I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for The Cold Years by Joel Hames today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join!
Everyone needs to be heard: if there’s one thing Sam Williams has learned it’s that. Which is why he finds himself defending Richard Fothergill against accusations that date back decades.
But Sam’s real problems are closer to home. His nemesis, Trawden, is finally dead, but so are those he once called friends. The people he used to count on, the ones who aren’t in the ground, aren’t what they once were, either. DI Martins is on his back again, and she’s got company. And Sam’s girlfriend Claire might be recovering from her breakdown, but she’s not telling him everything.
Life would be so much easier if Sam knew the answers. Instead, all he’s got are questions.
Who is following him, and what do they want?
What did Fothergill really do to the children he taught?
And where was Claire the day Edward Trawden was killed?
Everyone has a secret to hide, but some secrets are too close to home.
The Cold Years is the third instalment in the Sam Williams series but there’s no need to worry as this can be read quite well as a stand-alone. If you have read the previous books but need some help, the author has very kindly added a link at the beginning of the book to refresh your memory.
For those who don’t know, Sam Williams is a lawyer but not a really successful one. While events in this instalment do connect to those from the previous books, there is enough background story for a new reader not to feel like they’re missing out on too much. However, for me personally, I’m glad I did read the previous ones though as it’s been incredibly fun to watch Joel Hames manage to keep a truckload of balls juggling in the air. So if you have the time, I’d definitely recommend reading all three books in order to give you a better understanding of the characters and their various relationships.
Surprisingly, Sam does actually manage to get hold of a case, defending Richard Fothergill against decades old accusations. But his real problems are a lot closer to home. His girlfriend, Claire, is acting weird. She may very well be recovering from a breakdown but it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that she’s keeping secrets. Friends have died and others aren’t what they used to be, leaving Sam with lots of questions and very little answers.
Sam’s world remains as complicated as ever and there are quite a few players to keep track of but I never found myself at a loss or utterly confused. Although there are various threads to sink your teeth into, the one that stood out for me and really held my attention was the one involving Claire. Just like Sam, I became increasingly suspicious of her behaviour but I couldn’t at all figure out whether or not it was justified, and if she was up to something, what that could possibly be.
The Cold Years is another thrilling addition to the Sam Williams series. It’s intricately plotted, with some delightful twists and will keep you guessing until the end. Sam remains a remarkably likeable character, someone to get behind and root for and solving mysteries alongside a lawyer makes a nice change from all the detective stories out there. I’m not sure if there will be more from Sam in the future. If there is, that’d be wonderful, but if not, it’s been a fabulous adventure!
The Cold Years is out now!
Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.
After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).
Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com/, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames.
Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.