#BookReview: Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley (@RebeccaJBradley) #DeadBlind #DIRayPatrick #Prosopagnosia

dfw-rb-db-cover-mid.jpg“How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror? 

Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.

As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder. 

But it’s a killer he will never remember.

The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.

Can he escape with his career and his life intact?”

I recently had the pleasure of reading Fighting Monsters, the third book in the DI Hannah Robbins series written by ex-police detective turned author, Rebecca Bradley.  I said in my review of Fighting Monsters how it was the first full novel by Bradley which I had read.  I also said that I was keen to go back and read books one and two in that series, which (you’ve guessed it!) I haven’t done.  But, in an effort to redeem myself, I have just completed Dead Blind, a brand new standalone from Bradley with a fascinating lead character in DI Ray Patrick.

‘Why so fascinating?’, you may be asking.  DI Patrick was involved in a traumatic car accident whilst in pursuit of a killer.  The accident resulted in several badly broken bones, a colleague who is scarred for life (which he feels 100% responsible for) and a knock to the head.  Not just any old run-of-the-mill knock to the head though.  Prosopagnosia.  I obviously need to work on my knowledge of medical conditions as I had never heard of prosopagnosia.  Even in layman’s terms, I was a bit unsure what ‘face blindness’ actually meant for the sufferer.  Oh, the things I have learnt from reading this book.

At times my heart broke for Ray, the way he had to deal with situations that for the majority of us don’t require any real thought, things we take for granted; such as seeing your children, your partner, your friends and colleagues.  I couldn’t help but put myself in Ray’s shoes as he approached situations which he knew were going to cause him problems.  For example, any time he meets his long-term girlfriend. He knows it’s her because of her voice, her perfume, the smell of her shampoo, he recognises her clothes but when he looks at her face….nothing.  There is no connection there.  And imagine how difficult life would be if you were a senior police officer trying to catch a cold-blooded killer.  Someone only you’ve seen, someone who killed a young man in front of you and someone you now have to pick out of an identity parade.  This is the first time I have met a character with prosopagnosia and I thoroughly enjoyed what Bradley has done with him!

I liked Ray.  I wanted to thump him at times though.  I could see his reasons for wanting to keep his condition secret, and the story wouldn’t have had quite the same edge to it but flipping heck, man!  I would be terrified to tell my employer something like that too (although my employer is my children, and they’d probably just shrug and carry on squabbling over whose turn it was to choose a television programme!).  Sharing is caring, or something like that anyway!  What I did love was the bubbling, will they/won’t they between Ray and his ex-wife, Helen.  From Helen’s point of view, it seemed to be a fairly certain ‘they really won’t’ but I was never 100% sure, I *think* she could be tempted to rekindle her love affair with Ray, just for old times sake.  I’m not a fan of any kind of romantic liaison in my crime reads but this one could be interesting…

The investigation Ray and his team were carrying out was an interesting one.  This book is so much more about the characters rather the investigation, which was a rather pleasing change.  After all, we know whodunit fairly early on.  It’s just whether Ray can get his identifiers lined up in time to catch the killer, and exactly how long he can keep his condition a secret for…

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I really enjoyed it and hope (fingers crossed) that Bradley has lots more adventures in store for Ray and his team.  I want to read more about these characters; they intrigue me.  I will be sad if my path doesn’t cross with DI Ray Patrick’s again.  If you’re a fan of a character-driven police procedural then make sure you pick up a copy of Dead Blind.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, with Rebecca Bradley at the helm you get a certain amount of realism that others fail to achieve.  Her experience as a police detective adds so much to the detail of the story.  Slick, absolutely fascinating and very readable.  Great stuff.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Dead Blind.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK on 8th May 2018 and is available in eBook format (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

about the author3

rebecca bradleyI live in Nottinghamshire with my family and two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep me company while I write. I need to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if I could, I would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

After 16 years service, I was recently medically retired from the police service where I finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

My first crime novel, Shallow Waters is set in Nottingham. The lead protagonist is DI Hannah Robbins. Because the novel is written in first-person narrative you get a pretty good feel for who she is.

I blog about my writing, policing, social media, occasionally the above disorders and anything else that springs to mind. It’s a loosely connected place inside my head and it’s possible anything could come out. I would genuinely love to see you around and to hear your thoughts.

To keep up-to-date with all news, receive exclusive content, updates, and giveaways, sign up to the mailing list HERE.

Author Links: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

Author Image and Bio © http://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/about/
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com

#BookReview: Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley (@RebeccaJBradley) #DIHannahRobbins #FightingMonsters

fighting monsters cover.jpg“Twenty-four hours after he walked away from court a free man, cop killer and gang leader Simon Talbot is found murdered. In his possession; the name of a protected witness from his trial. 



For DI Hannah Robbins, it’s a race against time to find Talbot’s killer, and locate the bystander before it’s too late.



But as Hannah delves deeper into the past, she begins to question the integrity of the whole operation. 



Where do you turn when you can’t trust the police?”

Fighting Monsters is the third book in the DI Hannah Robbins series written by former police detective, Rebecca Bradley.  I have a confession to make, this is the first full novel from Bradley which I have read.  I thoroughly enjoyed her prequel novella published in 2016, Three Weeks Dead but haven’t managed to fit Shallow Waters (book 1) or Made to be Broken (book 2) into my reading schedule as yet.  Having recently finished Fighting Monsters I can assure you that that will indeed change in the near future, so look out for a review or two coming soon.

Change is afoot as the reader is introduced to new girl, Pasha, as she tries to desperately fit into a well-oiled and cohesive unit.  Not easy when the shoes she has to fill are those of a recently deceased colleague and well-valued member of the team.  Not helped by the arrival of a new DCI who doesn’t have the same work ethic as his predecessor.  When Hannah and her team are instructed to investigate the murder of gang boss and suspected cop killer, Simon Talbot, all personal issues are put to one side (or so they should be anyway).  With Simon’s grief-stricken brother at her heels, and with many of her colleagues firmly believing that whoever killed Simon Talbot did them all a favour, Robbins finds herself under a great deal of pressure.  Not wanting to face the fact that the investigation may take them to places they don’t want to go and, ultimately, the possibility of arresting a fellow police officer…

Bradley’s characters really stood out for me.  I enjoyed the working relationship between DI Robbins and her DS, Aaron.  I got the feeling there is a lot of history between these two characters and I particularly enjoyed the scenes they shared.  I was also interested in the relationship between Hannah and the new girl, Pasha, but this was a whole different dynamic.  I felt quite sorry for Pasha.  Trying to fit into a well-established team and despite trying your best, every time you open your mouth, reminding those around you exactly what they had lost.  I will be interested to see how (and if) Pasha makes her mark in future books.

There were a number of unexpected emotional moments during the story.  I really felt for Lee, one of the young PC’s seconded to the team, as we discover he looks after his elderly Nan who suffers from Alzheimer’s and, as a result, leads no life of his own.  The reader gets to know Lee and his story, but more importantly, I found Lee fast becoming one of my favourite characters in the book.  Other heartbreaking moments involve Simon Talbot’s neighbour and her young son.  There is one particular scene where I was perched precariously on the very edge of my seat!

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I read it as a standalone and I think it works perfectly well without having read the first two books in the series (I am planning on reading and reviewing both soon, though!).  What you get from a Rebecca Bradley novel that you might not find elsewhere is realism.  Bradley previously worked as a detective so she knows what she’s talking about and as a fan of the police procedural, I love that.  Well worth checking out.

Four out of five stars.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Fighting Monsters.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Fighting Monsters by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK on Monday 19th February 2018 and is available in eBook format (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

about the author3

rebecca bradley.jpgI live in Nottinghamshire with my family and two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep me company while I write. I need to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if I could, I would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.

After 16 years service, I was recently medically retired from the police service where I finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

My first crime novel, Shallow Waters is set in Nottingham. The lead protagonist is DI Hannah Robbins. Because the novel is written in first-person narrative you get a pretty good feel for who she is.

 

I blog about my writing, policing, social media, occasionally the above disorders and anything else that springs to mind. It’s a loosely connected place inside my head and it’s possible anything could come out. I would genuinely love to see you around and to hear your thoughts.

To keep up-to-date with all news, receive exclusive content, updates, and giveaways, sign up to the mailing list HERE.

Author Links:Facebook | Instagram | Twitter |

Author Image and Bio © http://www.rebeccabradleycrime.com/about/
Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com

 

#BookReview: Three Weeks Dead by Rebecca Bradley (@RebeccaJBradley)

51z4pwkyql“How far would you go if someone took your wife?

Especially, if you buried her a week ago.

When Jason Wells is faced with this scenario, he is confronted with the prospect of committing a crime that will have far-reaching consequences.

Can young DC Sally Poynter get through to him before he crosses that line, or does a desperate husband prove to be the case she won’t ever forget?

A prequel novella, set before Shallow Waters, the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series.”

Are you looking for a quick read that packs one heck of a punch?  Well congratulations lovely reader, you’ve just found it.  I cannot recommend this novella enough – it’s a stonking read that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn’t let go until the very end.  Particularly with that absolutely brilliant opening chapter!

Jason Wells receives a message telling him his wife has been kidnapped.  Jason Wells’ wife died three weeks ago.  (Yes, you read that right…Jason’s wife died three weeks previously!)  Jason Wells is faced with a decision.  Commit a crime which will have devastating consequences the world over or, his wife becomes Fido’s breakfast.  DC Sally Poynter is on the case, with DI Hannah Robbins overseeing her junior colleague.  Robbins is trusting the young detective to make some sort of connection with the distraught widow.  But can Sally work out who the blackmailer is in time to save both Jason and his wife…?

This is my first Rebecca Bradley read but it certainly won’t be my last.  I loved Rebecca’s style.  Her characters are brilliantly written and I want to find out more about DC Poynter and DI Robbins (happily I have Shallow Waters on the #terrifyingTBR so look out for a review coming your way soon).

I became completely absorbed in the plot which was exciting and twisty.  I certainly hadn’t worked out ‘whodunit’ before the reveal, and it was one of those reveals that made me gasp.

Would I recommend this book?  I would.  I absolutely loved this short but chock full of content read.  I enjoyed everything about it, I just wished it was a full length novel!

Four and a half stars out of five.

Many thanks to Rebecca Bradley for providing me with a copy of Three Weeks Dead in exchange for an honest review.

Three Weeks Dead by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK om 14th October 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

Smith & Sons (11)

11093258Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective who lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola. They keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

Sign up to the newsletter, on her blog at rebeccabradleycrime.com, for exclusive content and giveaways.

You can always chat with her on Twitter where she can be found spending far too much of her time at @RebeccaJBradley

Author Links: Blog | Twitter | Website |