Death Of A Painter – Matthew Ross – Red Dog Press @mattwross @RedDogTweets

Death Of A Painter


So, right, the other day I decided to do a bit of decorating. Nothing fancy, just a bit of a strip and tidy up. No, stripping the wallpaper, you filthy, filthy minded reader you, and tidying up the paintwork, not my pub… yes, well, that’s quite enough of that. Oh, you knew what I meant? You guys, you do like to wind me up.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, stripping.

So, there I was, merrily stripping away, when I noticed something behind a little bit of wallpaper hanging loose just begging to be torn off. Curious, I thought. So, putting my clothes back, on I picked up my little scraper and started scraping away at the wallpaper. I think that the previous decorating person must’ve used superglue because that bugger was propers hard to shift. It clung to my wall like Spider-Man after he’d been forced to flee when caught raiding a jam warehouse and had opened and sampled every jar. He does like his jam, that Spider-Man. If I was you I would l keep your jam securely locked away in a strong cupboard otherwise the cheeky, spidery bastard will have it. Bear in mind that he’s a strong chap as well, so don’t buy a cheap lock or you’ll end up regretting it. It’s true. It happened to my mate’s aunt’s penpal in New York. He said it happened and who am I to argue, so you can stop with that look on your face. Look, do you want to read this review or not because I have a right mind to stop right here and leave it. Do you? Hmm? Okay then, so, wallpaper, stripping, mystery stuff hidden behind… shall we continue?

After a bit of a tug and tussle… sigh.. NOOO… with the wallpaper… you’re beginning to get on my wick now… I had the lot off and I stood back amongst the little, torn and jagged corpses of the wallpaper all around me. Farewell wallpaper, you put up a good fight, but in the end the best man won, so, like, ner!

Well, I expected some child like graffiti to greet me, maybe a ‘Bazza woz ere’ or ‘dad smells’ type thing, but no! What I had discovered was truly amazing. Written in a beautiful font in the neatest handwriting I have ever seen, was a message. No, it was more than a message; it spoke to me, calling me as if telling me a story.

It was, in fact, a blurb:


When Mark Poynter discovers a murder on his worksite all of his financial problems suddenly seem a lot closer to home: was this a warning his debts are overdue? 

Suspected of being the killer and worried at being the intended victim, the murder only makes Mark’s money problems worse, leading him to turn to the local villain, Hamlet, who has his own unique repayment plan in mind for Mark.

When two more deaths plunge him even further into debt, Mark finds himself faced with a choice – help the Police and clear his name or help the villain and clear his debt.

Set in the Medway Towns on the grey margins of criminality, where no job’s too big, no dodge’s too small…

Death Of A Painter is the first in a new series of darkly comic crime fiction novels featuring the beleaguered builder Mark Poynter, aided and hindered in equal measure by his trusted crew of slackers, idlers and gossips, and the lengths they go to just to earn a living.”

Continue reading “Death Of A Painter – Matthew Ross – Red Dog Press @mattwross @RedDogTweets”

Blood Song – Johana Gustawsson (trans David Warriner) @jogustawsson @givemeawave @orendabooks

Blood Song


When I sat down to write this review of Johana Gustawsson‘s third book in her series featuring her dynamic duo, police profiler Emily Roy and true crime writer Alexis Castells, I had a problem. I mean it was a pretty big one really. It was a problem thus: how was I supposed to write a review for a book that is pretty bloody serious? I mean, this story is dark, like, eyes shut in a very dark cave that has had the entrance blocked up on a cloudy moonless night, dark. This is undoubtedly, for me at least, the darkest and most disturbing of the series so far. So how was I supposed to review this book in my usual, flippant, irreverent and, frankly, ridiculous way?

Like a recently felled tree, I was stumped.

I knew of one other blogger who had read the book and would be able to give a serious and thoughtful, respectful and knowledgable review of this moving book. Someone who would give the source material the respect it deserved.

But they were out. A family emergency apparently (I later discovered that they had run out of onions and were making a French Onion soup for some family get together, so that was understandable).


That left me with just one other option. An option that I was very, and I do mean very, reluctant to take. One that I have taken before and it has never turned out very well. It was an option that I have safely kept hidden away behind several layers of safety glass and electrified wire. One that has a direct link to the security services in case someone else accidentally triggers it, and they have been instructed to use extreme force where necessary (and trust me, it would be necessary). One where no one in their right mind, especially after previous encounters, would even consider using it.

But I was desperate, and desperation can be a very persuasive force in making one make stupid, stupid decisions. So I disabled the security measures in place and enabled the Optione Desperaté, as they may, but probably don’t, say in France.

And so, with a heavy sense of foreboding and that sickly feeling in my tummy, I called up myself.

Yes, I called up The Beardy Book Blogger once again to get me out of this desperate situation that I had found myself in.

May your *insert deity of choice here* have mercy on your blog reading souls.

But first, here’s some blurb:

Spain, 1938: The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

Continue reading “Blood Song – Johana Gustawsson (trans David Warriner) @jogustawsson @givemeawave @orendabooks”