Friday 25 December 2020



Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 December 2020
This is an excellent and gripping story that revolves around a 
serial killer who strikes just before, and on, St Valentine’s Day. 
This central core is interwoven with some of the police officers’ 
back-stories, including one whose cousin is in thrall to a group 
of drug dealers. It’s a kind of matriarchy whose tentacles it’s 
almost impossible to escape. There’s more than just this, though.
 It’s a densely-woven fabric of a story and I whizzed through it. I enjoyed it hugely.

I don't usually post individual reviews of my work, 
but when you get your first for a new novel it means a lot. 
Not only was this the first review, it's the first time anyone 
has given me any feedback on the novel. Of course,
I'm delighted that she liked it and I'd like to express a
heart-felt thanks for the thought and the effort taken to
 read and evaluate. 
It may seem strange that this is my first feedback and 
that probably says more about me than anything else. 
After working closely will the lovely Allan Guthrie 
right through the first book in the series, I was lucky 
enough to have his input into thinking about aspects of
 the story arc for Valentine. After that, it's pretty much 
been a solitary venture. Because the book was already 
signed as part of a series, there was no direct feedback 
from the publisher either- I think that possibly gets lost
 in the journey when one book follows another. 
So, a huge thank you and a happy Christmas to 
Kath Middleton.
Can I also pass on my Christmas wishes to everyone
 who has popped in over the last year or who has taken
 the time to read any of my work. It's been tough and
 we've all had to dig deep. I know my personal reserves 
all but ran out months ago, but there's hope and I'm clinging 
to that with the strength I have left. Be happy and healthy 
and try and appreciate the good things about what you have. 

My Funny Valentine is available from the links below:

• Amazon — Trade Paperback | eBook
• Amazon UK — Trade Paperback | eBook
• Barnes & Noble — Trade Paperback | eBook
• iTunes — eBook
• Kobo — eBook
• Play — eBook

Wednesday 16 December 2020

One Man's Opinion: LIKE LOVE by ED McBAIN

It's 173 pages long and it catches the interest from the off, so it's a mystery to me that it took me almost four months to read this, my latest in the line of 87th Precinct novels. Truth is, it's not likely to be the book's fault at all- I put it down to losing my way and unraveling since March. It's been the kind of fragmentation that builds up without being noticed, but I guess the pieces must be coming back together just now otherwise I wouldn't have finished it at all. 

Like Love opens with a suicide and moves onto a huge explosion and the discovery of two semi-naked bodies sharing a bed. The woman is married to someone else, a bottle of whisky has been consumed and there's a suicide note to explain their final moments of life. Thing is, none of those involved in the case believe the note and there are enough clues to investigate further. 

I was getting on really well with it until I reached a section where it's revealed that Bert Kling has turned sour following on from recent events, which was a pretty hard pill to swallow. After that, I lost momentum and stopped reading altogether. 

When I picked it up again, the threads were still tight and the case was still fascinating. The clues were finally put together in about the most unusual circumstances I can remember and all's well that ends well.

Truth be told, it took so long I can't give it any sense of detail. I enjoyed it and there are terrific scenes which means I'll recommend it to the house. Whether my slow reading was down to the book, you might get a better idea from the guys at Hark, the 87th Precinct podcast

And speaking of podcasts, my brother Geoff''s been at it again. His latest series involves the discussion of music by Elizabeth Alker and Stuart Maconie and it's called Notable if you fancy checking it out. 

Nothing to do with podcasts, my latest, My Funny Valentine, has it's first review. It's courtesy of Ignite (a top #1000 reviewer here in the UK) and it's a real Christmas cracker: "It’s a densely-woven fabric of a story and I whizzed through it. I enjoyed it hugely." Other than a vaccine, what better shot in the arm could there possibly be than that?