This is a beautifully written book, with well crafted characters. Beth, the lead police officer, investigates the murder of a young woman, who is found dead in the snow. Beth is not the perfect police officer, but in spite of her flaws, she is persistent in her aim to find the killer. Her friendship with Bebe, a singer and suspect, is not best practice, but from both sides it is rather endearing.
There are only three houses in the hamlet where the murder is committed and they are cut off by heavy falls of snow. Bebe, Dora and Ian and Christine have chosen to live in this isolated hamlet for various reasons.
The reader doesn’t have to deal with gory details of the murder. The key to this book is the puzzle of who was where, when and what could be the possible motive to kill the victim. Alongside the investigation is Bebe’s determination to arrange a comeback for her singing career, in spite of her inefficient manager.
I really enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it highly.
Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category
The Truth Finder is a young adult novel about Earth in the fifth millennium. Vrail is a Truth Finder and uses his ability to read minds to track dangerous criminals. Living in a violent and unstable world he gradually finds how to control and use his talents.
I always welcome feedback and reviews for my books, so do contact me or leave a review. I hope you enjoy it.
If you buy a paperback copy then the Amazon Kindle version is free.
If you have Kindle Unlimited the ebook is permanently free.
In the UK the paperback is £6.99 and the Kindle version is £2.35.
In the USA the paperback is $9.15 and the Kindle version is $3.02.
Here is a Review
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This review is from: The Truth Finder (Future Earth Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Knowing this book was primarily aimed at young adults, I wondered how much I would enjoy it, but within a very few pages I was gripped by the narrative. Although the story in this future world is set in the fifth millennium there are fascinating parallels with our modern age. I couldn’t help feeling that Vrail’s gift (which doesn’t always seem such a gift to him, especially when he first recognises its wider impact) is almost a natural extension of the instant connection we have now via social media, where in a sense we do constantly ‘read each other’s minds.’ In this future world there are other unusual talents that have possibly developed from brain experiments conducted in the ruined past: a growing number of ‘visualisers’ can shape-shift and create deceptive illusions for others. Those who have been born with this gift are feared, exploited, and persecuted in a world still not ready to accept the potential transcendent leap. I loved the curious juxtaposition between a reimagined antediluvian civilisation that has grown out of the ashes of a destroyed 21st century world, and a futurist society which has retained many of its technological advantages while functioning within a largely feudal system. Penny Luker manages with great skill to pull this off without too many obvious flaws of logic – or perhaps I was so enthralled by the story that I threw logic to the wind and went with the flow. The character of Vrail is superbly drawn. He grows into adulthood retaining the integrity he has developed as a child, learning at his father’s knee the responsibility that comes with his telepathic powers. I felt for him, having lived my own life as something of a truth finder. Intuition can be a double-edged sword, and Vrail’s talent is in demand by the forces of both the good and the powerful. Seeing into the perverted depths of an evil mind while assisting in the pursuit of a particularly vile criminal takes Vrail to some dangerous edges, both mentally and physically, and these events are well drawn, realistic, and beautifully written. The storyline presents a number of dilemmas for Vrail, which are cleverly resolved by the end. Nevertheless, as a reader there is relief in realising that in some ways his story is only just beginning. This is the first book in what I guess could be as long a series as Penny Luker’s imagination can stretch. I feel certain that any young adult who reads this will be eager to read more. I am impressed, and highly recommend this book.
Gerald couldn’t believe his eyes. The skeleton he’d unearthed was like none he’d ever seen. In fact it was incredible. Carefully e removed the red earth to expose more of the whitened bones. The lower half of the skeleton was particularly delicate.
At regular intervals he poked his head up and checked no-one was watching. This find would make him rich. His friends, if you could call them that, would stop laughing at his ‘little hobby’. He’d be world famous. Gerald Farthing, architect extraordinaire; finder of the unique skeleton. He could see himself being invited to universities to explain why he’d decided to dig there.
He was so engrossed with his musings that he failed to register the delicate Gaelic music seeping into his head. The music was exquisite, hypnotic, even spiritual.
Gently he started to caress the smooth bones. They felt like silk to his roughened hands. The music drew him down and he curled his body around the skeleton.
Suddenly he was drowning in a sea of earth, which piled deeper and deeper over him.
Gerald had held his dream fleetingly for a moment but no-one ever knew that he’d discovered the bones of a mermaid.
I’ve been asked the question, why write books for children? Is it because it’s easier than writing for adults? Well I wouldn’t have said so, but it’s a good question.
I’ve always like to pretend that there’s a bit of magic in the world. As a teacher I found that children felt the same way. When I read stories that contained magic, children listened. They listened to lots of other things besides, but magic was one of the favourite themes. Of course adults also have magic in their literature in the fantasy or sci-fi genres, so why write for children?
Some years ago something magical happened in my life. My son and his wife had their first baby and I became a Granny and soon I had a second grandchild. After a few years I decided that I wanted to give them a present that they would remember, but not something that was bought. I wanted to show them how much I loved them. It was natural to write for my grandchildren and I had a lot of expereince teaching at primary school level, so I had a good understanding of the right level of language for the age group. The important thing, I felt, was to write as they would speak. I need to stress that the books were for my grandchildren and not about them.
The Green Book and Tiny Tyrannosaurus are chapter books which are suitable for a bedtime reading session. They are suitable for 4-11 year olds.
I wrote the stories about an ordinary family, doing everyday things but then added the magic. Each week I published a chapter on my blog and when I’d done about twelve, I looked to see if they would make a book. At that point I revised and rewrote chapters. Each chapter stands alone as a story, but they do all build up to a longer story.
I’ve had lots of feedback while I was writing and many more people started to follow my writing blog. Now that they are published I’ve only left the first chapter of each book free to read because Amazon doesn’t allow you to publish anywhere cheaper than you have with them.
You can buy the books from Amazon.
Since then my daughter and husband have had two children and so there’ll be two more books over the next two to three years. I’ve already started writing the next book. I hope to post the first draft of the next book by the end of July, so watch this space and do feel free to comment.
Recently my grandson read one of the books to me. It was such a treat. I can’t tell you how that made me feel.
This book is worth buying because it is raising money for the Forget-Me-Not charity, which helps homeless ex-soldiers. It’s also worth buying as it’s very good value for money with thirty four stories. Some of the stories are short or even flash fiction but all are expertly crafted.
As well as Paul Ruddock’s excellent work there are contributions from five other writers: John M.W.Smith, Tom Benson, Matthew Williams, Lesley Hayes and Peter Nena. This adds a variety of style.
One of my favourite stories was ‘Cold Callers’. It was about a writer who wanted to get on with his work but people kept interrupting. Great storytelling. ‘The Spectre’ is a beautiful account I read some time ago on the author’s blog. It is a sensitive description of a natural phenomenon and I remembered it long after I read it. The variety in the book will keep you turning the page.
I won’t go through all the stories but they’re all worth reading. ‘The Car Clampers’ stood out for me as we’ve all met some of these unreasonable people and I didn’t expect the ending that was written for ‘Put to Death’. Photographic Memory I’ve read before but it was just as exciting this time round.
If you buy this book you’ll be helping a worthy cause and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the stories.
This is the story of Jared and Clay. Both are killing machines, trained since they were young boys They don’t know they are brothers until they are given the task to kill each other. Rydell, their father has decided they must die because their powers have become too advanced.
Gradually they realize they must join forces to fight their powerful father. They are joined by their wives and Clay’s children. All have their own magical powers and there are animals with special powers too.
I won’t give any more of the plot away, except to say that this book was written with gusto. There is so much action, including dragons fighting on both sides, you won’t be disappointed.
What I particularly liked about the book was that it was written with a dry sense of humour. It is so difficult to write a story that makes the reader laugh. This is not a funny story but the dialogue of Rydell and the brothers creased me up at times. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it.
I read the whole of this book in an evening and a very enjoyable evening it was too.
Each story leads you up the garden path, so you don’t see the end coming.
My favourite ones were, ‘Having a baby’ and ‘Give it a Whirl’. The first one because I really didn’t see the twist and the second one because we’ve all met that man.
The author has a strong voice so the stories are easy to read. There are some quirky style points, such as the mention of a filler cap being left off in ‘Shona’s Shyness’ and in the next one, ‘Give it a Whirl’. Indeed certain names cropped up in more than one story.
This is the third book in the series and I’ll certainly be reading more of them.