Regular readers of Linda’s Book Bag know that I meet all kinds of wonderful bloggers and authors through Book Connectors on Facebook. Today’s guest blog post is from two more lovely folk I’ve met there, married couple Bob and Carol Bridgestock. I’m thrilled to be rounding off their first ever blog tour and to bring you a guest post all about being Partners in Crime as they write together. I also review When the Killing Starts
Writing as RC Bridgestock, Bob and Carol’s latest novel When The Killing Starts was published on 30th June 2016 by Caffeine Nights Publishers and is available for purchase here. Although it is the 7th book in the DI Jack Dylan series, When The Killing Starts can also be read as a stand alone novel, as can all the other books.
When The Killing Starts
Crime is a way of life for the Devlin brothers. Groomed at an early age and trained as criminals by local gangsters, the Devlin brothers get their thrill out of creating fear among their victims. They have a macabre pact; not to be arrested or caged.
Brutality hits the town of Harrowfield when the scourge of the community is found dead, his companion slaughtered. The locals react with praise for the killers.
The same day firefighters respond to a fire but lose the fight to save Merton Manor. Amongst the debris two bodies are discovered; executed.
As Dylan struggles to cope with the pressure, armed officers await his judgement call.
Can he remain professional or will he release his anger?
Partners in Crime
A Guest Post from Bob and Carol Bridgestock
‘Bob writes the police procedural from start to finish, showing how real crime is investigated. From the moment the body is discovered the reader travels with Dylan as it really is, but in a fictional tale,’ said Carol. ‘I then pick up the plot and bring it to life by building the characters and writing the scenes – some times with help from Bob as for instance I have no idea what its like to be at a post-mortem. I don’t want to go. But, I want to know how it really feels for the man in charge at each stage of the investigation for the reality in the books. I draw out Bob’s real feelings and strip away the mask of the detective to unveil raw reality that he can only express through Dylan. Once the characters live and breathe, I set the scene and add the relationship storyline – Dylan’s home life and how it affects him and his family when he is transported to ‘another world’ investigating a serious crime. As the series unfolds you will see Dylan and Jen’s relationship grow, with all the ups and downs of being married/partner of someone who works as a dedicated professional member of the uniformed services.’
‘At first it was very difficult for me to drop the ‘mask’ and reveal my true feelings,’ says Bob. ‘I’d kept them tucked away. If you let yourself get sucked into the sadness you’d never cope. But Carol said it would be cathartic. Of course I said that, that was utter rubbish – it was part of ‘the job’. But when I started to unveil my ‘crutches’ that had kept me strong for so long, I now have to agree. It’s awful when you have to admit the wife’s right isn’t it?’
You can find out more about the DI Jack Dylan books with Caffeine Nights Publishers here.
My Review of When the Killing Starts
I have to be honest and say I wasn’t especially keen to read When the Killing Starts as it is the seventh book in the series and I thought it would be too reliant on the previous books to enjoy. I was completely wrong.
When the Killing Starts works brilliantly as a stand alone read and is an explosive (in more ways than one!), fast paced and exciting crime thriller. The plot certainly raises the pulse and even though I found a couple of incidents difficult to read, they are not gratuitous, but serve to show the kinds of criminals police deal with. I think the author background in the police gives incredible authenticity to so much of this novel.
I thought the syntactical style was polished and sophisticated so that the contrast between how different characters speak and think gives them depth. The quieter parts of the writing only serve to enhance further the thrill of the faster elements in a very skilful way.
I really liked Jack Dylan and his relationships with family and colleagues. I think this is where the husband and wife authoring partnership really works so well as there are layers that are sometimes missing in other crime fiction so that the human emotions are explored highly effectively.
When the Killing Starts is definitely a must read for crime thriller lovers. Having begun not wanting to read the seventh book in the series, I now want to go back and read them all.
About Bob and Carol
Fifty years of police experience offers the crime fiction lover an authentic edge by reading the Detective Inspector Jack Dylan ‘Dylan’ series – written by husband and wife crime writing team, Bob and Carol Bridgestock.
Bob worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent of the fourth largest police force in England, West Yorkshire Police.
In his last three years alone as a Senior Investigative Officer (SIO), he took command of twenty-six murder investigations, twenty-three major incidents including shootings and attempted murders, over fifty suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. He was also a Hostage Negotiator for kidnap, terrorism, extortion and suicide intervention – in his ‘spare’ time. During his thirty year career Bob worked in Detective Training at the world renowned West Yorkshire Police Training School; training Detectives in the whole spectrum of investigative skills, and the law. On promotion to Detective Superintendent he was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force. He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks including winning the much coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.
Having created the down-to-earth character Jack Dylan, Bob brings a unique insight of how real life cases are conducted and turns them into page turning, gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol who worked as a civilian, in the same force for 17 years. Carol brings her understanding and experience of living, and working with, a frontline police officer. This combination adds accuracy and realism rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.
The books offer an insight into the real world of British policing mixed with cunning plots and human relationships. This adds a dimension to police procedural fiction which is truly genuine in voice and substance.
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