Babus chose to read The Green Room by Faith Mortimer
Please find below my review of The Green Room
Ella Mallory a young theatre nurse who lives in Guilford, she is shocked and appalled by the recent local rape and murders of a number of women. However, her boyfriend Michael, who is a police constable leads her to see some links between the women and subsequently she suspects Liam, a colleague she works with and then mysterious new tenant, Tim as possible culprits. But what Ella doesn’t know is she is in grave danger…
I enjoyed reading this crime/suspense/mystery thriller, which is a stand alone thriller despite being part of a series, but I did not find a convincing psychological aspect to the story and as such it lacked that sharp sense of fear and anticipation I associate with a good psychological thriller. I found myself urging Ella to stop at various times during the book as she seemed to make the most awful judgments in terms of the men in her life.
I did predict the ending but the climactic end to the book was exciting to read in this fact paced crime thriller.
The 2015 Mystery Thriller Golden Rose Book award went to
Rose Edmunds and her book Concealment
Rose Edmunds lives in Brighton with her husband David. She gained a degree in mathematics at the University of Sussex and a PhD from Cardiff University, before qualifying as a chartered accountant and embarking on a successful career advising entrepreneurial businesses together with their owners. In 2007, after more than 20 years working for leading accountancy firms, she jumped off the corporate hamster wheel and now writes financial thrillers with a strong ethical theme. Her writing draws heavily on her considerable insight into the business world and in particular the uncomfortable conflict between individual and corporate objectives. Rose is also a trustee of Brightside, a charity helping young people to access career and education opportunities they might not have believed were available to them.
Amy is at the top of her game as a finance professional despite a traumatic childhood. But the higher she climbs, the greater her fear of falling.
Her new boss Ed sniffs out insecurity like a shark smelling blood. He’s trashed dozens of careers on a whim and has Amy lined up as his next victim.
When a young colleague is murdered, Amy’s fragile equilibrium is shattered. A client’s fraud may be linked to the killing, but no one seems to care.
Caught in a tangle of business and personal connections, and fighting for her sanity, can Amy find the moral courage to uncover the truth?
After bartending his way around Spain and the West End of London, Robert Leigh returned to his home city of Liverpool and began writing. Leigh’s works include The Retribution Trilogy (third book currently in production) and From Lime Street to Yirgacheffe (a true story, of sorts…).
Before Shaun, there was Joe.
DI Edwards was called to the scene of a shooting. Four of the deceased were well known to him. The fifth man remained a mystery.
Until he woke up.
His name was Joe, a misfit shelf stacker living on the Forest Estate. As the investigation continues, DI Edwards finds himself being drawn deeper into Joe’s world of vigilante revenge. But will the truth of Joe’s actions ever fully be revealed?
Welcome to Day 27 of the #MysteryNovember Book Tour.
Our guest today is Faith Mortimer with her book A Brutal Trade.
Even on a small island the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…It began like any normal day in Cyprus…except it wasn’t…the body of a woman brutally murdered and discovered in a shallow grave changes all that. It is only days later when amateur sleuth, Diana Rivers and old flame, Chief Superintendent Adam Lovell discover a second female victim…only this time the discovery is even more chilling and shocks the island inhabitants. Joining forces with local policeman, Sergeant Yiannis Loukiades, the three embark on a journey which takes them to the fringes of humanity. Disturbing secrets are unearthed. They are on the hunt for killers who will stop at nothing in their hunt for one vital woman. As the bodies mount up, the detectives ask themselves one question. What is the reason for the women’s deaths and their horrific mutilations? With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Diana finds herself exposed to great danger…in the sights of a lethal individual who’ll put a stop to her meddling. Each move could be deadly… vicious in its outcome…can the team bring a halt to this brutal trade?
Where is your home town?
My home town is Bishop’s Waltham in Hampshire – a small market town which has its roots going back to Mediaeval England. Indeed our house overlooks the 12th century Bishop’s Palace which was the home of the Bishops of Winchester dating from that early century.
What do you like about writing mystery?
I love writing mysteries as so often I start off with an idea and theme, only to find that the story takes me somewhere else. Very often when writing about a crime, the method of crime and/or murderer changes halfway into the book. This happens so often I am no longer surprised! It seems as if the story has a will and life of its own…spooky!
Where sub-genre f mystery does your book fit?
The mystery I have chosen, A Brutal Trade is set in Cyprus, and crosses the sub-genres of…detective, female sleuth, International Crime and Mystery.
Where is your book set?
The book is set on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus, a land of lemon and olive trees.
Introduce us to the main characters?
The main characters are female sleuth Diana Rivers, her husband and soul-mate, Steve. An old lover of hers, Detective Chief Superintendent Adam Lovell and his own partner Clare. The Cypriot contingent is made up of Sergeant Yiannis Loukiades and Doctors Helena Sergio and Victoria.
Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?
Karen chose to read and review A Brutal Trade by Faith Mortimer
This time, Diana and her husband have visitors from England in their house: Adam Lovell and Clare are back in Cyprus. Once again, Diana and Adam stumble across a mutilated body. As a reader, I automatically tried to solve this strange case.
With A Brutal Trade, Faith Mortimer has created an immensely thrilling suspense story with local flair. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, nicely woven situations and interesting interactions to solve the horrible crimes. I had an exciting time reading A Brutal Trade – it is a very compelling read. I was drawn into the story right away, thrilled to solve the mystery alongside Diana. This is for you if you like (stubborn and determined) female sleuths, crime writers, suspense with twists and local flair, chilling discoveries.
A very suspenseful book and/or series to read again.
This was my first Diana Rivers book, and it will not be my last. I enjoyed meeting an amateur sleuth, who is not afraid to be brave and place herself at risk during an investigation.
A brutal murder shocks the residents of Cyprus, as Diana Rivers and her ex-fiancé, Chief Superintendent Adam Lovell, and local police officer, Sergeant Yiannis Loukiades, investigate the disturbing murders, and hunt down the merciless killers, until they finally discover the motivations behind the atrocious mutilations, and the culprits.
The crimes are horrendous, so the villains are very dangerous and malevolent indeed. The sleuths, at first are slow at understanding what is happening, which makes the first third a little slower, as the reader guesses what the clues mean before the detectives do so. However, the second part is gripping, as the investigation is picks up and the chilling story unfolds the all the way up to the exciting finale.
Although it is set in idyllic Cyprus, it is not a beach read. The title says it all. This is not a novel for the fainthearted. The crimes depicted are very upsetting and ultimately, although as with most crime novels, the murder is finally solved, nevertheless the type of immoral law breaking described is far from eradicated. The abuse of undocumented immigrants, human trafficking, and organ theft, especially perpetrated on women, is an ugly business, which will exist as long as someone is able to benefit financially from the poverty, cruelty and ignorance of others.
As Diana says at the end of the novel, ‘This wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. She would carry on with the fight. So God help her.’
She chose to read and review Childhunt by Faith Mortimer
By Faith Mortimer
Review by Heidi Lynn
First, I would love to thank Faith Mortimer and Rosie Amber for providing me this book to review.
Faith Mortimer’s Childhunt put me in a trance where I could not stop reading this book until I knew what happened to little Charlie and Hannah. This book was filled with all sorts of twists and turns, mystery, suspense, accidents, stalkers, killers, paedophiles, abductions, gypsies, and hypnotism.
Childhunt was extremely well written. Faith’s attention to details made the story more vivid to the readers.
Philip was a sick, twisted, evil, selfless, creepy, paedophile of a man. I absolutely hated his character with every fibre of my being.
Charlie and Hannah pulled on my heart strings when they were around Mummy. They were so excited that Christmas was coming. I loved how cute Hannah was when she lisped.
Debbie’s story of her past really kept me on my toes. The same time it saddened me to learn of all her heartbreak. Claire was the one that helped guide her through her discovery.
This book would make such an amazing movie-that I would totally go see.
Karen chose to read and review Childhunt by Faith Mortimer
This book does not take Diana and her husband Steve away from their home in Agios Mamas, Cyprus. Instead, her friend Clare and former lover Adam come to Cyprus as promised when the last met in Cheltenham. Two small children vanish from the neighbourhood, triggering Diana’s inner sleuth. As a reader, I automatically tried to solve this strange case and enjoyed it – despite the shocking topic!
With Childhunt, Faith Mortimer has once again created a thrilling suspense story with local flair. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, nicely woven situations and interesting interactions to solve the vanishing of two children and a previous hideous crime. I had a great time reading Childhunt – it is a very intriguing read with a story you don’t easily forget. I was drawn into the story right away, thrilled to solve the mystery alongside Diana. This is for you if you like female sleuths, crime writers, suspense with twists and local flair.
A suspenseful book and/or series to read again. I’m eagerly waiting for the opportunity to read the instalments I haven’t read, yet.
Karen chose to read and review Camera..Action..Murder by Faith Mortimer
This book and/or an invitation by Duncan and Isabelle Macpherson takes Diana and her husband Steve to Cheltenham for a photo shoot as a stage play they once participated in was to be turned into a film. The death of a young actress triggers Diana’s inner sleuth. As a reader, I automatically tried to solve this strange case – and enjoyed it!
With Camera…Action…Murder!, Faith Mortimer has once again created a thrilling suspense story with local flair. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, nicely woven situations and interesting interactions to solve a set of crimes. I had a great time reading Camera…Action…Murder! – it is a very intriguing read. I was drawn into the story right away, thrilled to solve the mystery alongside Diana. This is for you if you like female sleuths, crime writers, suspense with twists and local flair.
A suspenseful book and/or series to read again. I’m eagerly waiting for the opportunity to read the previous volumes of the series.
Barb chose to review Camera, Action, Murder by Faith Mortimer
My Review: 3 stars out of 5
With its echoes of Agatha Christie, the premise of Camera…Action…Murder! sounded promising. Amateur sleuth Diana Rivers is a writer but has been having trouble actually finishing her next book following the birth of her daughter. She’s bored. So when she and her husband are invited to travel from their home in Cyprus to attend a reunion of their old theater company at a posh country house estate in England, she’s thrilled, despite her memories of a still-unsolved assault fifteen years earlier. In best Christie style, we meet Diana’s old friends, and are introduced to the simmering brew of old resentments and new tensions at some length before the first murder occurs, followed by the second killing.
The story certainly seems to follow the Christie “formula”. First Mortimer gives us the setting, then we see the murders. Wound around those are the three story strands—the main murder whodunit, the hint of romance as happily-married Diana encounters former lover/current police inspector Adam, and the touch of evil as it becomes clear that multiple transgressions (including that never-solved assault) have been committed by various characters.
But for me, reading Faith Mortimer’s Camera…Action…Murder! is like entering a time warp. I know it’s supposed to have a contemporary setting, but everything feels like it’s in what TV Tropes calls Genteel Interbellum Setting, that vaguely between-World-Wars era of women in furs and cocktail dresses, men in dinner jackets, country houses and estates, and sophisticated banter. So on the rare occasions when Diana or another character gets a text message, it feels as out of sync as if Darth Vader and Obi Wan had whipped out their light sabers in McDonalds. With the country house setting and the (to my American ears) stilted posh British conversation, it seemed that nothing significant occurred that couldn’t have happened in a 1930s drawing room (or in a game of Clue/Cluedo).
I admit that it’s probably unfair to come in at the middle of the series, and then blame the author for not providing basic information about characters or setting. But I went through much of the book with the only information about Diana’s husband Steve being that he’s “handsome” and that they met while both were actors in the same theater company. Her daughter Poppy is “adorable”, and Diana herself apparently has “long glossy hair”. I have no idea what any of them look like, what Steve does (other than repair old lamps), or what their life is like.
The setting for the story, England’s Cotswolds district—one of the most beautiful and charming areas of that or any other country—is described like something out of a slightly-stuffy travel guide (“The Cotswolds were well known for gentle hillsides (wolds), sleepy villages, and for being so typically English. She loved the non-cemented dry-stone walls everywhere. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century walls represented an important historical landscape and were a major conservation feature.”) I would have loved to have the characters experience these details themselves and share that with readers. For example, what if their investigations or even just their travels could have taken them into one of the local churches, where they marvel at finding something that rivals a cathedral located in a tiny village. Or perhaps as they examine a medieval church ceiling covered with carvings, they could learn some tiny fact that helps resonate later in the story. Instead, we’re treated to a passage that sounds like it could have come straight from a history textbook: “During the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries—the medieval period—native Cotswold sheep were famous throughout Europe for their heavy fleeces and the high quality of wool they produced. Cotswold wool commanded a high price, so the wealth generated by the wool trade enabled wealthy traders to leave their mark by building fine houses and wonderful churches, known as wool churches.” Not only is this a lot of tell instead of show, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.
For me, Agatha Christie’s books succeed on two levels. Level One is first and foremost the characters. Each of them, but especially the detective, is fully rounded and fleshed out with charming idiosyncrasies or ominous foibles. But in Camera…Action…Murder, I had a difficult time feeling like I knew anything at all about amateur detective Diana, so I never felt any connection with her.
Level Two is that surprise ending. Christie herself caught readers with the twist at the end by systematically breaking almost every rule of detective stories. There’s a story—perhaps apocryphal—that Agatha Christie was almost kicked out of the Detection Club for breaking their rules of detective fiction, and only saved by the single dissenting vote of then-president Dorothy L Sayers. (Yep, there was such a club and they actually did write down rules for detective fiction.) And it’s pretty indisputable that Agatha Christie—who served as its president from 1957-1976—also regularly broke most of those detective story rules. Of course readers are attracted to different types of mystery and detective stories. But one thing most agree is that they enjoy looking at the clues and trying to figure things out with—or before!—the sleuth. That’s why “You’re probably wondering why I’ve asked you all here” is a trope that’s kept working so well for so long. Sadly, for me the twist in Camera…Action…Murder! was telegraphed almost immediately, and so the surprise factor was lacking.
In trying to assign a rating, I’m a little torn. On the one hand, I enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the interactions of the various players. On the other hand, the actual denouement seemed forced. I didn’t see a clear reason for something that had smoldered for years to suddenly drive the murderer to act. Saying that the murderer is insane is easy, but would someone that out of touch with reality have the ability to engage in such meticulously premeditated actions?
For readers who’ve already followed this series from its beginning, of course, it’s possible that none of my issues would apply. For them, or for any readers who aren’t as skeptical about motives, Camera…Action…Murder! is an undemanding and entertaining read. For those reasons, I’d give it three stars and I’d definitely read more from Faith Mortimer. But I’d be pretty excited if the next book steps out of Christie’s shadow to not only let us get to know Diana, but challenges Diana grow and change in ways Christie’s Poirot and Marple never achieved.