Today’s book review of a crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
You can read my review of Paul’s first Warren Jones novel here.
No Smoke Without Fire by Paul Gitsham
Synopsis: DCI Warren Jones has a bad feeling when the body of a young woman turns up in Beaconsfield Woods. She’s been raped and strangled but the murderer has been careful to leave no DNA evidence. There are, of course, suspects – boyfriend, father – to check out but, worryingly, it looks more and more like a stranger murder. Warren’s worst fears are confirmed when another young woman is killed in the same way. The MO fits that of Richard Cameron who served twelve years for rape. But Cameron never killed his victims and he has a cast-iron alibi.
Then personal tragedy intervenes and Warren is off the case. But the pressure is mounting and another woman goes missing. Warren is back but will the break he desperately needs come before there’s another victim?
Author bio: Paul Gitsham started his career as a biologist, working in such exotic locales as Manchester and Toronto. After stints as the world’s most over-qualified receptionist and a spell making sure that international terrorists and other ne’er do wells hadn’t opened a Junior Savings Account at a major UK bank (a job even less exciting than being a receptionist) he retrained as a Science Teacher. He now spends his time passing on his bad habits and sloppy lab-skills to the next generation of enquiring minds. Paul has always wanted to be a writer and his final report on leaving primary school predicted he’d be the next Roald Dahl! For the sake of balance it should be pointed out that it also said “he’ll never get anywhere in life if his handwriting doesn’t improve”. Twenty five years later and his handwriting is worse than ever but millions of children around the world love him.* You can learn more about Paul’s writing at www.paulgitsham.com or www.facebook.com/dcijones. *This is a lie, he says, just ask any of the pupils he has taught.
Review (of the eBook using Mrs Kindle’s text-to-speech function)
After a useful synopsis, we meet the victim early on and the discovery of a body is soon after. Warren has his suspects, related to the victim, and as they’re brought in for questioning, they’re soon disregarded. Warren and his colleague, Tony Sutton, move on to another possible culprit, the description of whom is very well written, as is that of the village he lives in (with its two warring pubs, it reminds me of a small town I used to live in).
The description heightens further as the killer strikes again and I said “ahhh” at the woman’s final moments, which shows how realistic the scene was.
As Warren builds a picture of the women and who would want to kill them, the writing felt realistic although I wondered why another colleague, Gary, had to try up to 300 gym lockers with one of the women’s key when, surely, it would have had a number on it. A similar instance occurred later and again this leapt out at me.