Friday 4 February 2022

Dark Visions of Torment - J.E. Mayhew - DCI Will Blake Book 8.0

Dark Visions of Torment
DCI Will Blake Book 8.0
Obolus Books
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781999840723

Wow, this is the 9th story in the DCI Will Blake series and it is another excellent read. I have read the last few stories in the order they were released. And had them pre-ordered and started them on the day they released. This one dropped during a busy time and it took me about a month to start reading it. It the beginning I was jumping around, but now I read the stores in the order they release. I have stated before that each of the stories is strong enough to be read on its own, but they are better as part of the series and better yet being read in order. I discovered this series based on a recommendation from 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. I am still waiting for that Softley novel. But have had a lot of DCI Blake stories to fill the time. I have since discovered that the author publishes under three names, much like Smith. One for Adult crime novels, J.E. Mayhew and another for Young Adult and younger readers, Jon Mayhew, and a third supernatural Urban Noir as Edwin Torr. And I have now read books under all three names. I was glad I gave that first one a try and after reading all books currently available from him, I know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. And even pre-ordered book as soon as I saw it available. I have read 26 books by Mayhew under the three different names and they are all great reads! These books are not as gritty as the Kett novels, but they are 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. And can picture it much like the old TV series Wired in the Blood. 

But let us now return to this specific book. This story is very different than many of the others in the series. First it is both a murder and a cold case wrapped in one. And soon the cases start to cross over. Blake is back, but being assigned to a desk job after this case. He will be focusing on cold cases. And staying out of action, while his injuries continue to heal, both physical and emotional.

The description of this volume is:

“When a young boy goes missing, DCI Will Blake and his team are led into the little-known subterranean world beneath the Wirral. But the investigation unearths the body of a man who has been missing for almost sixty years. Ernie Hughes, lead singer of the little known Merseybeat band Arthur and the Galahads, disappeared one November in 1964, the night before the band were off to chase their dreams in Hamburg. It appears that Ernie’s death was violent. Blake’s investigations take him back to the heady days of The Cavern Club and Liverpool during the swinging sixties. Many of the witnesses are dead and the suspects in their twilight years. But not everyone is happy for dark secrets to surface, even after all this time and they’ll stop at nothing to keep them buried.

And why is Serafina behaving so amorously towards the local cat population?”

This story is not as dark and gruelling as the others in the Blake Series. We get to see a softer side of Blake. We even see him mend some old burned bridges. But there is the case of the modern kidnapping, a 60 year old body, and then a new murder. All three events taking place roughly at the same place. Blake is not leading the team on the current case and that causes some hut feelings and stepping on toes when he is called first. Can he navigate his new role in the department and the strange occurrences with his mother’s cat at home?

Usually at the end of a DCI Will Blake novel is a preview and announcement of the next instalment. I reached out to the author, and he is not sure there will be more stories. But this one does not feel like the ends of the adventures of DCI Will Blake but only time will tell. If it is the end it is a good capping off of the story. But I personally hope there will be more stories from Mayhew’s masterful pen.     

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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