Welcome to this April edition of The Stellar Review, the place where indie authors offer up their labours of love to my excitable scrutiny.
This month, I am reviewing The Appearance of Murder by John Nightingale. A clever story of murder and suggestion well worth the effort of holding up the heavy hardback for three weeks! (Seriously, the medical profession should recognise Kindle Arms as a syndrome!)
Crime writer David Knight is dragged back into a past in which it seems he might have fathered a child or even committed murder.
Neither possibility is going to be popular with his wife Kate. The trouble is that David hasn’t a clue about what actually happened…
Meet David, a Cambridge educated crime writer whose latest – and overdue – Tom Travis novel is stalling on the all important ‘whodunnit’. His neighbour Jerry is a man exhibiting all the signs of a midlife crisis but whose military fascination and Inspector Gadget kit are about to come in extremely useful.
David is about to learn that he may have fathered a child with a woman he doesn’t remember. It could equally have been any one of the other four friends posing happily with him in the old photograph posted anonymously through his door. There’s a very good chance he could have killed one of these friends back in their university days, but he couldn’t swear he didn’t do that either. Whilst he contends with these small issues, his agent is busy touting an excerpt of his new Tom Travis novel around Hollywood. The trouble is, he doesn’t remember writing it. This has nothing to do with the amnesia withholding his more troublesome memories, he simply wasn’t the person who put pen to paper.
Whilst he grapples with the mystery of the ghost writer, evidence of David’s guilt begins to mount suggesting he may be an errant father, a murderer or both but the truth is locked tightly away in his head. Does he want to regain his lost memories if they reveal him to be a murderer?
If you read and love Tom Sharp novels, you will not want to miss The Appearance of Murder. The characters are likeable, quirky and covertly villainous in equal measure. You’ll wonder at Jerry’s sanity whilst willing David to stay one step ahead of the police who you know are closing in.
John’s clever plot will pull you along and keep you guessing until the final chapter, you’ll think you’ve worked out what’s going on – but you haven’t!
You can buy The Appearance of Murder online at Amazon or in many good bookshops (I first came across it whilst practicing Bookspine Poetry in WHSmiths!). If it sounds like a book you’d like to read, be sure to leave a review.