Giving Abused Children a Voice. The Abattoir of Dreams.

My third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, was inspired by news that a high-profile figure had been named by a man in his forties as his abuser in a children’s home. Subsequently, the man said he’d made a mistake – no one leaning on him there, then– the whole case was dropped. This made my blood boil. This poor guy had obviously been through hell as a child, and all these years later, the authorities still slammed the door in his face.

There are so many cases of both historical and current child abuse. The case of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home on Jersey, brought to light a catalogue of abuse – sexual, physical and psychological, stretching back to the end of the second world war. Eight people have been prosecuted for 145 offences and seven men and women have been convicted. Many more alleged offenders, some now dead, have been identified by almost 200 former residents.

A forensics tent at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in St Martin, Jersey, in 2008. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

The investigation also found there was a culture of fear on Jersey. Residents were afraid to come forward with criticism or information because they were living so closely to those they were accusing. Bob Hill, a former member of the states assembly – Jersey’s parliament, said people had long been afraid to report the abuse because they did not trust that any allegations would be treated in confidence. Continue reading

Near-Death Experiences – Fact or Fiction?

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are profound psychic experiences commonly occurring in life-threatening conditions. They include feeling a sense of peace, of seeing a bright light, encountering deceased relatives or religious figures, and of transcending space and time. NDEs may occur in adults or children, have been reported from the time of Plato, and in a variety of cultures around the world. They are one part of a spectrum of significant human spiritual experiences.  An experience can be deeply significant and meaningful to the person going through it, without meeting the strict definition of NDE.  Such experiences may be referred to as “NDE-like experiences”.

In my fifth novel, The Key to Death’s Door, 14 year old Lee Hunter drowns and has a NDE. Here’s a small extract:

I tried to call out to Charlie. Tell him what was happening, but the words were washed down my throat with another mouthful of the river. Then I sank. No more sky. No more riverbank. No more Charlie. Just greenish-brown slimy water everywhere. My mind screamed at my legs to work, demanded one last push, but all my legs delivered was an excruciating pain that reached right up into my groin and squeezed my balls.

       Fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck it, my mind chanted. I tried to use my hands to pull upwards, but you can’t grip water, even when your life depends on it. My heart thumped in my throat. Continue reading

The Hammer Falls by Andrew Barrett – Bloodhound Books Blog Blitz

 

Book Description:
Some secrets, no matter how well buried, refuse to die.

When the remains of a woman are found in a burnt-out car, Eddie Collins reluctantly teams up with his enemy, DI Benson, to untangle the knot of lies behind this apparent suicide.

In the midst of all this, Eddie’s life grows more complicated by the day; his perfect relationship is suffocating him. As a CSI in the Major Crime Unit, he is also being forced to accept a promotion that he doesn’t want, leading a team that he can’t control or tolerate.

Even when the mystery is solved, proving it turns out to be deadly.

 

My Review:
In this, the third book in the series, Eddie has a promotion he doesn’t want and a team he’d rather not be part of. His people skills can be lacking at times, and his reactions can seem unlikely for someone in his position, but he comes across as realistic and all too human.

The humour that was in the previous book is here again, and better than ever. Barrett has done an excellent job of weaving the seriousness of a criminal investigation with dark humour and sarcasm. Whoever said sarcasm is the lowest form of wit obviously hasn’t read this series!

A lot of time and attention has obviously gone into checking facts and procedures, and creating a character in Eddie that many readers will be able to relate to. Another great addition to the series.

Thanks go to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for inviting me to take part in this blog blitz.

Author Bio:

Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.

In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 200,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.

He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.

Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.

Links:Contact: andrew@andrewbarrett.co.uk

Website: http://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewBarrettUK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewBarrett.author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewbarrettauthor

Amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Barrett/e/B0055888Q0/ 

 

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

No Time to Die by Andrew Barrett – Bloodhound Books Blog Blitz

Book Description:
When CSI Eddie Collins finds a dead woman in his house, he thinks life can’t get any worse, until a violent gang ties his hands together and puts a gun to his head. And this time there’s no way out.

Operation Domino is the investigation into gang boss, Slade Crosby, and his connection to an undercover officer’s death. But tampered evidence kills the investigation’s progress, and with Eddie gone, Slade is in the clear.

There’s only one way to get Slade in cuffs, but it won’t be easy..

 

My review:
After being introduced to a large number of characters and their different points of view at the start of the book, the story flowed well. Andrew’s writing is descriptive, giving your mind just enough information to fill in the blanks and create it’s own imagery as you read.

I really liked Eddie. His work ethics and methods sometimes aren’t what you’d expect of someone in his position, but it’s that element of his character that creates the dark humour throughout the book. I think many readers will see elements of themselves in him, even if they wouldn’t admit it!

The police investigation seems realistic and well researched. The developments in the case kept my interest. This is a great crime thriller, and although the second in the series, this book can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

 

Author Bio:
Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.

He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.

In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 200,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.

Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.

He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.

Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks go to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for inviting me to take part today.
As always, thank you for your support,
Best wishes.
Mark.

The Key to Death’s Door Blog Tour Thanks!

Last week The Key to Death’s Door was published and a 6 day blog tour took place. I want to say a BIG thank you to all the fantastic bloggers who gave their time to write and share reviews about the book. Also, thanks go to everyone else who helped spread the word about the tour across social media. It was much appreciated.

Below is a list of the bloggers who took part in the tour with links to their reviews. Please take some time to have a look around their great blogs. Their reviews may lead you to discovering new books and authors.

Amy Sullivan @ Novel Gossip.
Read Amy’s review here. And you can read Amy’s Saturday Shoutout interview with me here too.

Eva Merckx @ Novel Deelights.
Find Eva’s review here.

Sean Talbot @ Sean’s Book Reviews.
Read Sean’s review here.

Gemma Myers @ Between the Pages Book Club.
Find Gemma’s review here.

Sarah Hardy @ By the Letter Book Reviews.
Read Sarah’s review here.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative Reads
Find Sassy’s review here.

Karen Cole @ Hair Past a Freckle
Read Karen’s review here.

Lorna (LJ) @ On the Shelf Reviews
Find Lorna’s review here.

Simon Leonard @ Black Books
Read Simon’s review here.

Sharon Bairden @ Chapter in my Life
Find Sharon’s review here.

Caroline Vincent @ Bits about Books
Read Caroline’s review here.

Jessica Bronder @ JBronder Book Reviews
Find Jessica’s review here.

Diane Hogg @ Sweet Little Book Blog
Read Diane’s review here.

Steve Robb @ Bookie Wookie
Find Steve’s review here.

Jill Burkinshaw @ Books ‘n’ All
Read Jill’s review here.

Mark Wilson @ Mark Wilson Books
Find Mark’s review here.

Bev Eaves @ Reading for Pleasure
Read the first chapter of The Key to Death’s Door here.

Philomena Callen @ Cheekypea Reads
Find Philomena’s review here.

Abby Slater-Fairbrother @ Anne Bonny Book Reviews
Read Abby’s review here.

Chelle Baker @ Chelle’s Book Reviews
Find Chelle’s review here.

Heather Anne Osborne @ Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne
Read Heather’s review here.

Neats Wilson @ The Haphazardous Hippo
Find Neat’s review here.

Donna Maguire @ Donna’s Book Blog
Read Donna’s review here.

Kerry Ann Parsons @ Chat About Books
Find Kerry’s review here.

 

If any of the above reviews have made you think you’d like to read The Key to Death’s Door, you can find the book here on Amazon.

As always, thank you for you continued support.

Best wishes.

Mark.