It’s a real pleasure to be one of two bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Halfway by B.E. Jones today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.
The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass, deep in the inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, deep in snow, Lee, a student hitching home for Christmas, and Becca, a local nurse, end up knocking on the door as the blizzard takes hold.
But are they the first to arrive? Why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father, upstairs in bed immobilised by a stroke, trying so hard to tell them?
At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the nurse is missing she jumps at the chance to escape the boredom and heads out into the snow.
The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm but soon realise they might have been safer on the road, especially when Lee finds something interesting in the cellar – which is nowhere near as interesting as what’s under the old man’s bed. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas… and if everyone is lying, then who do you trust?
Ever feel like a book description gives away way too much information? I’m honestly glad I didn’t read the blurb above before I started reading Halfway. I much prefer discovering things on my own and not quite knowing what the book was about allowed me that.
Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wales, in the midst of a blizzard, the reader meets a multitude of characters. It’s rather obvious from the start that their paths will cross at some point but how or why remains a mystery for quite a while. There’s the hitchhiker, whose either running away from or towards something. There’s an old man, who has suffered a stroke, stuck in his bed just wanting to be heard. And there’s a police officer, desperate to make a name for herself.
Out on an isolated farm, there’s been a vicious murder. The police officer is sidelined, not involved in the investigation at all. How is she supposed to move up the ranks if she can’t even get away from her desk? Who’s responsible for the murder up at the farm and why? What’s going on with the sick man in his room? As you can tell, there are a lot of questions that need answers and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the various threads.
Halfway is one intricately plotted puzzle. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things and didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, I found the chapters and the characters so immensely intriguing that I couldn’t stop reading. This story is very much on the slow side but does a brilliant job of setting the scene and delving into the minds of the various characters. Even if the pace puts you off at the start, stick with it. It pays off in the end when things come together rather cleverly.
Halfway is available to buy!
Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.
She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.
Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.
Halfway, her fifth crime novelfollows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.
Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books.