“Investigating a severed hand found on the 3rd green of a Cumbrian golf course was not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke had planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secretive unit from London swoop in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.
But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s just been barred from.
In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, made a pact with the devil and been arrested under the terrorism act.
But Fluke is only getting started. A voice has called out to him from beyond the grave and he has no intention of ignoring it.”
I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the Body Breaker blog tour which I share with the very lovely Jo over at lifeofcri.me. Body Breaker is the second novel in the DI Avison Fluke series and was published by Caffeine Nights on 25th May 2017.
I am in love. It’s that simple. There are a small number of bloggers whose opinion I completely trust. They only have to mention an author or their books and I’m signing into Amazon! Mike Craven’s books fall into that category. I’ve had the first book in the series, Born in a Burial Gown on the TBR for a while now and have been desperate to read it. So when the opportunity to feature on the Body Breaker blog tour arose, I jumped at the chance.
I absolutely fell in love with DI Avison Fluke. But it wasn’t just our leading man, it was every member of his team as well. For me, as an avid crime reader, someone who tends to read a lot of police procedurals, this book really grabbed my attention. That was partly due to a cracking plot and partly due to probably the best investigative team I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. Not since Mark Billingham’s Tom Thorne have I been this excited and, let’s be honest here, this smitten with a detective.
Something else that was a little different; even though this is the second book in the series (there are 2.5 by the way, two full novels and a novella) I didn’t feel as though I was missing out by not having read the first book. I find you tend to be left wondering about certain occurrences, things happen and you’re not sure if it relates to something from earlier in the series, almost like you’re always missing…something. I didn’t feel that at all whilst reading Body Breaker. It’s the best ‘part of a series standalone’ I’ve read! Saying that, I will be doing all I can to squeeze Born in a Burial Gown into my reading schedule very very soon.
DI Fluke and his second in command, DS Towler are both ex-military. And despite not serving together, these boys have a strong history together. As well as the type of friendship where the other would happily die to save his mate. I loved their relationship as not only was it hilarious in places it brought a warmth to the story. Each character is unique, each character had their moment to prove their worth to the investigation and I loved it.
What starts out as the discovery of a severed hand on a golf course turns into so much more. This book took me places I didn’t expect, gave me reading material that was quite different to my normal choices and kept me gripped from the very start to the very end. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough but I also wanted the story to last much longer than its 320 pages!
Would I recommend this book? I most definitely would. I’m excited to have discovered Avison Fluke and his team. The author is currently working on a new series and I desperately hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Fluke for a while (although I am very much looking forward to meeting Washington Poe!). It’s a thrilling, heart pounding novel which gave me much more than I initially expected. If I can’t convince you, I’ll hand over to (a very intimidating looking) Mike Craven. I found this YouTube video online and had to share it with you.
Five out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Body Breaker. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Body Breaker by Mike Craven was published in the UK by Caffeine Nights Publishing on 25th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.
Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and was published on 11th June 2015 by Caffeine Nights. Also available is his award winning collection of short stories featuring Fluke and his colleagues from the Cumbrian Force Major Incident Team, Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything. Body Breaker, the hotly anticipated follow up to Born in a Burial Gown, is out on May 25th.
In March 2017, Mike signed a two book contract with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable, for his new series starring the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe, an expert in serial killers and seemingly motiveless crimes. The first Poe book – as yet untitled – will be published in hardback in spring 2018.
Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out for the community and host events such as England’s first Noir at the Bar.
Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Association.