#BlogTour #Extract : Halfway by B. E. Jones @bevjoneswriting @TheCrimeVault #Halfway @damppebbles

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for this amazing sounding book with an extract from it, so read on and enjoy!

Blurb:

If everyone is lying, who can you trust?

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass and hidden deep in inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, two women end up knocking on the door, seeking refuge as a blizzard takes hold.

But why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the local district nurse is missing, she jumps at the chance to investigate her disappearance.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm, but soon realise they might have been safer on the road. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas . . .

Purchase Links:

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Halfway-addictive-psychological-thriller-winter-ebook/dp/B076PFC1SR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543671115&sr=8-1&keywords=halfway

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Halfway-addictive-psychological-thriller-winter-ebook/dp/B076PFC1SR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543671936&sr=8-1&keywords=halfway+b.e.+jones

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/halfway/b-e-jones/9781472127914

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/halfway,b-e-jones-9781472127914

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/halfway-5

NOOK: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/halfway-b-e-jones/1129819188?ean=9781472127921

Extract: Arriving at the crime scene

When we get to the farmhouse at the top of the hill an ambulance is already parked at the edge of the higgledy flagstone path, doors yawning wide. Its blue light casts spectral shadows on the violet misting of early morning snow but the siren is off, the urgency passed – I realize it’s no longer a race between life and death. One of them has won.

Three other police cars have turned up, not a bad turnout since this is more than half the available workforce in peak flu and Christmas holiday time, and most of them are probably hung over. Half a dozen uniformed officers I recognize, all of them men, are rubbing their hands together and milling around on the front path, looking for someone to tell them what to do.

The strangest thing of all is the silence. It hits us as we wind down our windows; it’s as if someone has turned the volume off on a TV show. None of the usual off-colour banter is taking place, no joshing, joking, chit-chat is being exchanged. The only sound is the occasional crackle and mutter of radios and the cackle of alarmed crows in the close-knit trees rising all around us.

Light blazes from the windows of the farmhouse, illuminating it like a film set at the point when the actors are about to take their places before someone calls action. Determined to get closer, we crawl our squad car past the unhinged front gate, taking care to avoid the banked snow, pulling up around the back and slipping unchallenged up the brambly path towards the open back door.

That’s when I see it, the dog.

It’s strung up in the kitchen window, electrical wire looped from its neck to the curtain rail above. In the full light of the kitchen, through the panes of glass between us, we can see it’s a small collie, black and white, dangling full length, its legs limp, empty eyes half open.

‘What. The. Fuck?’ says Jim, half to me and half towards the two young officers already flanking the door. Jim is part of that generation that never curses in front of a lady, and it’s a mark of his shock that he doesn’t automatically apologize. Not that I care, not when I’m horribly fascinated by the string of pinkish drool stretching itself from the dog’s mouth. After a moment I realize my own mouth has fallen open and snap it shut, swallowing heavily.

Neither of us speaks.

‘That’s . . . interesting,’ says Jim, finding his voice first, pulling off his helmet and running his hand over his cropped grey hair in a gesture I’ve come to recognize as shorthand for, ‘I can tell you, love, the world is becoming a strange and unfamiliar place and I’ll be glad to get out of this game.’

‘Hey, Sarge,’ says the youngest officer guarding the door, ‘Fucked up or what?’

What is there to do but edge closer, along the path towards the door, though right now every piece of crime scene protocol, not always my strong suit anyway, has left my brain. Through the gap in the officers’ shoulders I can see an old man inside, sitting on a kitchen chair in the hall, eyes glassy-wide, face bruised, right arm hanging limply in his lap. His breath heaves in and out, high and thin, a papery crackle. A paramedic is trying to put an oxygen mask on him but he keeps pushing it off, mumbling, ‘My wife, my wife . . . please . . .’

About the author:

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.

Halfway, her fifth crime novel follows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e-books.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bevjoneswriting

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bev.jones.9083477

Website: http://bevjoneswriting.co.uk/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34040919-where-she-went
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beverley-Jones/e/B00F6I6XQG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

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#BlogTour #PromoPost : The Sky Woman by J. D. Moyer. @johndavidmoyer #RandomThingsTours @flametreepress

Blurb: Car-En, a ringstation anthropologist on her first Earth field assignment, observes a Viking-like village in the Harz mountains. As Car-En secretly observes the Happdal villagers, she begins to see them as more than research subjects (especially Esper, a handsome bow-hunter). When Esper’s sister is taken by an otherwordly sword-wielding white-haired man, she can no longer stand by as a passive witness. Knowing the decision might end her career, she cuts off communication with her advisor and pursues the abductor into the mountains.

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sky-Woman-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/1787580423/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540548267&sr=8-1&keywords=the+sky+woman+jd+moyer

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

About the author:

J.D. Moyer lives in Oakland, California, with his wife, daughter, and mystery-breed dog. He writes science fiction, produces electronic music in two groups (Jondi & Spesh and Momu), runs a record label (Loöq Records), and blogs at jdmoyer.com. His previous occupations include dolphin cognition researcher, martial arts instructor, Renaissance Faire actor, dance music event promoter, and database application developer.

J.D. has been reading and writing science fiction and fantasy since he was a boy, inspired by authors such as Susan Cooper, Piers Anthony, and Lloyd Alexander. As an adult his favorite authors include William Gibson, Octavia Butler, Iain Banks, Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell.

J.D. went to Berkeley High (other alumni include Philip K. Dick and Ursula K. Le Guin) and the University of California at Davis. After graduating, J.D. embarked on a long career as a music producer, DJ, label runner, and event promoter, culminating in world tours and music placement in film, television, and videogames (including Dance Dance Revolution) as well as the international hit “We Are Connected” made famous by John Digweed. After the birth of his daughter, he quit the DJ hustle and returned to his love of fiction writing.

His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, The InterGalactic Medicine Show, Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores, and Compelling Science Fiction. His story “The Icelandic Cure” won the 2016 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest. Recurring themes in his fiction include genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness, and evolutionary divergence.

Website : http://www.jdmoyer.com/

Twitter: @johndavidmoyer

#BlogTour #Review : Attend by West Camel. @west_camel @OrendaBooks #Attend

Blurb: When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.

My Review: I fell in love with this book through the cover, it’s so simple but having read the book the cover fits it perfectly.

I struggled with this book at first. It took time for me to get into it. I was enjoying it but I couldn’t work out where it was going or how all of the threads connected. However, it soon became clear that that was less important than I initially thought. The sections with Deborah were almost ethereal in nature, I was transfixed by her storytelling and then slowly began to se the threads of the story weaving together.

This is a story that takes you on a journey. It shows you how interconnected people’s lives can be but also makes you question your own and how you connect to family and friends, and to the world itself. All of us are threads in the tapestry of time and this story demonstrated that beautifully. Nothing is ever smooth sailing, even the best of plans can end up tangled and messy but that is what life is and if you unravel it, then what do you have? A plain piece of string with no meaning or context, until someone weaves it into another story.

This is a beautiful, captivating story that will stay with me long after this review is published. Completely unique and unforgettable.

About the author:

Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing.

He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his
work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghost-
writing a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,

A highly anticipated debut, blending the magical realism of Angela Carter
and the gritty authenticity of Eastenders and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.

#BlogTour #Review : Kosmos by Adrian Laing. @FlameTreePress #RandomThingsTours

Today I’m on the blog tour for Kosmos, an unusual but thoroughly enjoyable book. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and FlameTree Press for having me on this tour.

BLURB: Rookie barrister George Winsome, young and arrogant, defends an old boy who thinks he’s Merlin on a manslaughter charge. The riotous trial turns Merlin into a celebrity; money, greed and ambition take hold of George and his partner Heather until the secret of Merlin’s past is revealed as the spirit of Saint Yves intervenes to ensure George and Heather follow their true paths.
‘Kosmos’ is a modern-day jury trial, a feel-good love story and a spiritual journey involving Saint Yves, Nemesis and Merlin.

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kosmos-Fiction-Without-Frontiers-Adrian/dp/1787580512/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1543332815&sr=1-1

My Review: This is quite an unusual read and therefore tricky to review. It mainly concerns Merlin and George and Merlin’s court case so there is a lot of legal and courtroom scenes in it. This took me a little while to get into but once I did the story whizzed along. Some of the courtroom scenes and the scenes with Merlin were quite funny and the whole book had a feeling of quirkiness to it, which I enjoyed. Regardless of whether you believe there could be someone named Merlin alive today, having also been alive hundreds of years ago is irrelevant. The story draws you in, skeptical or not, and works its magic on you. I use the word magic here very specifically because something happens during that book. I don’t know what it is but I know when I finished reading I felt a lovely sense of calm which is not how I normally feel at the end of a book.

The characterisation is brilliant, I particularly liked Merlin and George. George was almost pompous to start with but develops over the course of the book into someone I liked and enjoyed reading about. Merlin was himself the whole way through, he had a lovely naivety of current culture and behaviours and was a fascinating character.

A large part of the story is the court case which is written in such a way that it is informative but not stuffy and dry. This part of the book was written in such a way that it flowed well despite the fact that court procedure had to be followed correctly and therefore there were legal terminology and processes to be included.

This is a story which takes you from people who are focused on what they can achieve and how they can do better in their own lives to people who wonder who they can make other people’s lives better. As the book cover says, it is a story of love and redemption and a funny and enjoyable one as well. Definitely worth a try if you want something different and something that will make you wonder what you would have done, if you were George.

About the author:

Adrian Laing was born in Harlow, Essex in 1958 and was educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow and Exeter University where he studied law, graduating in 1978. Adrian was called to the bar (Inner Temple) in 1979, aged 21. Following a sabbatical in Paris studying with Michel Foucault at the College de France, Adrian undertook a pupillage in chambers and was made a Tenant (2 Pump Court, Inner Temple) practicing at the criminal bar defending and prosecuting in jury trials for seven years.

Leaving the criminal bar in 1987 to pursue more commercial interests, Adrian worked as the Assistant Head of Licensing at the ITC during the Channel 3 franchise process and then as a full-time consultant to the Chief Executive of Thames Television (Richard Dunn), following which Adrian was appointed the Senior Broadcasting Lawyer for the Leeds-based firm of solicitors, Hammond Suddards working in the city of London.

In 1994 Adrian was selected to become the first in-house lawyer at the Murdoch-owned publishing house, HarperCollins, where he held the position of Director of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary till 2001 working with some of the leading authors and agents of the day.

Adrian qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and set up his own legal practice (Laing & Co) for over 10 years acting for a wide range of prestigious business clients and authors. Adrian presented or chaired a leading seminar for The London Book Fair 2003 to 2012.

Adrian Laing is the co-author with his wife (Deborah Fosbrook) of three leading law titles published by Bloomsbury Professional, the author of R.D. Laing: A Life a widely acclaimed biography of his late father, the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, and a novel, Rehab Blues.

Adrian has appeared on radio and television many times most notably the BBC documentary ‘Just Another Sinner’ and Saturday Live with James Runchie.

Adrian now lives in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

#BlogTour #Review : The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross. @rararesources @tyrannopaulus

Blurb:

Engella Rhys is alone, adrift and on the run. Pursued by a secret agency, known only as the Hunters, she must stay ahead to stay alive.

As she travels through space-time using dangerously experimental technology, she only has one wish: to be reunited with her lost parents. After a close shave with a Hunter on the streets of New Shanghai, Engella escapes to find herself on a deserted beach. When she meets a kind stranger, who offers her food and shelter, Engella feels safe and protected for the first time in years.
But who is this woman? And why did their paths cross at the most convenient of times?
Engella soon discovers their lives are intertwined in more ways than she could ever imagine.

Purchase Link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lights-Time-Chronicles-Engella-Rhys-ebook/dp/B07KCZ3GGG

https://www.amazon.com/Lights-Time-Chronicles-Engella-Rhys-ebook/dp/B07KCZ3GGG

My Review: Although this is not a long book there is a lot packed into it. The descriptions are vivid and clear and I could easily picture everywhere mentioned even though some of the places aren’t real. The main character’s are equally well described and easily visualised which is something that not every author manages to achieve.

As for the story itself, I really enjoyed it. It’s well written and fast paced and I found myself caught up in it and losing track of time. It’s a great story if you want something different to read for a few hours, something that will transport you somewhere quite different while still retaining some familiarity. It would also be a good book to start with if you want to try sci-fi/fantasy but don’t want to take on a large read yet. It’s a good story and one which I feel could be developed into more, I’d love to know more of the history behind Engella’s family and also what happened after this story finished. There is so much more to be discovered here and hopefully I will get the chance to discovered it in the future.

About the author:

Paul Ian Cross is a multi-award-winning children’s author and scientist from London, UK.

Paul works in clinical research (developing new medicines) and he’s also involved in science communication; presenting science to non-scientists. He enjoys his science career but he also has a real passion for writing stories! He likes introducing children to the wonders of science, especially reluctant readers. By introducing science creatively, he aims to spark their interest; allowing them to gain confidence with their reading. As a previous reluctant reader himself, he understands how hard it can be. But it’s all about making reading fun and interesting!

Paul’s nephew Hayden influenced his decision to become a writer. He loved seeing Hayden’s reaction when his sister Michelle first read one of Paul’s stories to him!

In his spare time, Paul likes to visit new and exciting places. One of his favourite places is Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye.

Paul’s debut picture book, Praxx and the Ringing Robot, won second prize in the ‘Picture Books 5 and Younger’ category at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2017. The book trailer also won first place in the ‘book trailer’ category at the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards later that year.

Paul’s second book, Planet Scrabbage and the Vegerons, won an honourable mention in both the ‘Picture Books 6 and Over’ and ‘Health’ categories at the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards 2018.

And that brings us to now… Paul is currently working on several new books. Paul’s debut upper middle grade novel will be published in 2018. The Lights of Time is the first novel in a brand-new series: The Chronicles of Engella Rhys.

Paul hopes you enjoy reading his stories as much as he enjoyed writing them!

Social Media Links –

http://www.pauliancross.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pauliancrossauthor

https://www.instagram.com/pauliancross.author/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pauliancross/

https://www.youtube.com/pauliancrossauthor

https://twitter.com/tyrannopaulus

Giveaway:

Giveaway – Win a Kindle HD Fire 7” and a signed copy of The Lights of Time (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494168/?

#BlogTour #Review : Good Samaritans by Will Carver. @will_carver @OrendaBooks #GoodSamaritans #SixBottlesofBleach

My Orenda blog tours are like buses this week, two in two days and both of them are amazing! Huge thanks to Orenda books and Anne Cater for having me on this tour.

Blurb: One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his
phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to
Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.

But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more
for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into
day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into
something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…

And someone is watching…

My Review: I’d heard about this book for a while before I knew about the blog tour and to say I was intrigued would be an understatement. The cover tells you all you need to know, the highlights of the story are on that perfectly designed cover.

On the one hand this is a simple story, people are making phonecalls, wires get crossed and the consequences are not something anyone would like to experience. However, this simple premise has been crafted into an addictive story which keeps you reading even though you can barely bring yourself to turn the pages. There are so many layers and so much depth to this book that I’m still thinking about bits of it over a week after I finished reading it. Given how many books I read and review it takes a stand out book for that to happen.

This is a dark, very dark story which I loved. I think it appealled to my dark side and it was such fun being able to let that side of me out again for a while. It’s not a book for the faint hearted but if you think you can handle it you are going to be in for such a ride. The characters are just, they just are. I can’t think of the word for it. They are so normal looking from the outside but haven’t people always been told appearances can be deceptive? And what about the other saying, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. That is so very true in this case.

In case you haven’t guessed I LOVED this book. I don’t often rave like this but when I do it is because the book deserves it. Every page brings something new and unexpected, every chapter makes you reassess what you thought you knew and also makes you question how well we truly know those around us. If you haven’t read this book yet then why not, what are you waiting for. I’m not even sad I’ve finished it because I know if I re-read it (and I will) that I will see nuances that I missed the first time. This is definitely a must-read but also a must re-read, many, many times over. I need more books by this author!!

About the author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January
David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but
returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.

#BlogTour #Review : The Lingering by SJI Holliday. @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks #TheLingering

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Lingering. Many thanks to Orenda Books and Anne Cater for having me on this tour.

Blurb: Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient
commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

My Review: I don’t quite know what to say about this book. I’m not really a fan of creepy stories but the comments I heard about this book made it clear I had to read it. It started off as intriguing, right from page one woth some little snippets and then Jack and Ali’s arrival at the house. It was a strange book right, from the beginning I felt unsettled reading it and then came the scary parts. I thought I deal with them quite well, that was until I left the lovely lit room I was in and walked into the rest of my flat. I have a habit of not switching lights on unless absolutely necessary, something, I think, connected to being told as I was growing up to switch off lights that weren’t needed. If I can see in the dark I tend not to bother using the light but that’s not something I would advise others to do while reading this book. My home is safe, quiet and nothing odd happens but even knowing that, walking into a dark hallway had me a little jumpy and the suddenly creaky bathroom door just made things worse! If you’re the sort of person who reads in the bath I would perhaps choose a different book for that and stick to reading this one somewhere dry.

This is a very unsettling book, it gets under your skin in a different way from others I’ve read. I’m convinced you could read this on a sunny day in a huge, empty field and still feel claustrophobic and like you were being watched. Quite how the author created that feeling I don’t know but it’s there constantly. You can put the book down and come back to it the next day and within seconds of picking it up the unsettled, claustrophobic feeling is back. This is what makes this book work. The writing creates something so believable that you could put anything in the story, from talking cats to aliens to furniture that can move and I would have read it in the same questionning way that I read the actual book.

There are so many aspects of this story, some known at the beginning and others revealed as the story progresses and I think that adds to the unsettled feeling. Most people like to feel they have some element of control over their lives but when reading this book you have no control, you can believe that you know what is going on but you don’t actually know much at all.

I still don’t quite know what to make of this book. I know I enjoyed it, the visualisation I had throughout and the fact that I lost track of time while reading are definitely signs I enjoyed it but I still feel slightly unsettled even after finishing it. This book is going to stay with me for some time. Something tells me I’m not going to escape that trace of underlying creepiness any time soon.

No one has come in from the rain recently so where did those wet footprints come from……………..

About the author:

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and
The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has
dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of
December.

Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.