I’m just a sucker for my #Twinnies recommendations so I am! So when Noelle of Crimebookjunkie asked me if I’d take part in the #BlogTour for Mike Craven’s #BodyBreaker I was powerless to resist – OK I didn’t even really want to resist, I bit her fingers off right away! Her power is so great that I had to go on a #MikeCravenBinge before I read #BodyBreaker and let’s just say Mike has got himself a brand new super fan!
And I am closing this bad boy down along with Aileen over at Feminisialibrosreviews so let’s get this show on the road!
What the blurb says:
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.
“Everything you want in a British procedural: a dark world, a tangled case, a clear and logical solution, and a deeply flawed hero who’s still well worth rooting for.” KIRKUS REVIEWS
“A forceful new voice in British crime fiction.” CARO RAMSAY (author of the Anderson and Costello novels)
A quiet Saturday afternoon on the golf course takes a sinister turn for DI Fluke and his team when they discover a severed hand. At first, Fluke is quietly delighted that this investigation is to be led by a secret unit from the London Met but when Fluke is around trouble is never far behind!
It quickly becomes clear that Fluke is somehow linked to the discovery and what follows has got to be one of the cleverest and most gripping plot lines that I have read this year! I was swept away on a journey involving police corruption; new age travellers, terrorism and past demons. #BodyBreaker is a police procedural of exceptional quality. It provides a level of detail that enthralled me and yet managed not to make it dull and unnecessary. I consumed each page with a hunger that was fully satisfied by the time I got to the last page – seriously it was so good that I am eagerly waiting for my next course! Twists and turns throughout that will have your head spinning and by the time you get to the end you are going to be screaming OMFG REALLY!!!!
In DI Fluke, Mike Craven has created a character so deeply flawed yet so engaging that no matter what he does I am right on the sidelines cheering him on! Fluke has a healthy disregard for authority when he’s embroiled in an investigation and will let nothing stand in his way of seeing it through to the end – no matter the impact it has on him and his relationships with those closest to him. I feel like I’ve got inside of Fluke’s head through the brilliant character development throughout this series and I’m learning what makes him tick. His relationship with Bridie, his current love interest is intriguing and I am on tenterhooks waiting to see where it goes! I think Fluke has met his match when it comes to her! However, how far is he prepared to go to keep it alive?
Matt Tower is Fluke’s sidekick and while the rest of the team all have significant roles to play throughout the book it is Tower’s relationship with Fluke that caught my breath. they have been through so much together during their time in the Marines and Paras and despite the fact that each can antagonise the other you know that they have got each others back covered at every turn. There seems to be a bond so strong between them that it goes beyond the need for verbal communication – they are so attuned to the other’s way of thinking that they just know what the other is thinking and what the other needs.
Jinx turns up at Fluke’s remote cabin and it is soon clear that she is a link to his past that he had never thought would surface again. I loved her character – a feisty yet vulnerable young woman, an unreliable narrator that will have you spinning as you try to work out just what part she is playing in all of this! She kept me guessing all the way through!
Fluke’s relationship with Nathaniel Diamond is also explored in #BodyBreaker; we first met him back in Born in a Burial Gown and he’s a bad bad boy, yet Fluke turns to him for help in #BodyBreaker. Is Diamond’s help going to be the making or the downfall of Fluke as his team are shocked at what he is prepared to do in order to proceed with the investigation….this relationship is DYNAMITE! I love the way that Mike has developed this relationship, it is completely realistic and will leave you reeling!
#BodyBreaker will take you on a whirlwind of a journey through the darker side of our police force to the world where the inhabitants have turned their back on the rat race for what appears to be an idyllic life. It probes your mind and leaves you right on the edge throughout.
I really don’t think that I have the words to write a review that will do justice to this novel. Everything about this book captured my attention from the word go – the characters, the setting and the plot – they all swept me away and gripped my imagination in a vice like hold. It can be read as a standalone but I’d honestly urge you to go and read the first two books in the series to give you a feel and a flavour of Fluke and his team. This book comes with a warning – abandon everything you planned to do and buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride!
The man behind the book:
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.
Author Profile on Caffeine Nights: http://www.caffeinenights.com/mike-craven
To buy the book get those fingers clicking!