January 5

Dead Is Best – Jo Perry

 

Charlie and Rose are back in their much anticipated new adventure. Charlie’s step daughter lies dying on a beach. She needs help. Some serious help. But how did she get there and what can on earth can a dead guy and his dead dog do? Plenty as it turns out. As Charlie & Rose ride to the rescue in their own unique way it soon becomes clear that the body on the beach was only the beginning…

 

 

 

One of the most unusual (but enjoyable) partnerships I have encountered while blogging. Charlie is dead. Rose, a dog, is also dead. Together they can drift in and out of the real world and spectate but their capacity to interact is virtually nil.

Dead is Best opens with Charlie’s step-daughter Cali suffering a near-death experience. She sees Charlie and Rose and begs for their help before she is returned to her unhappy existence. Charlie and Rose return to the world to keep a watch over Cali and the full extent of her problems soon become clear.

I love how Jo Perry tackles events in Dead Is Best. While Charlie and Rose cannot intercede during events Charlie is a highly effective narrator.  He can travel to where Cali is but when necessary he can move to a different location, for example to see how Cali’s mother (Charie’s ex-wife and her new husband) are handling their “difficult” child.  Not Well it would appear.

Charlie begins to understand how tough life is for Cali – a troubled teen who appears to have fallen in with a bad crowd. As the story progresses and Cali finds herself in trouble with the law we see the true strength of her character come to the fore.

As non-corporeal entities Charlie and Rose can be anywhere they need to be and often witness the worst of people.  They see acts of violence and bullying which the protagonists would never let a “human” observe and Charlie’s frustration at his inability to intercede seeps through – brilliantly written by Jo Perry.

The Charlie and Rose stories are quite unlike anything else I read and I cannot recommend them highly enough.  Hunt them down…or use this handy link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jo-Perry/e/B00PEG4T9I/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Dead is Best is published by Fahrenheit Press in digital and paperback format.

 

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June 1

The Suicide Plan – Emma Clapperton

The Suicide PlanStanding up and welcoming everyone to the spiritualist church is something Patrick McLaughlin does most evenings. Most of the faces in the audience are familiar to him, except one. David Hopkirk walks into the West End Spiritualist church in Glasgow and slits his own throat in the middle of a demonstration. Buy why?

Patrick is then catapulted into a case, which sees the death of a child, a failed court case and a family torn apart.

Soon Patrick will have all the pieces of the puzzle but will he be able to fit them together in time?

 

My thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound books for a review copy and the chance to join the tour.

The Suicide Plan was a wee gem of a read. I don’t normally (well don’t ever) read short stories or novellas but I quite liked the sound of this one so decided to give it a go and I am glad I did.

The story was quite harrowing in places and Emma Clapperton is not pulling any punches as she puts her characters through the emotional wringer.  The story opens with a man who felt he had no one left to turn to for support. He takes his own life in a crowded hall in the presence of a spiritualist in the hope that his suicide will lead to his plea for help being heard from beyond the grave.
As shocking and traumatic as that incident may have been for the spiritualist, Patrick McLaughlin,  he reaches out to the deceased man to try to understand why he would take his own life. Some communication is possible and Patrick starts to look deeper into past tragedies.
No spoilers are allowed but The Suicide Plan is a cleverly delivered tale which I rather enjoyed. If you enjoy a supernatural twist to your crime stories this is one to pick up.
The Suicide Plan is published by Bloodhound Books and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Suicide-Plan-Emma-Clapperton-ebook/dp/B072C5294G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496299531&sr=1-1&keywords=the+suicide+plan
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