Whoop! Whoop! It’s my fantabulous guest reviewer Claire Knight’s stop on Mike Craven’s BODY BREAKER blog tour today and I could not be more thrilled! I am a huge fan of this author and this series, so I was over the moon when Claire loved it too! Here is a bit more about the author and this book!
About The Author
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.
About the Book
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.
Claire’s Rating: 4.5/5
I’ve been meaning to read the Avison Fluke books since Noelle shouted about them a couple of years ago. I’ve even got both “Assume Nothing…” and “Born in a Burial Gown” literally and virtually buried on my Kindle. So when Noelle started shouting about how fantastic Body Breaker was, I knew I needed to read it.
I really liked the main character of Avison Fluke – he’s a good copper out who knows what he’s doing to catch the bad guys but he doesn’t see things quite as black and whie as some fictional police officers do – he sees the grey areas – the means to an end. His methods might not be 100% by the book but needs must sometimes.
The main theme of the book is an interesting one, something that has been seen in the media and I think Mr Craven portrayed the fictional version very well – I don’t want to go into too much detail around that #nospoilers
I felt there was a slightly slow start to this gritty crime story but it didn’t take much to gather pace and hit the sprint. There were plenty of red herrings and slights of hand scattered through the story – I really did not expect the rapid conclusion to be what it was!
The writing style made the read very enjoyable and I loved spotting parts with the author’s sense of humour thrown in to lighten what is a compelling read.
If you like your crime fiction hard hitting and packed with intrigue, you won’t go far wrong with Body Breaker. If you’re worried that you need to read the previous two Fluke novels from Mr Craven, I assure you it’s not necessary!
A big thanks to Caffeine Nights Publishing, Mike Craven and the lovely Noelle Holten for my copy of Body Breaker – you’ve got a new fan Mr Craven; now I just need to shoe horn Fluke’s previous instalments into my reading pile, preferably sooner rather than later!