It’s such a pleasure today to be part of the blog tour for the final book by Helen Cadbury, Race to the Kill, published by Allison & Busby on 21st September. “Final” is such a sad word to write – I never had the pleasure of meeting Helen (although we did plan to, on several occasions) and it’s an immense sadness that the opportunity will never come again. She was a warm and lovely lady – and now I’ve managed to read one of her books, I’ve also discovered that she was an extremely fine writer.
It is the middle of a long night shift for PC Sean Denton and his partner PC Gavin Wentworth when they are approached by a dishevelled-looking woman desperate that they follow her. She leads them to the old Chasebridge High School where they find the dead body of a Syrian refugee. The investigation which points to the neighbouring greyhound stadium finds Denton caught up in a world of immigration, drugs and sexual abuse, and one in which his private life becomes increasingly entwined.
I read very little crime fiction, but the hallmarks of wonderful writing are easily recognised, whatever the genre. The characters in this book are perfectly drawn – from the assortment of characters on Doncaster’s streets to the individuals on the police teams. I very much liked Sean Denton, and rather wish I’d discovered him sooner – I liked his background and rough edges, his relationships (with his colleagues, with partner Lizzie, with his family), and his wry sense of humour. I loved the strong sense of place – the derelict school, the greyhound stadium, the market – all vividly portrayed. And the writing – that was just excellent. Helen certainly was a master story-teller, with a style that drew me in and gripped me to the end.
Also by Helen Cadbury:
To Catch a Rabbit was joint winner of the inaugural Northern Crime Award and chosen as an Amazon Rising Star in January 2015.
WHSmith readers voted To Catch a Rabbit no.12 in top crime books which they’d like to see on screen.
In October 2015, To Catch a Rabbit was selected as one of the Yorkshire Post’s ‘13 books that define Yorkshire best’.
Bones in the Nest is the second in the Sean Denton crime fiction series and was published in 2015.
In 2016 Bones in the Nest was selected as a Read Regional title, by New Writing North.
My thanks to Allison & Busby for my reading e-copy, and to Anne Cater for the opportunity to be part of the tour.
About the author
Helen Cadbury wrote fiction, poetry and plays. She worked as an actor before becoming a teacher and recently spent five years teaching in prisons. She had an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. Her debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, was the winner of the inaugural Northern Crime Competition. Helen passed away in June 2017.