05.03.19 / Titan Books / Thriller-Mystery / Paperback / 448pp / 978-1789091571
About Fran Dorricott
Fran Dorricott is a bookseller and author. She studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia, and she received a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing from City University London. Her day job in a bookshop is secretly just a way for her to fuel her ridiculous book-buying addiction. The opportunity to draw inspiration from the many wonderful and whacky customer requests is also a plus.
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About After The Eclipse
A little girl is abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse. Her older sister was supposed to be watching her. She is never seen again.
Sixteen years later and in desperate need of a fresh start, journalist Cassie Warren moves back to the small town of Bishop’s Green to live with her ailing grandmother. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister – that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.
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Guest Post: Top 5 Derbyshire-set Crime Novels
While I was writing After the Eclipse, I didn’t realise that crime novels set in Derbyshire were growing in numbers as much as they were, but since then I’ve had the chance to read a few absolutely stellar ones. I’d recommend them to anybody who wants to read lush, atmospheric novels set in the heart of England.
1. The Devil’s Dice – Roz Watkins
This is the first in a new series which continues this year, and I’m already dying for the next installment. The Devil’s Dice is set in and around the Peak District, when a man’s body is found in cave underneath a carving of a grim reaper. The image also depicts a set of initials, the same as those belonging to the dead man. The only catch is that the carving has been there for over a century. Watkins’ debut novel expertly blends the spooky with the realistic, giving us a fantastically atmospheric setting as we climb up into the hills, to a house on a cliff and into a maze-like network of tunnels in the Peaks. I loved how real Detective Meg Dalton felt, and the intense claustrophobia of the caves as the noose tightened…
2. Sticks and Stones – Jo Jakeman
In Jakeman’s debut the setting is more subtle, but still noticeably Derbyshire, and it oozes with tension. I loved being able to pick out locations, seeing pubs I recognised and picturing the vividly-drawn situation where three women band together against their abusive ex. Imogen knows her husband is a bad man, and during a moment of madness he ends up locked in her cellar – which is better than him taking custody of her son. But how do his ex-wife and current mistress feel about Imogen’s decision? The way Jakeman blends crime and dark humour is expert, and it made me want to laugh and cry, and most importantly, cheer Imogen on in her plans. This is like The First Wives Club on steroids! An epic revenge thriller.
3. Cuckoo – Sophie Draper
Cuckoo is set near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, during a particularly snowy winter. The world feels frozen, the old house where illustrator Caro has come back to live after her step-mother’s death wrought in lashings of freezing draughty air and damp walls and a nasty red stain at the foot of the stairs. The return to Derbyshire brings back a lot of unwanted memories for Caro, about her step-mother’s stories – one in particular about two little girls and the terrible thing they do. This novel is incredible tense, cranking tighter and tighter until its explosive ending. One of my favourite scenes happens at Carsington Water reservoir during a foggy evening. It was so spooky it gave me chills!
4. In Bitter Chill – Sarah Ward
This is Sarah Ward’s first novel in a series that has a story for each season. As indicated by the title this one takes place in the depths of winter, a unique crime novel that uses both a police procedural strand and a more personal psychological strand exploring the abduction of two girls in 1978 and its impact in the modern day. I absolutely love novels with a past-and-present thread, and this one delivers. It is a novel about family secrets and loss and how sometimes we are hurt most by those who are closest to us.
5. Black Dog – Stephen Booth
Arguably the father of “Derbyshire Noir”, Black Dog is the first in a long-running series set in Derbyshire and the Peaks. Its high-summer setting is unusual comparative to other Derbyshire-set novels, but it perfectly captures the chafing between Detective Constable Ben Cooper and his new partner, Diane Fry, as a teenage girl goes missing and her body is later found in the woods. Booth’s ability to get deep into the heads of his various characters is an enviable skill, and one that has garnered him a large, almost-cult following!
I am proud that After the Eclipse will set among such a fantastic group of locally-set novels.
Thank you to Titan Books and Fran Dorricott for arranging this blog tour and giving me the chance to share an awesome guest post all about brilliant crime novels set in the beautiful hilly county of Derbyshire. There are some stellar books in this list and it was great of Fran to give credit to those authors who’s work shares influences with After The Eclipse. If you haven’t already then grab yourself a copy of After The Eclipse and make sure you visit all the other fantastic blogs that are sharing reviews and content during this tour. Thanks again for your support and I hope you enjoyed this guest post from Fran Dorricott.