A rising death toll. A city in panic.
A young mother is found dead in her home with no obvious cause of death. As DI Hannah Robbins and her team investigate, it soon becomes clear that the woman is the first in a long line of murders by poison.
With the body count climbing and the city of Nottingham in social meltdown, the team find themselves in a deadly race against a serial killer determined to prove a point. And Hannah finds herself targeting an individual with whom she has more in common than she could possibly know.
I’m really delighted today to be the final stop on the blog tour for the new novel by Rebecca Bradley, Made To Be Broken, published on 30th June – the second in the Detective Hannah Robbins crime series. Rebecca’s first, Shallow Waters, was published in 2015 – and this is where my personal tale of shame begins. The first book is still nestling, very comfortably, in my kindle – and I’m afraid this one will join it there for a while, until some blue sky appears. It’s sometimes tough being a blogger.
Rebecca is one of the nicest people I know – although we haven’t met I’ve watched her gaining success as an author, and cheered every wonderful review she now receives. But I’ve always wondered what makes someone so thoroughly lovely write books about the darker side of life – after all, she could be writing about sunny climes and love and rainbows…
Over to Rebecca!
Firstly, as I have done with all posts on this blog tour, I have to thank Anne for having me on her blog today. I think, out of all the posts I have written this has been one of the more difficult to define so I suppose it is fitting that we close the three week tour with it. The blogging community has been wonderfully kind and open in their acceptance of, not only me, but of all authors who come knocking at their doors. We have a symbiotic relationship. One that has turned into friendship and continues to flourish. So, as I say, most importantly today, I have to thank Anne.
Why do nice people decide to write about crime? I told Anne I would try and cover this subject as long as I didn’t have to use that descriptor about myself! It’s such a strange word after all. I mean, what does it actually mean? There are so many other words than zone in on a person’s attributes within the context of nice. For instance; generous – but with; money, time, advice? Again, it’s all vague. A person is multifaceted and pinning a person down to one thing is such a difficult task.
So, yes, I agreed, with that stipulation. But, on saying that, I am going to tell you that the crime writing community are one of the “nicest” groups of people I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. And to qualify this, I will also say the blogging community have been wonderfully generous, with their time, their blog space, their enthusiasm and generally welcoming me into their book worlds!
But, back to the crime world. To say it is a world filled with people who write about the dark side of life, they are the loveliest bunch of people you could ever wish you to meet. Especially if you get a group of them all in a room at the same time. Crime writers; just add alcohol!
Seriously though, I think we all have a side of us that isn’t always sweetness and light. None of us is perfect. No, no you’re not, you sat in the corner nodding your head saying you are, you’re not. There are things you do that make you wish you’d done better – by a friend, by your children, by your husband/wife, by your job. We can’t juggle everything and that makes us thin on the ground. We can never be all things to everyone and it’s usually those closest to us who suffer. Having a close and caring network around you is important. Real friends and family understand each other. Because they are the same when it comes down to it and we must all learn to forgive those foibles.
But with a crime writer, we have a space to vent. The page. The clean blank space of a new page provides the crime writer with a safe place to write out the frustrations of life, even if they’re not their everyday frustrations, they are intrinsically linked in there somehow. Buried deep, but in there. And whatever darkness we may have lurking can safely be vented without harm coming to a single real person. Not even a screaming match. Unless of course you dared to disturb said crime writer while in the throes of trying to off someone in a wickedly spectacular way and then you may have found the sharp end of their tongue.
Life does provide a very lush palette to paint the crime novel with. There are multiple sub-genres within the umbrella of crime and this caters for the very many different personalities of a writer who wants to investigate the human psyche. You can choose to go with the gentler cozy or more gritty thriller, psychological domestic or dark noir, police procedural to historical crime, there is something for everyone, but what they all have in common is the examination of human nature in extreme circumstances, even in the cozy there has to be a conflict for at least one of the characters. Even at the subtlest of levels.
And with our world in turmoil, you don’t just have the palette of human nature, but the whole spectrum of world events spanning political, ecological, historical and religious impressions and divides. You can explore everything at will and all on the page, twisting and turning events, making a statement or attempting to make sense of it for your own benefit.
The crime genre is a genre like no other and it’s wide open like never before. Come in, explore, make yourself comfortable and get to know your friendly crime writers. We’re happy in here. In our dark dark world…
Rebecca, thank you – and I wish you every success with Made To Be Broken, and whatever you tackle next.
Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective and lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and her two cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.
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