Posts Tagged ‘USA’

I love this book.  I found it on Goodreads, my new favourite way of finding new books and recording my reviews. It’s such a compulsive chilling thriller. It tells the story of a teenage girl who goes missing. Something we hear about all too often in the media. But Clarrisa Lynch’s skilful atmospheric writing takes us right inside missing girl Wendi’s mind. You’ll know what it feels like to be estranged and desperate. As readers we share her thoughts and emotions. So much so that you’re compelled to read on to find out what happens next. ‘Have you seen this girl?’ is a real page turner, with its short, sharp chapters, a narrative which twists in unexpected ways, realistic context and gritty descriptions. Start this novel when you can read it to the end. You won’t be able to put it down.

Clarrisa Lynch is an author to watch out for andHave You Seen This Girl FRONT COVER the good news is that this book is the first of the ‘Flocksdale Files’ series, and the second book ‘House of lost girls’ is coming out in November. I can’t wait to read it.

Barbara Fagan Speake

Barbara Fagan Speake

Primed by the PastPrimed by the past is a gripping psychological thriller. Its author, Barbara Fagan Speake is a prize winning crime writer. It shows in the quality of the writing. The novel draws you in from the first page with an intriguing prologue that captures your imagination and sets the scene for an exciting action packed read. Scottish police detective, Annie Macpherson makes a likable lead character. I’ve enjoyed following her progress through the personal and professional challenges that her secondment to the Connecticut police provide during the story. 

Primed by the Past is a great start to a promising series featuring Annie as she extends her stay with the Connecticut police department. As an American now settled in the UK, Barbara writes with authority about the US legal set up and uses her professional background as a clinical psychologist to inform the actions and motivation of her characters, resulting in some fast moving and fascinating plot turns.  I’ve read all three of the Annie Macpherson crime novels, and while it is always good to meet a character at the start of their novel journey, they can all be read as satisfying standalones. The fourth book in the Annie Macpherson series is due out later this year.

 Barbara is always ready to help novice writers and I can recommend her guest post ‘Lessons I have learnt from writing crime fiction and Indie publishing’ on this Crime Book Club website link.


Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

Mark Walsh (back) and a Youth Court USA style

I was delighted to see police officer, Mark Walsh appear on BBC Breakfast this Friday to talk about Hampshire Police Force’s ground breaking use of Community Youth Courts. I’d been impressed by the way they worked back in 1995 when I’d visited them as part of my Churchill Fellowship. As I munched my cereal, I wasn’t surprised to hear Mark say how well these courts, administered by young people volunteers, were working to stop young first time offenders’ further involvement in crime. What did surprise and please me was when Mark told the programme how he’d developed the idea after his own Churchill Fellowship to the USA in 2013. It reminded me what a brilliant opportunity Churchill Fellowships provide. My Fellowship was about communities working with police, businesses and local councils to make their streets safer places to live in and my research, like Mark’s, was used to set up a new approach to community policing.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fund the Fellowships for UK citizens to investigate such ground-breaking practice in other countries and return with innovative ideas to benefit their community or profession. The categories for Fellowships for 2016 include ‘Mental health – Community Based Innovation’; ‘Environment, Sustainable Living and Horticulture’ and ‘Crafts and Makers – and the deadline for applications is the 22nd of September. For more information check out the link below:

Churchill Fellowships WCMT-logo