I’m thrilled to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for Bad Sons, the new thriller from Oliver Tidy and Bloodhound Books. Thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me on the tour. I’ll be sharing my review with you in a moment, but first up, here are the official booky bits.
The Official Book Blurb
David Booker returns to Romney Marsh on the south coast of England for a holiday. He is expecting to spend time helping his aunt and uncle pack up the stock of their second-hand bookshop in preparation for a happy retirement. He arrives in Dymchurch on a miserable April night to find his relatives missing without word or clue regarding their whereabouts.
As events unravel, the outlook of the local police pushes Booker to search for his own answers to the questions surrounding his family’s disappearance. To unravel the mystery he will have to put himself in danger. Will Booker find the answers he needs and make it out alive?
So. You fly back into the UK from Turkey expecting to be met by your family. When they don’t arrive to collect you you make your own way home, imagining that they will be there to greet you. When you arrive at their home it is in darkness and they are gone. There is no sign of struggle. They have taken nothing with them. Everyone you speak to tells you how much they were looking forward to your visit. What would you do?
This is the premise of Bad Sons by Oliver Tidy and a very interesting one it is at that. Now, before you all feint in shock or jump down my throat at my next comment, understand that I do love books and bookshops and could quite happily spend an entire day perusing one. However, you kind of don’t expect a quite bookshop in a quiet town which is in the process of being closed down to be at the centre of such an intriguing mystery, but at the centre it is. And you know what? As a setting, it really kind of works.
This is not your full on, fast paced, action thriller of a read, but it’s not a cosy crime either. It is a fascinating kind of hybrid, at least that is how it felt to me. There are moments which will shock you, where you will go what the fudge if only because there appears on the face of it, at least at that point in the story, to be no rhyme or reason behind what happens. There are other moments, where David tries his hardest to investigate what has happened to his Aunt and Uncle which seem slower paced, if only because he does not have the resources your typical PI or Detective would have at his disposal, so he has to become more of a Miss, or rather Mr, Marple. And yet there are equally moments where the chase is on and David is in great peril, or so it appears and the tension ratchets up a notch.
It never quite reaches fever pitch for me and I could second guess a couple of the things that were going to happen, or at least deduce what David and DC Jo Cash are going to discover, but other moments which took me by surprise, including the ending. I don’t think it will be what people are expecting and fair play to the author for not falling into the trap of choosing the obvious.
In terms of the characters, there are only really a couple who we get to know in any great detail and they are David Booker and Jo Cash. Both are truly engaging characters who skirt around each other, there seeming to be some kind of attraction there, but it never quite blossoming. For a Detective, Jo certainly gives David a lot of leeway, and while he is already married, it is made clear from the start that the marriage is in trouble and but David still never acts upon his attraction. I did kind of feel sorry for him a little as he ended up in the wars more than once and he was certainly the kind of character it would be wise to keep a wide berth from if you valued your own safety. But both were extremely likeable and I’ll be happy to read more about them in the future, although given the ending I’m not quite sure what the future holds for Jo.
The writing is solid, often witty and thoroughly engaging. The descriptions of the locale in and around the Kentish coast and the town of Dymchurch were particularly vivid and I could easily picture the scene as I read along. I’d even be tempted to visit although in fairness, I may give Dungeness a miss… Definitely an author I will be looking out for more from.
My thanks to the author and Publisher Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of Bad Sons for review and to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. It is available to purchase now from the following retailers.
About the author
Oliver Tidy was born and bred on Romney Marsh, Kent. After a fairly aimless foray into adulthood and a number of unfulfilling jobs he went back to education and qualified as a primary school teacher.
A few years of having the life sucked out of him in the classroom encouraged Oliver abroad to teach English as a foreign language. The lifestyle provided him the time and opportunity to try his hand at writing.
Oliver’s success as a self-published author has led to his Booker & Cash series of books, which are set mainly on Romney Marsh, being signed by Bloodhound Books.
Oliver is now back living on Romney Marsh and writing full time.
You can follow the author at the following links:
Be sure to check out the other fab blogs taking part in the tour for more reviews and features.