Well folks in preparation for my forthcoming spot on the #BlogTour for Mike Craven’s #BodyBreaker I thought I’d have myself a wee binge read of his previous work – “Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everybody” and “Born in a Burial Gown”
Eh excuse me book world – can anyone explain why it took me so long to discover Mike’s books and DI Fluke – eh I’ve clearly been deprived of some damn good reads here! I did meet Mike at #NoirAtTheBar Carlisle last year but for some reason hadn’t got round to reading any of his books!
So I kicked off with “Assume Nothing“, a collection of short stories introducing us to DI Avian Fluke and his team. In just over 100 pages Mike sends us head first into lies, betrayal, cyber bullying and revenge! There are no punches pulled throughout!
I’m not usually a fan of short stories and they can leave me feeling as though someone forgot to give me my main course and desert at a meal! But this one was different – each story was skillfully crafted and tightly plotted and leaves you feeling like you have been fed the complete menu! An ideal introduction to Fluke and his team which sets you up nicely for the next in line…
Born in A Burial Gown
From the beginning it is clear that Fluke has lied to get back to work and he is also facing homelessness as he lied to the authorities about the dwelling status of the house he has just built. Not one to shy away from things Fluke is soon caught up in the investigation of a cold, calculated murder that left a young woman dead and discarded in a building site. Together with his team he is first tasked with finding out who the victim is before they can even begin to work out who was behind her murder. Based in Cumbria this book certainly paints an alternative to the picture perfect Lake District we all know! This is a fascinating police procedural which gives the reader an in-depth insight into the behind the scenes work but manages to marry this up with a gripping crime thriller that had me racing through the pages!
I found Fluke an intriguing character, he is clearly ill but determined to keep going but at what expense? I loved the camaraderie with his “oddball” team and how he knew how to play each individual skill for the benefit of the investigation. His partnership with colleague, Matt Towers, ex para, is a character pairing made in heaven – the two of them together just work to perfection! Loved them!
Brilliant character development following on from Assume Nothing, we get to learn more about each team member and how they interact with each other as a team to get things done. There were a few revelations along the way that came as a surprise to the reader as well as to Fluke and I am keen to see how his relationship with superiors pans out across the series.
I found Born in a Burial Gown to be a fascinating and exceptionally cleverly written novel; the plot lines and twists and turns gripped me from the start and kept me hooked all the way through; I also learned so much about procedure but NOT in a dull, text-book style manner but in an engaging and gripping drip feeding me of facts! I can’t wait to read BodyBreaker now for the Blog Tour and can only hope Mike is currently penning me a new book to read!
Thank you to Mike for sending me over a copy of “Born in a Burial Gown” to read when he heard I had enjoyed “Assume Nothing” so much!
To buy the books then head on over to Amazon and get clicking: