It’s a real pleasure to be hosting one of the stops on the blog blitz for Carpenter Road by N.M. Brown today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
Author : N.M. Brown
Title : Carpenter Road
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : June 7, 2018
When a young woman swaps coats with a prostitute then vanishes, it marks the start of a mystifying case for Leighton Jones.
After traffic officer Leighton is called to an altercation in a used car lot he is confronted by a prostitute rambling on about a girl who stole her coat. He thinks nothing off it. That is until the body of a Jane Doe shows up, matching the prostitute’s description.
What is the link between the fight in the car lot and the dead woman?
Leighton proceeds to gather evidence, which he attempts to pass onto the lead Homicide detective, Slater. However, Slater tells Leighton to back off, and that a suspect has been arrested.
Fearing there is more to the case than he first thought, Leighton is driven to keep digging and soon ends up on the trail of a serial killer.
But Leighton might be out of his depth this time..
If you read N.M. Brown’s previous book, The Girl on the Bus, then you will no doubt remember Leighton Jones. In this story, the reader is taken ten years back into the past so it really doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the previous book. Leighton is working in the Traffic department, a job which quite frankly sounds incredibly boring to me.
Leighton is called out to a used car lot where he is confronted by a prostitute who’s making a big deal about her coat being stolen by a girl outside a diner. Leighton doesn’t make much of it until a girl, who matches the description of the “thief” perfectly, is found dead. Is there a connection?
Technically, it’s not at all up to Leighton to figure this out but his colleagues in the murder division don’t seem to take many things seriously. The investigation moves at a snail’s place. These are “only” working girls after all. The captain is far more interested in giving Leighton a hard time.
But Leighton just can’t help himself. This says so much about him. It’s not about taking the credit, getting his face in the papers for solving a big case. Leighton genuinely cares about people, wants to help them in any way he can, even if it means putting himself in danger. He is just such a wonderful and likeable character with a heart of gold.
Meanwhile he’s also dealing with an increasingly declining relationship with his seventeen year old daughter. Again, if you read the previous book, you’ll know more about this but to be able to have a look back and be witness to how things developed is really intriguing.
Carpenter Road is a gripping and compelling serial killer mystery. It has a well-executed plot with great characters to root for and sympathise with. At times, the story even pulled at my heartstrings when the author delved into the background of some of the working girls. There was a surprise or two for me, which is always a bonus and the investigation into the murder spree was captivating,
There was a bit of a wait between the previous book and this one but it was well worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Leighton Jones and I hope there’s more to come from him and N.M. Brown.
Carpenter Road is out today!
Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always believed a combination of decent fiction and good coffee provides the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.
Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.
More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel – The Girl on the Bus -around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jonesy at least two more outings. Carpenter Road is the second novel to feature this protagonist.
Aside from his family, and travelling, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why many culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his fiction.