Today Mandie shares her thoughts on Death on The Rhine by Heather Peck. Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite and to the author for the advance copy of the book. here’s what them book is all about:
About the Book
Much to Greg Geldard’s amusement, his friends Ben and Paula embark on a river cruise for their 2nd honeymoon. Relaxation and luxury are guaranteed; and evil in an unexpected place.
Set on a luxury river cruise on the Rhine, the story evokes the grand old age of murder mysteries, with a modern twist. Ben and Paula find themselves dealing with a range of issues including coercive control and vulnerable adults. But how to tell who is vulnerable?
Ben and his wife Paula are off on a river cruise courtesy of Paula’s parents. Ben has had some stick from his friends but despite his reservations they are having a great time right up to the point Ben finds himself in the middle of an investigation into the death of one of the cruise passengers. Ben is a former police officer turned first responder so it is just his nature to assist in any way he can, but I also get the feeling that he misses being in the middle of the action.
Heather Peck is a new author to me but after reading this I may just have to hunt out her full-length stories to find out what I have missed. This is a great standalone short story that will introduce new readers to the author. Even if you have not met the main characters before they do seem well established and easy to like. Despite only being 78 pages long the action is pacy and compact with enough intrigue to keep you guessing as to the who and the why which is just what you want in any good book. If you are looking for a quick lunchtime read then I would recommend this should be one on your list.
About the Author
Heather Peck is the author of the Greg Geldard series of murder mysteries, set in rural North Yorkshire and Norfolk. As she says:
‘I’ve had a life of two halves. In the first I was both farmer and agricultural policy adviser. I bred sheep and alpacas, reared calves, broke ploughs, represented the UK in international negotiations, specialised in emergency response from Chernobyl to bird flu, managed controls over pesticides and GM crops, saw legislation through parliament and got paid to eat KitKats while on secondment to Rowntree. In the second I chaired an NHS Trust, worked on animal welfare, sailed a boat on the Norfolk Broads, volunteered in Citizens Advice and the Witness Service and vaccinate humans against Covid. Two golden threads have run through everything; my love for both reading and writing, and the wise words of my Gran. ‘You can do anything if you try hard enough.
Now I write about the countryside and the animals I love, the industry (farming) I hold in deepest respect, and the various ways in which humans make things bad for each other and the world around them, always being very aware of the sad fact that cruelty to animals usually goes hand in hand with cruelty to other humans. Much of my time in the Witness Service and in Citizens Advice has indeed brought me face to face with some of the more tragic aspects of family life and work.
I write about the rural world because I want to share its wonders, peculiarities and hilarious moments with people who may not have been privileged to see it as I have seen it. But I wrote these specific books, Secret Places and Glass Arrows, because each uncovers problems that are probably hidden to most of us and about which I care passionately.
My main protagonist has grown with each story and his life has changed in ways I couldn’t have predicted at the start. When I started writing Secret Places I didn’t intend Greg Geldard to be the main protagonist. But I find that he, and other characters, take on a life of their own. How they react to circumstance affects what and how they feel, and therefore how they evolve. That too gives me immense satisfaction. Greg Geldard is now a man with a rounded personality; some strengths, some weaknesses, some insights and some blind spots. I’d like to meet him.’
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