Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah

Published by Pan Macmillan on 12th April.

Who knows when a killer will call ?

Eleven months after discovering a brutal double murder in a sleepy Northumbrian village, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the case. Then the brutal killing of a man on Newcastle’s Quayside gives Daniels her first case as Senior Investigating Officer and another chance to get it right.

When Daniels recognizes the corpse but fails to disclose the fact, her personal life suddenly swerves into her professional life. But much worse, she is now being watched.

As Daniels steps closer to finding the killer, a killer is only a breath away from claiming his next victim.

Remember this striking book jacket – you’ll need to be buying a copy in a couple of days if you want in on the ground floor with a great crime debut from Northumberland based author Mari Hannah. In Kate Daniels we are given another great crime fiction ‘tec, one who has all the challenges of developing her career in a mainly male dominated world, whilst juggling the pain of the discovery of the first two bodies, relationships within and outside of the job, and her own sexuality and how she is perceived by those around her. A very tightly woven plot and clear procedural storyline keep the pages turning and the use of short sharp snappy chapters (100 across the 450 page tale) ensures that the pace is quick but never rushed.

I really enjoyed the supporting cast and am so pleased to have read that currently Mari Hannah is working on book four featuring Kate Daniels – so there’s lots more to come from both these new ladies of crime. It’s testiment to the writing that the death of a relatively minor character had me wanting the phone number of her partner to meet and buy him a beer to help him deal with his loss, and yet the line that delivers the blow of the news is just so simple, uncluttered, and perfect.

At just shy of 100 pages from the end this evening, I left the house (which was empty) and took a mug of coffee up to my writing shed, not wanting a single interruption when the family came home to spoil the end of the book for me. It worked, it worked a treat. But, as I found myself tweeting afterwards, I really did spend those hundred pages chewing my nails as the pages turned towards the end of the story.

If I had one negative to say about ‘The Murder Wall’ it would only be to express disappointment that we had to wait that bit longer in the UK to read it, whilst those in Germany got it first…..but like all good things, it was worth hanging on for.

Roll on November and book 2: Settled Blood.

And you can meet Mari Hannah this year at Crimefest in May and at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July.



Filed under Book Review

The Lucky 7

Lucky 7 – Seven lines from new works

April 10, 2012

I’ve been tagged – thanks, Eva (@eva_hudson)

I’m posting seven lines from page 7 of the current draft of my work in progress.

The Rules

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript,
  • Go to line 7,
  • Post on your blog the next 7 lines, or sentences, as they are – no cheating!
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same.

And here are mine:

There was plenty of room in the car park.

All the stores except one of the two large supermarkets were closed up for the night and, as it was late, there was no need to find the ticket machines, or struggle to find the one that still worked.

Dennis killed the engine, reached over and took the small plastic bag and pendant from the glove compartment and zipped it away in his jacket pocket, opened the door and stepped out into the cold night air.

He coughed a couple of times as he adjusted to the change in temperature.

Five years before and he’d have been lighting a cigarette at this point but, despite a craving for one now as he walked towards his destination, it was in his past and, like alcohol, was something he’d made a promise to himself never to return to.

The small street where Karen’s family lived was just across from him now.

Even from a distance, he could see the lights on in the front room and a light in the upstairs room he knew to be the dead girl’s bedroom – a light that had remained permanently on, a room with a door kept fully open, a room left waiting for a girl to return.


And I’m passing on the baton to:

David Jackson @Author_Dave

Susi Holliday @SJIHolliday

Mari Hannah @Mariwriter

Julia Crouch @thatjuliacrouch

Alasdair @pixandpen

Jim Gunnee @jimgunnee

Nicola Ford @nic_ford


Filed under General ramblings