It is my great pleasure to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for The Eyes of the Accused by Mark Tilbury which has been republished by Bloodhound Books. I’ll be sharing my review with you in just a moment but first, here is what this book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Fresh from the horrors of their last case, private investigators Ben and Maddie are plunged into a disturbing world of terror as they search for missing pregnant girl, Hannah Heath.
Drawn to Frank Crowley, a suspect in Hannah’s disappearance, Maddie is about to come face to face with true evil. As she gets close to Crowley, Maddie will learn all is not what it seems.
Crowley is just a small part of something much larger. Something so terrible and deranged, it defies reason.
When Maddie disappears, Ben is left in a desperate race against time to find her and uncover the truth.
But can Ben and Maddie both survive this time?
This is the second book in the Ben Whittle Investigations series and this time Ben and Maddie, now both active investigators, much to Ben’s father’s initial disapproval, are set on the trail of a young pregnant woman, Hannah Heath who disappeared after leaving work. There was no trace of her, no CCTV and there has never been a ransom demand. As Ben and Maddie start to look into the disappearance it is clear that something is amiss at the large care home where she works and while most of Hannah’s colleagues are happy to help there are two in particular who make their skin crawl. When Maddie is sent undercover to try and find out more about the home’s handyman, Crowley, she gets caught up in a chain of event that could cost both her and Ben their lives.
I really enjoyed reading The Revelation Room, the first book in this series. Set against the backdrop of a cult, it was dark and twisted and I found great elements of humour in amongst it all. The Eyes Of The Accused provides many of those same moments of shock and laughter, if only when looking at Ben and his shy and awkward attempts to let Maddie know how he feels about her. The humour also comes from Ben’s father, Geoff, who stuck in a wheelchair following a case gone wrong, is less than gracious in his acceptance of his plight and takes it out on Ben by undermining him whenever he can. I didn’t feel the darkness was quite as strong in this as in book one, with the antagonist no where near as devious as Father Ebb but no less deranged. After all, what sane and rational person would abduct a pregnant woman and keep them locked away? When you find out the reasons for the abduction, which are carefully drip fed throughout the narrative, you will see this person is so many sandwiches short of a picnic they are almost an empty basket.
I really like the characters of Ben and Maddie. Once again Maddie grasps the metal in this caper with Ben her reluctant sidekick. She is far more outgoing and daring than Ben. whose natural caution lends the reader some of the funniest and, on occasion, sweetest moments of the book. We get to see and learn far more of Ben’s father in this book too. He is grumpy, partly because of his incapacity for sure, but mostly I think because he is just grumpy. But this also made me chuckle, the way in which he would steamroller over decisions and try to take control. Ben didn’t let him have things all his own way though so maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to grow up a touch. If anything I feel sorry for Ben’s mother. Just why she keeps putting up with her husband I do not know.
There is a secondary antagonist in this book, one who is creepy and will make your skin crawl. There doesn’t appear to be one redeeming quality about them and there is a tiny bit of satisfaction in the fact that they do sort of get their comeuppance at the hands of the abductor. There is also a strong sense of family throughout the book – that of Ben and his father, Hannah and her mother so desperate to find her missing daughter; the abductor and the relationship with their family, especially their desire to please their father and the creep and the relationship with their mother. Some relationships are beautiful, some testy and some so toxic that it is no wonder some of the characters are not quite playing with a full deck of cards. All are brilliantly observed.
Not quite as creepy as book one but still fun and a great read.
My thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of The Eyes of the Accused. It is available to purchase now from the following retailers:
Amazon UK | Amazon.com
About the Author
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, published, and The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused re-launched, by Bloodhound Books.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar,
and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.
Why not check out some of the other blogs taking part in the tour.