I finished The Killer Shadow Thieves late Monday night and I have to say it was a thoroughly entertaining read! I’m only sorry that it’s taken me this long to get around to reading it but, it was most definitely worth the wait.
J.F. Burgess is a new-to-me and local-to-me author. He came along to one of our Stoke-on-Trent Book Blogger/Author meet ups which was how I was introduced to his work. The fact that this book is set in Stoke-on-Trent made it all the more appealing to me. I was born in Stoke-on-Trent and have lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme for most of my life. I love it when I read a book featuring place’s I know so well as I can literally picture the characters there.
This book pretty much has it all if you love a police procedural crime thriller, as I do. When a man is murdered in the men’s toilets in a local pub it kicks off an investigation which leads to all sorts of criminal secrets being uncovered. The investigation also gets very personal when DI Tom Blake’s daughter is kidnapped. I loved the clever twist in this part of the story and totally empathised with Blake as he had no choice but to prioritise his daughter over his job. Blake is a very likeable character who has had his fair share of grief, having lost his wife and son already in a tragic car accident. He can’t lose his daughter too and I was praying with him that she would be okay.
This story features some seriously devious career criminals who don’t really care who they stamp on to get what they want. Some are more charismatic than others.
An elaborate plan is devised to steal the Staffordshire Hoard from Hanley Museum and sell it to a collector. Quite clever and ballsy to be honest. I was fascinated to follow one of the thieves around the museum, describing everything he saw, as it is a place very familiar to me. I almost felt like I was there with him, although I don’t fancy wandering around at night! If you haven’t been, I highly recommend a visit.
Anyway, will they pull off their risky plan and how do those involved link back to the murder and the kidnapping of Blake’s daughter?
This book is so full of surprising twists and turns I had no idea where it was going to lead, but I was as determined as Blake and his team to find out. I was completely gripped throughout this story and fascinated by the details. It’s a longish but easy read police procedural which easily hooked me in from the very beginning. Full of suspense and short chapters which add to the tension. There was no way I could just read a couple of chapters at a time. Once picked up it was a difficult one to put down. I highly recommend and look forward to book 2.
Could you commit murder to save your daughter’s life?
DI Tom Blake may have to if he wants see his alive again.
A man with a secret is MURDERED.
A detective’s daughter is ABDUCTED
Two illegals are ASSASSINATED. What connects them?
When he foils a deadly heroin deal, widowed detective DI Tom Blake sets off a chain of events that change his life forever. Things become even more perilous when seemingly unconnected, links between the gruesome murder of a skinhead, and the arrest of a vicious loan shark, unwittingly disrupt an international gang’s daring plans to steal the world-famous Staffordshire Hoard.
In a cruel twist of fate, Blake’s teenage daughter is abducted, propelling the bereft detective on a quest to save her life. Operating outside the law, he’s racing against the clock, following a murderous trail that leads him from the shady world of stolen artefacts, across America, and all the way back to Stoke, chasing a shadowy killer driven by greed and revenge.
As the body count rises, Blake and his team struggle to unravel the conspiracy and with only circumstantial evidence against each of the suspects, they hit a wall, until twenty-six-year-old photographs linking them to murders emerge. It seems the victim’s depraved past is the key to identifying the killer.
Can the police uncover the truth through all the deception and crack the case before the killer murders anyone else who threatens to expose him? And will they recover a legendary national treasure, worth millions, before it’s lost forever?
A brilliantly executed police thriller with an explosive ending!
Discover the electrifying, nail-bitingly tense, twisting new police thriller with a shocking ending, from J.F.Burgess.
What readers are saying:
‘WOW, what a debut novel this is!!!!! It drew me in from the first page and kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. It totally blew me away. Packed full of action and twists I didn’t see coming!’ Audrey Gibson GOODREADS 5 stars
‘A very exciting debut novel.’ Alyson R AMAZON 4 stars
‘A really compelling read. Just couldn’t put it down.’ Ron Allcock AMAZON 5 stars
‘Brilliant debut, exciting, intriguing and very well paced and written.’ MARK FEARN BOOKMARK 5 stars
‘This is the first novel by this author and it is a shocker! Brilliantly thought through and executed.’ Mrs J AMAZON 5 stars
‘A real page-turner from start to finish and the ending is brilliant not the usual run of the mill at all. If you want to know why read the book, it’s brilliant.’ John Thys AMAZON 5 stars
‘The book is a roller-coaster read, offering a cunningly woven web of sex, drugs, violence and crime’ MAX PINNER AUSTRALIA
‘I was immediately rooting for DI Blake and DS Murphy and loved their on-page banter. The introduction of all the characters was done incredibly well and held my interest.’ BOOK JAR JOURNEYS
About the author
I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and spent many years doing less than ideal jobs in and around the Potteries five towns, before finally taking the plunge and quitting work to follow my creative side. As a keen horse-racing fan, I started off in 2007 self-publishing betting how-to manuals. This is my main business, but my real passion is for crime fiction, both reading and writing.
Inspired by authors such as Mel Sherratt, Peter James, Val McDermid, James Oswald, Kate Ellis, Martina Cole and Ian Rankin, and in need of a new challenge, I decided to try my hand at writing crime fiction.
After months of hard slog and sheer determination, I finished my first novel: The Killer Shadow Thieves. This is the first in a planned series of gritty crime fiction books set in Stoke on Trent, involving charismatic DI Tom Blake and his larger-than-life sidekick DS Jon Murphy.
The follow-up, The Deadly Legacy, is a cult serial killer thriller, with a 200-year-old secret at the heart of a plot full of unexpected twists, which push the relationships of a rich pottery family into life-threatening conflicts.
I write tense, gripping, crime fiction mysteries with a twist – or urban crossbreed, as I call it. My thrillers take you deep inside the criminal mind.
I live with my wife and family in Stoke-on-Trent, England. You can find out more about me at…
http://www.jfburgess.co.uk, or on Twitter at @burgess1012.
happy reading 🙂