Excited blogger warning. Not apologising for it – just stating a fact. Okay. So I don’t do excited like other folk, mostly it’s just quiet bouncing and a weird smile-ish looking expression on my face that may also resemble wind, but it is, I assure you, excitement.
Why? Well because today is the e-book publication date for the first in a brand new series from none other than James Oswald, who you may not know (as I seldom ever mention it) is one of my favourite authors and the Inspector McLean series one of my favourite ever series. Happy publication day to you Sir (Benfro). I do hope you have plenty planned in celebration. Once you’ve finished with the coos and the sheep and penning the next book obviously.
For those not in the know, here is what it is all about …
About the Book
Undercover ops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.
Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.
In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.
There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.
Oh heck. I can’t deny that as soon as I heard about this book I was straight on to Amazon for a pre-order. This is the first book with James Oswald’s new publishers, Wildfire Books, and although you always worry when an author steps away from an established character and series to try something a little new I was excited. And everything about this is new, including a new setting (mostly) south of the border. It is an almost delectably uncertain combination but as a fan I was more than happy to see how well all these changes work. As soon as I saw it on Netgalley I was off, and as soon as I got approved I started a sneaky read in my lunch hour. I was in Dublin at the time so I got to read more at the airport and on the flight home. And more when I got home.
And also when I went to bed where I stayed awake until early o’clock in the morning to finish it … By god I struggled at work the next day.
If, like me, you have ever wondered how it will all turn out when one of your favourite authors decides to branch out and write something sort of similar but just that little bit (completely) different, then you could ask for no finer example than this. The answer, quite simply, is write another blinking bostin’ series with a character I have already grown to like. A lot.
Constance ‘Con’ Fairchild has certainly been put through the ringer on this first outing, chased, threatened and put in a most compromising position, yet she never lets that stop her. Feisty, determined and with a wit sharp enough to do real damage to her foes, she is most definitely a character I want to follow onward.
Told in first person, the styling and voice completely contrast to the McLean series, even if certain parts may feel somewhat familiar. Yes it’s a police procedural and yes it has a slightly unusual hook but if you want to know what that is you need to read for yourself.
Now you might wonder how this is a ‘mini-review’ but then you clearly don’t follow my blog very closely as I write war and peace every single time. Rest assured that the full review will follow later on this year as I am saving myself and my thoughts for paperback publication day, but if you want a fast paced, action laden, plot and character driven novel that will have you grasped from the off, hitting page after page of nail biting tension as well as perfectly drawn scenery and moments of quiet calm (plus added bonus midges) – give this a go. I loved it and I know you will too.
No Time To Cry is available now in e-book and is published in paperback by Wildfire books on 1st November. You can order/preorder from the following links.
About the Author
James Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. Set in an Edinburgh not so different to the one we all know, Detective Inspector Tony McLean is the unlucky policeman who can see beneath the surface of ordinary criminal life to the dark, menacing evil that lurks beneath.
As J D Oswald, James has also written a classic fantasy series, The Ballad of Sir Benfro. Inspired by the language and folklore of Wales, it follows the adventures of a young dragon, Sir Benfro, in a land where his kind have been hunted near to extinction by men. The whole series is now available in print, ebook and audio formats.
James has pursued a varied career – from Wine Merchant to International Carriage Driving Course Builder via Call Centre Operative and professional Sheep Shit Sampler (true). He moved out of the caravan when Storm Gertrude blew the Dutch barn down on top of it, and now lives in a proper house with three dogs, two cats and a long-suffering partner. He farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.