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Author of the Month for September is a wonderfully chilling tale from Rhiannon Ward who has published four novels under Sarah Ward. Now, Ward has moved on to crime with a supernatural twist and her first offering is the sublime The Quickening which had me spooked and transported back to 1925.

Clewer Hall just outside Brighton was the scene of a famous séance back in 1896. Now, the place is a shadow of its former glory, crumbling into disrepair. Louisa is commissioned to photograph some collectible items for auction. She is heavily pregnant and needs the money. Very quickly after arriving, Louisa feels the sadness and discontent within the Hall as preparations are made to re-enact that famous séance, but things are extremely unsettled and Louisa feels the building tension within Clewer Hall and cannot explain why she feels threatened, but most importantly, why she feels the child inside her is also in danger. The wisps of uncertainty and the atmosphere of provoking the spirits oozes out of the pages of this book. A hugely spellbinding tale of the supernatural, murder and romance.

Fresh Blood is hailed as exemplary by the Empress of Noir herself, Cathi Unsworth. Six months ago Cathi told me about this marvellous debut called Exit Management by Naomi Booth and was ripe for the Fresh Blood page. Finally, this book is now released so you can now read this astounding debut.

This novel charts the fatal course between three individuals who are brought together by Fate and how the worse excesses of modern times can bring about terrible consequences. As the house market prices out everyone from London except oligarchs and people with money, this uncomfortable fable shows what lengths people will go to achieve their heart’s desire.

Reviews this month includes a number of new writers alongside established writers. They include James Patterson and Adam Hamdy, Steve Cavanagh, Simon Lelic and Christopher Fowler and many more plus an 80s classic Dalgliesh from P.D. James.

To celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday for P. D. James, I have highlighted one of her standalone novels, The Children of Men for Classic Crime. I read this back when published in 1992 and it has stayed in my mind all those years, and is, in my opinion, one of the best books James wrote. Not a huge seller when it came out, this book had a renaissance in 2006 when famous director, Alfonso Cuarón released a film based on the book. Although there were major changes, it sent James’ book into the bestseller lists fourteen years after its release. It also shows how innovative and inventive James could be and why she was such a literary force to be reckoned with. During September Classic Crime will change.

Events features Margaret Murphy’s take on The Murder Squad, a band of crime writers from the North. The roster may have changed slightly, but Murphy now celebrates 20 years of The Murder Squad and what it now stands for.

My Lockdown Summer Top Ten features books we know you will love to read, whether you are going away – or going as far as the garden! Wherever you decide to relax, you couldn’t do it without a brilliant book to pass a few hours. Enjoy these books as in October it will change just in time for Christmas!! Yes! I know! I’ve said the dreaded word…

To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you can’t recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed a huge number of books during Crimesquad.com's thirteen years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!


If you have any comments or have a particular author you would like to see highlighted on this website please e-mail me at chrissimmons@crimesquad.com.

Chris Simmons
Online Editor.