A new Mike Malone on Kindle

My latest Mike Malone story is now live on Kindle and Smashwords. This story is inspired by a crime in Russia that I read about around three years ago. Thinking it would be perfect for Mike, I squirreled away until I was ready to use it.

DI Mike Malone fears that this might be the case that breaks him – the discovery of a child’s body at the local landfill site, especially when the secrets that the post-mortem reveal are so grotesque. Add to the mix some disturbed graves and Mike feels that light and happiness are distant countries. This is one of the strangest cases that Mike and his trusty DS, Alan Shepherd, have ever tackled and they find themselves seeking help from someone who leaps at the chance to be useful once more. Another Mike Malone mystery and a chance to meet up with some familiar faces.

Seven Steeples by Sara Baume

Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2022

Such a gentle book where nothing really happens but that is sort of the point. Bell and Sigh have decided to move, with their two dogs, to a remote cottage and effectively cut themselves off. The cottage has been close to a nearby mountain for decades, and the couple are told that from the summit they can see seven standing stones, seven schools and seven steeples. The book records their first seven years in the cottage and describes the landscape in which they live in beautiful detail and with such poetry that several times, I had to stop because the author had made me see something that I thought I knew in a different light – for example when she describes the way snow thaws on fields it is ‘as if fat chalk lines had been drawn around the perimeter’. Each chapter is a year and each chapter takes us through the specific seasons and months. Chapter one describes January, February until we get to chapter seven and December. As time goes on, Bell and Sigh withdraw from their former lives and we see a steady deterioration of their house and a merging of their selves. You never really get a sense of the couple, there is no dialogue – the landscape, the elements are the stars in this book. A beautiful novel.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Do not think of witches with broomsticks and pointy hats when you pick up this book. These three timelines focus on women with an affinity, a close bond with the natural world This is a world of the magic of nature, how it can sustain and heal. We have Altha in the 1619s, Violet in 1942 and Kate in 2019 and the author weaves an intricate web to show us how the three women are connected, and how they discover that all share the same gifts. I don’t want to give too much away, but I really loved the way that each timeline gripped me. There was not one moment when I felt like skipping over one timeline to read the next. There was also an undercurrent of fear that clung to Kate’s story. This is a story about the power that women have and I’m sorry that I’m not writing more, I just don’t want to spoil it, i want you to discover this super debut for yourself.