The contract killer changed his life!

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Today I'm participating in Andrew Segal’s THE LYME REGIS MURDERS Virtual Book Tour, hosted by PUYB!

When you read the "about the author" section below, you'll know why I had to read the book! But first, my review...

The Lyme Regis Murders by Andrew Segal

Lyme Regis is a quiet British seaside town, with beach and cliffs and cops and residents… it could be television’s Broadchurch perhaps, and Andrew Segal’s novel, The Lyme Regis Murders, will probably remind readers of the TV series. Dead bodies, suffering children, multiple suspects, and everyone hiding skeletons in their cupboards; it’s the sort of heady mix that leads to an appropriately long and tortuous investigation.

A “multi-lingual English, Spanish and French-speaking Politics Philosophy and Economics, Oxford graduate with ... more than just a smattering of Hebrew” is hired to investigate the murder of three children, but she has other cases to work on, and an unraveling plait of relationships to distract her. Still, she’s good at her job, whether that be self-defense or super-defensive driving to secret hideouts.

Detailed descriptions of locations from Lyme Regis to London and beyond provide the background scenery, where areas of “mainly Victorian terraced houses, … developed by Solomon Barnett between 1895 and 1900…” compete with beach and gardens for the reader’s attention. Detailed backstories slow things down, giving the novel a TV episodic feel, and if these sometimes open characters to too many reader's questions (the background of an autistic young man, for example, abandoned at birth by his father because he looked wrong, felt unreal to this particular reader) they soon enough lead back to the main mystery.

Chapter headings are enhanced with vignette photographs, adding pleasingly to the sense of place. And the mystery grows ever deeper as the story progresses, its threads, like its relationships, staying stubbornly apart until the ending. The Lyme Regis Murders is an interesting mystery that blends together dramatic characters, complex background stories, convoluted action-adventure, and a pleasing sense of time and place. It's not a cozy or sweet read, but it’s the sort of book that becomes hard to put down because you want to see the ending.

Disclosure: I was given a preview edition and I offer my honest review.


A contract killer changed my life
The encounter inspired me to become a Crime Thriller writer.
He was a contract killer, and he was in my car!
I’d been lost, looking for West Thurrock in Essex, and asked a little old man in a shabby coat, on the opposite side of the road, the way. He offered to show me if I gave him a lift, and whilst I make it a rule never to give lifts to anyone I don’t know, I reasoned, he could hardly be a contract killer, could he. Could he? Of course not.
As we drove he casually informed me that he’d, ‘Done it for the Kray’s, mate.’ That would have been the notorious East London gangsters he was referring to, known to kill, or have killed, without conscience.
Once I’d dropped him off and recovered my composure, I realised I was looking at fodder for a short story. What then followed was a raft of short stories, including, ‘I am a Gigolo,’ something I told my wife when I first met her, and which almost ended our relationship before it had begun. That title is now the heading for a book of short stories.
Jokingly, over lunch, I told a fellow professional I’d once been a contract killer, and devised a story. He believed every word, and left me at some pains to disabuse him. That title, I am a Contract Killer, now heads a further collection of short stories.
Writer of scary short stories and full-length novels like The Lyme Regis Murders.
It’s been a fascinating journey… I hope you’ll want to share with me.


The Lyme Regis MurdersABOUT THE BOOK

Andrew Segal
Happy London Press
342 pp
Easy Read / Who-Done-It
Can innocence ever be an incentive to murder?
A quiet seaside town is thrown into turmoil. Tammy Pierre, London based private investigator, accompanied by her sometime lover, Israeli art dealer and martial-arts coach, Dov Jordan, has just been brought close to tears by police photographs shown to her by an hysterical Eleanor Goldcrest, at the home of three innocent toddlers whose brutally murdered bodies have been found on the beach at Lyme Regis.
Wealthy financier, Eric Goldcrest, alarmed that his partner of three years, together with the local police has him nailed as guilty of murdering the children, now retains Tammy to prove his innocence and find the real culprit. But has his involvement in all this been misinterpreted?
In this investigation, with no apparant motive or forensic evidence, Tammy’s skills will be tested to the limit. In a twist that muddies the waters, Eric Goldcrest, laments that he’s simply never made it clear to Tammy about his position in the family and his relationship with the children, all of which have been assumed by the investigation.



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