Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Stolen, the latest Lucy Clayburn thriller from Paul Finch. Not only will I be sharing my thoughts on the book, I’ve an exclusive extract for you to take a look at too. My thanks to Sabah Khan of Avon for inviting me to join the tour and providing an advance copy of the book for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
How do you find the missing when there’s no trail to follow?
DC Lucy Clayburn is having a tough time of it. Not only is her estranged father one of the North West’s toughest gangsters, but she is in the midst of one of the biggest police operations of her life.
Members of the public have started to disappear, taken from the streets as they’re going about their every day lives. But no bodies are appearing – it’s almost as if the victims never existed.
Lucy must chase a trail of dead ends and false starts as the disappearances mount up. But when her father gets caught in the crossfire, the investigation suddenly becomes a whole lot more bloody…
The Sunday Times bestseller returns with his latest nail-shredding thriller – a must for all fans of Happy Valley and M.J. Arlidge.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Playstore | iBooks
From the Book
The men began arriving shortly after ten o’clock that night. At least, Lucy assumed they would all be men. The intelligence suggested that, and while she wasn’t so naïve as to believe that casual cruelty was solely a male preserve, this particular business, as well as being totally disgusting, just seemed so childishly laddish that she couldn’t picture any of the female offenders she’d arrested over the years participating willingly.
‘All units, we’re on,’ she said into her radio. ‘But sit tight . . . wait for the order.’
From where she was concealed in the woodland hide, just beyond the cover of the trees, Lucy had a clear view of the rutted track leading to the farm cottage. Over at the point where it joined Wellspring Lane, the gateman was busy admitting a succession of vans and cars, which now passed within seventy yards of her position, travelling slowly in cavalcade. Already she could hear the yipping and yelping of the dogs caged in their boots.
Geraldson, the RSPCA inspector, dabbed with a handkerchief at the sweat glinting on his brow. He was young and nervous.
‘Is there a black van out there?’ His voice was querulous.
‘Even if there is, it won’t necessarily be the one that’s been abducting pets,’ Lucy replied. ‘These are all paying participants. They’ll have their own animals.’
‘So . . . when do we move?’
‘Not until it gets going.’ Lucy – Detective Constable Lucy Clayburn – continued to watch through her night-vision scope but reached out a hand and squeezed his shoulder with a firm, hopefully reassuring grip. ‘Don’t worry, we’ve got this.’
😦 Super sad face. This book does not get off to a particularly good start if you are a dog lover, let’s put it that way. The case that Lucy finds herself at the heart of is a very distressing one for animal lovers everywhere but rest assured, although you will be saddened by the opening, a tragically all too believable tale in itself, this is only really the beginning. A dark van has been seen trawling the streets of Crowley just before beloved family pets have gone missing. But is it part of the bust that Lucy is arranging or is it the start of something far more sinister?
Well if you read the book (or the blurb) you’ll know that something far more complex and disturbing is happening in Crowley. (Well that is relative and depends on your feelings on dogs v people I suppose). Residents are going missing, some noticed, many not, but to what end and who is responsible? It’s going to fall to Lucy and the team at Robbers Row to find out and the facts are going to be very surprising and very dark, believe me.
I really enjoy the Lucy Clayburn series as it’s nice to see a strong female character taking charge, even if she doesn’t have any real level of responsibility as a DC. Lucy has always been someone who can hold her own, intelligent and determined, and truly gutsy in her approach. She has a very complicated personal life, made more so since the reappearance of her father. She is passionate about her job, protective of her mother, and has a great intuition, making her a joy to read about. I like the dynamic between her and her father, gangster Frank McCracken, even with his friend and chief enforcer, Mick Shallicker, seeing them all torn between their sense of duty to their respective careers, and sense of protection for each other, even if that feeling sends chills through Lucy. Complex but compelling, it’s a story I love to follow.
A real revelation in this book though is former Nun, Sister Cassie (no religious pun intended). She has led a very interesting life and certainly adds colour to the story. I don’t want to say too much about her, but it is fair to say that she plays a chief role in Lucy uncovering the truth behind all the disappearances, and a surprising part in seeing justice done. Call it divine intervention if you will, but Sister Cassie does seem to have a knack for being in the right place, even if it does occasionally land her in danger. She is a fun, sometimes mixed up, often misunderstood character who brings a smile to my face when reading. The author has done a brilliant job of developing her character, the perfect blend between the righteous and the woman fallen from Grace. Religious affectation a plenty, but also very down to earth.
This is a fast paced, fun, sometimes gruesome, often heart pumping, definitely sad pout inducing read which I really enjoyed. Well mostly – we won’t talk about the dogs 😦 A great addition to the series and one fans are going to eat up.
About the Author
Paul Finch is a former cop and journalist now turned best-selling crime and thriller writer, and is the author of the very popular DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg and DC Lucy Clayburn novels.
Paul first cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British TV crime drama, The Bill, and has written extensively in horror, fantasy and science-fiction, including for Dr Who.
However, he is probably best known for his crime/thriller novels, specifically the Heckenburg police-actioners, of which there are seven to date, and the Clayburn procedurals, of which there are two. The first three books in the Heck line achieved official best-seller status, the second being the fastest pre-ordered title in HarperCollins history, while the first Lucy Clayburn novel made the Sunday Times Top 10 list. The Heck series alone has accrued over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Paul is a native of Wigan, Lancashire (UK), where he still lives with his wife and business partner, Cathy.
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