Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Body Breaker by Mike Craven. Mike Craven’s books have been on my radar for a while now, but like every blogger on the planet my TBR pile is overwhelming so I’ve never got a round to reading any of his book, (apologies to Mike Craven it wasn’t personal) but when Noelle over at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk was looking for bloggers to take part in the book blog tour for Body Breaker I jumped at the chance, as I’m determined to add more new to me authors to my blog and the book description definitely piqued my interest. So less of the ramblings and here’s my review………
Investigating a severed hand found on the 3rd green of a Cumbrian golf course was not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke had planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secretive unit from London swoop in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.
But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s just been barred from.
In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, made a pact with the devil and been arrested under the terrorism act.
But Fluke is only getting started. A voice has called out to him from beyond the grave and he has no intention of ignoring it.
There are some books you pick up and know you are in for a seriously good read, and I just knew from the opening chapter Body Breaker by Mike Craven was going to be one of those books.It’s obvious that The author has “Inside” knowledge of crime investigation procedure and the technical aspects of police work. personally I felt his knowledge made Body Breaker all the more compelling and it definitely added authenticity to this gripping tale. For me Body Breaker doesn’t read like a conventional crime thriller, it has so much more to offer the reader in terms of plot, characters and action.
I’m not going to rehash the plot as it’s all in the book description, suffice to say when our hero Fluke gets a grisly call from beyond the grave, he is determined to get to the truth and god help anyone who gets in his way. I’m not sure which character I loved the most Fluke who gives the illusion he’s a rogue cop or his sidekick the psychotic Towler, the author describes him as a “social hand grenade” which sums him up perfectly. I think they make the perfect combination and the dark humour between the pair have planted them firmly in “my favourite” fiction detectives.
If I’m honest I wasn’t sure the plot would be enough to keep me gripped with new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists, I’m more of a “serial killer on the loose” kinda of girl, but thanks to a well plotted tale, fabulous characters and Mike Craven’s ability to draw the reader in with his style of writing, I actually found this book to be a gripping read. The first half of Body Breaker wasn’t as fast paced as I expected, but once it reached the half way mark the plot moved along like an express train on speed! And the ending, brilliantly executed and left me desperate to read more.
The author manages to reel the reader in and I gave up trying to second guess where the plot was leading as it had so many twist and turns that I didn’t see coming until they smacked me in the face, don’t you just love it when a book does that? Body Breaker certainly has plenty to offer the crime thriller lover, and if you are looking for a unique plot, (not a serial killer in sight) this might just be the book for you.
Don’t forget to check out my partner in crime (sorry for the pun but I couldn’t resist) Claire’s review over at https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing (25 May 2017)
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse.
In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.
Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and was published on 11th June 2015 by Caffeine Nights. Also available is his award winning collection of short stories featuring Fluke and his colleagues from the Cumbrian Force Major Incident Team, Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything. Body Breaker, the hotly anticipated follow up to Born in a Burial Gown, is out on May 25th.
In March 2017, Mike signed a two book contract with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable, for his new series starring the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe, an expert in serial killers and seemingly motiveless crimes. The first Poe book – as yet untitled – will be published in hardback in spring 2018.
Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible.
Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out for the community and host events such as England’s first Noir at the Bar. Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Association.
My thanks to the author and Noelle Holten for an advanced copy of this book.