is a successful businesswoman when the story begins in London in 1954. She has a history and a torn heart but, at this point in the novel, the reader does not know why. She gives up her job to join the sisters at Brede Abbey and the story of her new life unfolds gradually along side the very clever drip-feed of what happened to her son, Keith. In chapter 12 Philippa finally explains herself to Abbess Catherine.

Pic01BkCover‘It began with a nugget…’ she says. The nugget being gold and her son Keith and Darrell, a young friend, seeking adventure in an old mine whilst the adults were enjoying a lunch party in the garden. The ensuing description of Darrell’s return to the adults without Keith, the rush of grown-ups to find the missing boy, the realization in Philippa’s mind of what might have happened, the desperate search in the mine and the recognition of voices between separated mother and son is one of the most moving pieces of writing that I ever come across.

Keith was trapped at the bottom of a short shaft and over the three days that he was there with the local men who were trying to rescue him, Philippa never once moved from her spot at the top of the shaft and never stopped calling and speaking to her son. By the end of the chapter you know the child suffered greatly as he waited. And there is one very simple sentence, which I believe, absolutely no one can read without being brought to tears. It is at this point the Philippa admits that she should have left the mine and let the men recover the body out of her sight.

I have read this book several times and I have never been able to get through those seven pages in Chapter 12 without a hanky. However, the final outcome of the book is happier and Philippa had to exorcise her grief and this particular scene is a masterpiece despite the sadness of the content.

As you can probably work out from the cover, my copy is a first edition. I it picked up in an old bookshop for a fraction of its true value. But, if you want to read the book, you can get a paperback copy for as little as 1p on Amazon. A seriously insulting price, in my view, when you consider the artistry and word-smithing evident in chapter 12 alone!

I can only aspire to write as well as Godden, but my current novel is also available on Amazon!

Book Blurb

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre.

If, like me, you are a fan of great detective stories, do yourself a favor and pick up this book, it’s that good! Amazon 5 Star Reviewer

But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case.

CoverArt (2)Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim?

Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.

There are many twists and turns before the book ends … The author keeps us guessing throughout. Five Star Amazon reviewer

Why not visit Angela at her links below:

Book Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Goodreads