Saturday 28 November 2020

A Poison Tree - J.E. Mayhew - DCI Will Blake Book 1.0

A Poison Tree 
DCI Will Blake Book 1.0
Obolus Books
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781999840747

This is the third DCI William Blake story I have read and the fourth book by J.E. Mayhew. I have been jumping around a bit. I started with book 2 in this series, then the prequel, and then back to this story. There was some information I knew that if this was your first story, you would not be privy to. But even so each of the stories is strong enough to be read on its own. But I am jumping around again here in the review. Let us ask ‘where to begin’. I am sure that is a question many authors start with, but it is seldom one I start with when reviewing a book. But in this case, I find I must. This series was recommended to me by Alex Smith, author of the DCI Kett books. I had read all the Kett books and was awaiting the next Softley Softley book when Smith mentioned book two in this series, Fearful Symmetry, and gave it a plug. After reading that volume I discovered that the author publishes under two names, much like Smith. One for Adult crime novels, J.E. Mayhew and another for Young Adult and younger readers, Jon Mayhew. And I have now read books under both names. I was glad I gave it a try and after reading 3 of the 5 stories know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. These books are not as gritty and do not pack as much punch as the Kett novels, but they are still great British crime procedural stories. When I reviewed a Kett story I stated I could see Jamie Bamber as DCI Kett, and while reading this I could not help but picture Karl Urban as DCI Will Blake. Let’s now return our focus to this specific book.

This is book 1 in a series that currently consists of 4 novels and a prequel novella. These stories are tightly packed. This one begins on Wednesday October 23rd and concludes on Thursday October 31st. Or at least that is the last date given in the story. The final chapter is 3 days later after Blake has a hospital stay. 

In this story events from the past come back to haunt. They haunt not only the man who first realizes, but the whole area. DCI Will Blake is on a case. And he is exploring options for his missing mothers’ cat. He is tired and drawn out. But he is also determined to get to the bottom of a case. A dark tale of family and deception. Blake does not have a lot of time, and the events race towards events you will never see coming. 

As the first book in this series and the first crime lit from J.E. Mayhew it is an impressive story. It really draws you in and keeps your attention. The pace is excellent. And the story well crafted. If you like crime procedural novels I am certain you will like enjoy this book and series!

Another great read from J.E Mahew!

Books as J.E. Mayhew:
DCI William Blake Series:

Books as Jon Mayhew:
The Spybrarian

Monster Odyssey Series:
1.0 The Eye of Neptune
2.0 The Wrath of the Lizard Lord
3.0 The Curse of the Ice Serpent
4.0 The Venom of the Scorpion

Mortlock Series:
2.0 The Demon Collector
3.0 The Bonehill Curse

Collins Big Cat Series:
The Merchant of Venice: Band 16/Sapphire
Hamlet: Band 18/Pearl
Romeo and Juliet: Band 18/Pearl
Macbeth: Band 18/Pearl

Contributed to:
Beyond the Book: A Collection of Short Stories
Storycraft: How To Teach Creative Writing
Criminal Shorts: UK Crime Book Club Anthology
Make Doves Not War - Forward

Books as Edwin Torr:
Dead Means Dead Series
1.0 Demons - 2017
1.3 Cotton Candy - 2017
1.9 Remurdered - 2017
2.0 Angel Hunter - 2017
2.5 Cold Caller - 2017
3.0 Jigsaw Girl - 2018

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