'Two intriguing cases – one twisted plot.' – Alison Bruce
'Stylish, skilful and packed with suspense.' – Sharon Bolton
SOMETIMES THE PAST IS BEST LEFT ALONE
The quiet Buckinghamshire village of Houghton is reeling. Soon after twelve year old Leanne Richards is killed by a hit and run driver, the two classmates who were with her that night disappear, one by one.
Jade and Becky said they couldn’t identify the car or the driver. Does someone want to make sure it stays that way? Or are other, darker motives in play?
As DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines search for the truth, buried pasts and secret loves begin to reveal themselves. But is time running out for the girls? Or is it already too late?
PRAISE FOR ARCHER AND BAINES:
‘You’ll enjoy this if you liked Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Gillian Hamer's Gold Detectives series and Val McDermid's Wire in the Blood’ - J J Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs novels.
Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Blood That Binds by Dave Sivers, published in ebook on 4 April 2017.
I'm really pleased to welcome the author, Dave Sivers, here to Random Things today. He's talking about the books that have inspired him and left a lasting impression on his life, in his My Life In Books.
My Life In Books ~ Dave Sivers
First my lovely mum taught me to love stories, reading to me all the time when I was small. Then she taught me my letters, so I could read by the time I started school. I never had my nose out of a book, and that love of books and stories has never left me. So picking out a handful of the most special reads has proved mightily difficult.
Mr Twink and the Pirates by Freda Hurt. Illustrated by Nina Scott Langley.
Reading stories led to writing them, and I wrote my first book when I was about six – and it was a crime novel! Freda Hurt (sometimes Freda Mary Hurt) wrote a whole series of books featuring the cat detective Mr Twink and his canine sidekick, Sergeant Boffer. The pair used to clear up crimes in the local animal world, and my first book was… well, let’s call it a homage, with my own dog cast as the sleuth… to this one, which I think featured marauding rats. The books are sadly out of print now, but you can still find a few on Amazon for an obscene amount of money.
Miss Jones, who all the boys, and probably some of the girls, were secretly in love with, read this to my primary school class in daily episodes. It blew me away. It was the first time I’d truly understood how a book can send you tumbling through the pages into a different world with its own lore, its own good vs evil struggles, and where magic is really possible. The adult in me sees some flaws in the logic of the Narnia books (and J R R Tolkien apparently used to ridicule him over this), but they are still enthralling tales with wonderful characters and an ability to draw you through a range of emotions.
Okay, so most people have this one. But the Middle Earth stories are the ones I’ve constantly come back to over the decades. This epic trilogy, along with its prequel, The Hobbit, are set in a world so comprehensively drawn, so solid that you can almost touch it. They’re backed up by a complete history, right back to the Creation (see The Silmarillion), maps, even a comprehensive Elvish language. Maybe it’s just a little on the obsessive side, but I’m not sure any other author of epic fantasy has gone so far, and Tolkien is still the master.
Ah, Stephen King! To choose just one book. He’s known as the master of horror, but he is a writer who spans genres. His own epic fantasy series, The Dark Tower, is astonishing. Many of his short stories and novellas explore human emotions and frailties quite beautifully (try the four-novella collection Four Past Midnight). And when he wants to scare you… no other author has had the adult me looking anxiously over his shoulder in quite the way King can do – or as often. In the end, It had to be the one. It’s achingly good on themes of adolescence, of adults ‘going back’ and of love and heroism. It’s horror fantasy on aa grand scale, and it has Pennywise the Clown as probably my favourite, least like to meet, villain in fiction. At least, I hope he’s only in fiction.
One of the giants of modern crime fiction, although I always thought the first six or seven Scarpetta novels – narrated in the first person, past tense – were her best. Post Mortem introduces Kay Scarpetta and the cast of main characters, on the trail of a terrifyingly credible serial killer – in fact, it was influenced by a real series of murders. I love the attention to detail. When Scarpetta cooks, you could easily copy what she does in your own kitchen and produce a superb Italian dish. She’s also vulnerable, yet strong and capable – a superbly drawn character.
Another author who crosses genres (and who I know hates being pigeonholed). He’s usually on the crime shelves, mainly because his series character, Charlie Parker, is a private detective. But there are strong elements of horror and fantasy in his writing too. On the genre spectrum, I doubt you can get a fag paper between Connolly and King. This, his first novel, is still my favourite – gruesome, spooky, but with a strong crime mystery running through it. I love its plot structure, as well as its themes of grief and guilt.
When I was wanting to set crime fiction in my local Aylesbury Vale area and not make it cosy, it was Stephen Booth’s Cooper and Fry series that reassured me it could be done. This is the first in the series, set in rural Derbyshire. I’m not sure it’s my favourite, but it’s where the series begins and where the two protagonists meet – and so much about their prickly relationship can be traced back to there. Fry in particular has a back story that further contributes to her character and her behaviour. Booth often teases you about the direction the characters’ lives are headed, only to pull the rug away – just like real life.
Dave Sivers ~ April 2017
Dave’s civil service career took him to exotic places like Rhode Island USA, Cyprus, Brussels, Northern Norway and Sutton Coldfield. Along the way, he moonlighted variously as nightclub bouncer, bookie’s clerk and freelance writer, as well as picking up a first class honours degree from the Open University.
Writing has always been his passion and, since giving up the day job, he has launched a second career as a novelist.
The Scars Beneath the Soul, the first book in his popular Archer and Baines crime series - set in Buckinghamshire’s Aylesbury Vale - and the follow-up, Dead in Deep Water, both hit the top three in Kindle’s ‘Serial Killers’ chart. The Blood That Binds is the fourth in the series featuring DI Lizzie Archer and DS Dan Baines.
Dave has also won prizes and publication with his short fiction, written for newspapers and magazines, and writes material for the amateur stage.
Dave lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with his wife, Chris.
Goodreads: Dave Sivers