I’ve mentioned these publishers before as I think they are doing a superb job. During the first lockdown I was so impressed with their innovative great value offers and free e-books at a time when bookshops were closed; they have a good range of (thanks to them) big selling authors to promote and have developed a quality backlist of (predominantly) British crime thrillers, republishing books and series which struggled to get commercial recognition first time round. They have an excellent attitude and working relationship with bloggers. I would be very proud to be a Joffe author- if only that novel ever got finished!!
I read this as the first book in an incredible value 5 book set but it is available as a stand-alone. Originally published in 2012 it introduced Detective Jeff Temple. I’m not sure whether at the time the author was consciously beginning a series as Temple as a character is rather understated here, which does, at least, present him as a blank canvas to be developed during the course of the series.
Central to the action here is Danny Cain, an ex-reporter now working as one half of a news agency who finds himself in the headlines when his business partner is murdered minutes after discovering he is the winner of a big National Lottery jackpot. Cain’s first-person account is interspersed through the novel with third-person narratives. This is not as seamless as it could be, in a couple of places the narrative style jars especially when changing mid-chapter.
However, in terms of plot and tension James Raven knows exactly what he is doing. The combination of thriller and police procedural is effective. We spend 48 hours or so in the Southampton area, at one point the city centre on a Saturday night is very well drawn. I didn’t see any of the twists coming and I was really impressed with the author’s handling of the threat of violence which certainly ramps up the tension. Plot-wise it is not complex and Raven seems a careful author who makes sure the reader is keeping up by re-emphasising plot points in a way which feels natural. All in all, as an unfussy British contemporary thriller this ticked all the boxes. It does feel more stand-aloney than crime series at this point but this is only the first book. I think this may be the best I have read so far from these publishers (and I will admit I have still only read a handful) and I am keen to read other books in this series.
I read “Rollover” in “The Complete Detective Jeff Temple” a five book series I bought on Amazon at the amazing price of 99p. “Rollover” is currently available as a stand-alone e-book and hardback.