– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –
About the Author :
Susan Handley grew up in the Midlands and now lives in a small village in rural Kent with her husband and two rescue cats, Charlie and Porridge (aka Podge).
As a child, Susan devoured anything crime related: books, films, TV shows and even games (anyone remember electronic detective? – a game Susan professes to have been a whizz at). Although she had dreamt of becoming a pathologist like Quincy (one of her favourite shows growing up), Susan went on to study chemistry and went as far as getting her doctorate in it. Soon, however, she came to the conclusion that lab work wasn’t for her and went on to have a successful career in finance.
It was during her time at university, on learning that her mother had finally read the complete collection of Agatha Christie’s classic crime novels, Susan bought a second-hand Olivetti and attempted to write one of her own, intent on giving it to her mother as a Christmas present. Susan readily confesses the end result left a lot to be desired but says it did whet her appetite for crime writing. Over the years that followed, she never stopped dreaming of becoming an author and after many years of writing at night she finally published her debut novel: A Confusion of Crows, the first of her books to feature one-time marine biologist now turned detective Cat McKenzie. She has written a further two novels in the DC Cat McKenzie mystery series. The second, Feather and Claw, sees Cat holidaying with a friend in sunny Cyprus, though things take a sinister turn after a fellow guest is found dead. In the third book of the series, The Body Politic, Cat investigates the murder of a local councillor but it’s the links to a member of her own family that leaves her wondering whether you ever really know anyone at all.
Susan’s most recent novel is Paid in Blood, the first in a new series to feature DI Matt Fisher. DI Fisher was en route to being one of the country’s top scorers in football’s premier league until injury forced him from the pitch and into the police force. And it was working out well, until he put himself between a young woman and a terrorist brandishing a bottle of acid. Now blind, Fisher finds himself fighting to keep his job, so when a beautiful celebrity is found dead at a glitzy art event, he’s determined to figure out who did it and prove he can still hack it as a detective.
In addition to the DC Cat McKenzie series, Susan has published two crime fiction anthologies: Crime Bites (volumes 1 and 2). She has also published a novella set at the height of the Californian gold, The Secret of Snake Pass, which is published under the name S.J. Handley.
When Susan’s not indulging in her love of writing crime fiction she loves walking (the hillier the better), bike riding (the flatter the better) and tending her garden, especially her veggie patch.
A dead celebrity loved by the nation.
A blind detective with something to prove.
When a well-loved celebrity is found murdered at a glitzy art event, DI Matt Fisher is faced with his first big case since being blinded in an acid-attack. Despite most people thinking his return to his old job is an impossible task, Fisher is determined to prove them wrong.
With his guide dog Luna at his side and the assistance of eager yet inexperienced DC Beth Nightingale, Fisher must find a way to see through the lies and expose a ruthless killer.
He’s had his fair share of bad luck in the past but has always managed to bounce back. Can he do it again, or are his days as a detective numbered?
There are a lot of (new) detective / crime series around these days and I must confess I don’t pick them up as much as I used to do as I’m feeling the lead characters have become rather carbon-copies of one another.
So ‘Paid in Blood’ had my attention when I read the synopsis saying that DI Matt Fisher was blinded in an attack and this would be his first case.
I was convinced that he would pull it off of course, because being wheelchair bounded I know we’re thougher than people think, but I was more than intrigued.
At the start I had the feeling that the introduction of the characters / suspects was a bit rushed or a bit thin as I had the feeling that we needed to know more about the dynamics between everyone.
This said, the main detective characters were fleshed out a lot better and I immediately liked Matt, although he can be seen as rather blunt, gruff or prickly.
But wouldn’t you be if everyone just wanted to see you fail just because they think you’re less capable of doing the same job as them all because of an impairment?
It made my blood boil how some of his colleagues reacted to him, especially his boss and his wife!
How I hate these women from the get-go and yes, I know he isn’t perfect, far from, but yeah… Team disabled! 🙂
This said however, I really enjoyed reading this book as it’s well written, with great twists and a uniqueness I haven’t read in a long time.
An interesting start of a new series I certainly will be following up on as I like the personae very much and the author has a fluent writing style that keeps you hooked page after page.
I’m thirsty for more crime related adventures with Matt, Beth and of course Luna, the guide dog.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds