Today I am delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for When The Killing Starts by the fabulous writing duo Carol & Bob, AKA R C Bridgestock. As part of my stop you can read my thoughts on this brilliant novel as well as sharing a fabulous guest post from the authors. The book just happens to be published today so would also like to wish a Happy Publication Day to Carol & Bob.
Crime is a way of life for the Devlin brothers. Groomed at an early age and trained as criminals by local gangsters, the Devlin brothers get their thrill out of creating fear among their victims. They have a macabre pact; not to be arrested or caged.
Brutality hits the town of Harrowfield when the scourge of the community is found dead, his companion slaughtered. The locals react with praise for the killers.
The same day firefighters respond to a fire but lose the fight to save Merton Manor. Amongst the debris two bodies are discovered; executed.
As Dylan struggles to cope with the pressure, armed officers await his judgement call.
Can he remain professional or will he release his anger?
When The Killing Starts is the 7th novel in the DI Jack Dylan series, even though I have really enjoyed all the books in the series, without a doubt in my mind, When The Killing Starts is the best one to date. The authors have really upped their game in this book to deliver an horrific case that will chill any reader to the bone.
The story starts off with an extremely brutal crime that was slightly out of my comfort zone. I had a very mixed reaction to it. It certainly got the adrenaline going and the crime thriller fan in me couldn’t get enough, but as a human being I have to admit it did make for some uncomfortable reading. The remainder of the story though is Dylan and his team working on catching the culprits and boy what a gripping ride that was.
Not only does Jack have a serious crime to investigate, he also has a lot going off in his personal life. My heart really goes out to him in this book. He is always such a strong character but the readers get to see a vulnerable side to him and I loved how the authors tackle a tough subject and not only show how it affects the woman, but how it affects the man also.
It’s almost like Jack is two different people. At work he seems to wear this mask that has him appearing as a toughened detective that can pretty much handle anything but then when he is at home, the mask slips and we get a glimpse of the caring and loving man that he is that only his wife and daughter really gets to see.
When The Killing Starts really is quite an exceptional novel. The authors always manage to get me feeling a whole array of emotions which is something I never expected through reading crime books. The different crimes featured grab the readers attention and keeps them hooked from beginning to end. The tension and excitement that builds through this one is just brilliant and as I’m sure you have guessed by now, I absolutely blooming well loved it!
A brilliant crime series that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.
When The Killing Starts is out NOW, and available to purchase from Amazon.
Five things we can’t write without…
Coffee: I saw this quote the other day and it made me smile, ‘I don’t have a problem with coffee. I have a problem without coffee.’ Caffeine has always been Bob’s crutch. He would drink copious amounts of it to help him function after a night shift, onto an early turn. The turnaround for that tour of duty is eight hours from clocking off to clocking on the next day. If Bob was working a late shift and the job he was doing required overtime, I’ve known him have less than a couple of hours with his ‘head down’ – that’s not to say two hours sleep. Many a time he would be called upon during the night to give advice at the scene of a suspicious death, or to a negotiating job which could be anything from a kidnap situation to suicide intervention. Then he’d crawl back to bed in the early hours, in the hope of snatching an extra hour before he was due back at work. I’m fully aware that good nutrition underpins everything and wholeheartedly recommend it BUT when it comes to coffee I’m afraid Bob is a lost cause… 😉 Me, I love Horlicks.
Little known fact:-Caffeine Nights Publishing is the name of our publishers and it was the name that initially attracted us to pitch at them.
The Wight Fair Writers Writing Circle: We started, and chaired, The Wight Fair Writers Circle for five years. It’s a group we set up in 2008 after fellow would-be writers, with a story to tell, finished a ‘Write Your First Novel’ college course we’d done together – this is my favourite tool of all. The Circle provides moral support these days for not only writers but artists too. The members share hopes and dreams. Being part of a group with like-minded people is healthy competition. Seeing others produce work is the best motivation for a me when I’m not writing.
A Leap of Faith & Self belief: No matter how stuck you are at the start of a book, or how unwieldy your manuscript becomes as you wade deeper into it, you have to believe in yourself enough to keep writing. If I get stuck it usually means that I don’t understand what I’m writing about and research, via the internet or speaking to others, usually puts me quickly back on track.
Everyone has the potential to be a writer. Telling yourself ‘I’m just not a writer,’ is just an empty excuse. Just start writing words on a page. You can go back and revise what you have. But if you don’t start you’ll never know where you are trying to go. Most importantly don’t wait for the perfect words, the notion of immediate perfection that will instantly create a flawless piece of art, because you’ll end up sat at your desk in fear. I once read that you should think of re-writing like cleaning a messy room: start tidying one small corner at a time.
Characters: I have to fall in love with my characters. I carry the voices around in my head. One particular character in the Dylan series has pushed herself to the fore and I now find i’m writing her unwittingly as Dylan’s sidekick. Oh, how I love Vicky Hardacre.
Research: We pride ourselves on being up-to-date on past and present day UK police procedures and as a result Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and National and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents. Over the last three years we have been Consultants to Sally Wainwright for BAFTA winning BBC 1 police series ‘Happy Valley’ – BBC Radio 4’s news programme PM talking about our work on the award winning TV drama. https://soundcloud.com/user-237563108/radio-4-pm-rc-bridgestock-1
We are also credited consultants on ITV 1 Scott & Bailey series 4 and we were thrilled to be asked to take part in Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I. The Disappearance of Albert Lowenstein http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0495dsf
Our contacts within the police service keep us updated with changes that are afoot. Whilst consulting on Happy Valley the names of several police departments and role profiles changed. Overnight it seemed, the call sign of the police helicopter was altered from X-Ray 99 to NPAS (National Police Air Support). SOCO (Scenes Of Crime Office(r)) changed to CSI (Crime Scene Investigation (Investigator)) and just before they started filming Happy Valley SOCA (Serious & Organised Crime Agency) changed to NCA (National Crime Agency).
We also use ‘Mr Google’, as my mum calls the internet search engine, and visit our friends at the Bradford Police Museum. The Dylan series starts in the mid nineties so there is a lot of changes to research during that period. Even though we worked for the police during that time frame our memories for dates often fail us. These minor details make such a difference to the police following. To show you how important correct procedure is to us, in our books this is part of the acknowledgement in When The Killing Starts. ‘Thanks too, to Lisa Rothwell, Tactical Flight Officer (TFO), West Yorkshire Police and Sarah Dodsworth, West Yorkshire police mounted section for their advice in this novel.’ Factual knowledge that can only be told by someone who does the job, helps us to give our readers the most realistic experience possible in our fictional tales.’