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Porcelain: flesh of the innocents by Lee Cockburn – a review Spring Reading Week BLOG TOUR

​I was given a  copy of Porcelain: flesh of the innocents by Lee Cockburn from the publisher Clink Street Publishing and I am delighted to be part of their spring reading week.

Porcelain is described as vivid, dark and unsettling and it most certainly is. Set in Edinburgh, the story starts with two five year old’s being horrifically abused by their mother and her boyfriend. Fast forward twenty years and the police are dealing with a vigilante killer who is preying on people with links to paedophilia. At each murder scene a porcelain doll is found. DS Nicks is leading the investigation as she still struggles to come to terms with the outcome of her last big case.

This was actually the second novel by Lee Cockburn and I hadn’t read the first which is referred to quite a lot but this still seems to work as a stand alone novel.

Porcelain was a novel that very much divided my opinion. The storyline was definitely not for the fainthearted. It deals with some horrific issues, and it is pretty graphic. It’s testament to the quality of the writing though that you want to continue to the end.

However I really wasn’t keen on the main character of DS Nicks. I was disappointed by this as I usually love a good strong female lead, yet I struggled with Taylor Nicks. Her attitude to her colleagues seemed very much at odds with how a professional should act. She basically sleeps with every female she sets eyes on and this means practically every other chapter is a long description of her encounters. I have to admit to getting a bit bored of so many graphic sex scenes that I felt were just a distraction from the actual story so I did skip over them a bit. Of course this detachment may have been because I hadn’t read the first novel, so I may have felt more sympathy with the detective if I had had more knowledge of her background. I did like the character of family man Detectives Marcus Black though and he is a good contrast to his partner DS Nicks.

However despite my reservations the police procedural element of this book was excellent. Lee was previously in the police force and her knowledge is clear. Despite the dark elements of the plot the story moves along at a pace, and there are plenty of twists and turns. Every time I thought I knew how it was going to pan out there was a new twist ahead.

If you like your crime novels to be dark then this is definitely one for you although it’s probably a good idea to read her first novel Devil’s Demise before embarking on this one.

Thanks very much to Clink Street Publishing for letting me take part in the Spring Reading Week which is now at an end but has been a great way to find some new reads. 

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Spring Reads Guest Post – Matthew Redford

Now regular readers of my blog will be familiar with the hilarious world of Food Sapiens and our main carrot DI Wortel. Remember the case of the dead mince spy? For those of you who have no idea what I’m on about you can find out more here (Addicted to death by Matthew Redford – a reviewWho killed the Mince Spy BLOG TOUR – Guest post

Well as part of the Spring Reads 2017 I am delighted to welcome back Matthew Redford, author of Addicted to Death, which tops the list of funniest crime novel ever in my opinion. I was keen to find out more about the food sapiens. So I’ll hand you over to Matthew.

Thank you so much for letting me write a short piece for the readers of your blog. I have been asked to write on the subject of how I came up with my characters which I think is a really interesting question, because after all, how many Food Sapiens detectives do you really know about?

I’m sensing that I may have lost you there. Food Sapiens. Walking, talking, breathing food items who are integrated and part of our society. Still not with me? Check out the Genetically Modified Food Sapiens Act 1955 and you’ll find out that Food Sapiens were finally released from captivity after initially being held by Government scientists who discovered that genetically modified food items developed their own conscious. But once the Government realised they had above average intelligence and could set up business and of course, pay taxes, then their release was inevitable.

And over the years Food Sapiens have integrated fully into everyday life, so much so that they have blended in without anyone realising. And this is why I think it’s so interesting that I am often asked by people how I came up with my characters. The honest answer is that I didn’t create them, they actually exist, and I am writing about real life events. Now for anybody that has read ‘Addicted to Death’, or ‘Who Killed the Mince Spy?’ you might that hard to believe, but I guarantee that I speak the truth. In Addicted to Death, poor Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs very much in love, were brutally murdered by a hitman with a large metal spoon, (stop sniggAddicted to Deathering at the back, it’s no yolk), while a Christmas drama unfolded in Who Killed the Mince Spy? as an MI GasMark5 secret agent was deliberately over baked and charred. That was such a difficult case for the Food Related Crime Team as the death of the mince spy, while horrific, smelt so good.

So let me take a few moments to introduce you to some of the lead Food Sapiens characters:

Detective Inspector Willie Wortel – the Head of the Food Related Crime Team and the leading Food Sapiens detective of his generation, DI Willie Wortel, carrot, leads the fight against food crime. Renowned for his sharp mind, his bravery and courage, Wortel has tackled the psychopath Sammy the Shrimp, foiled the evil MadCow McBeef and managed to find work suits that somehow complement his tall, spiky green hair.

Oranges and Lemons – two fruit officers who work with DI Wortel. I would have said they support, help and assist Wortel but that would be a lie. Probably better to use words like torment, hinder, annoy…but, and this is just my opinion, I think he quite likes having them around really. One word of warning however. If you do bump into them and start chatting, please don’t ask them who borrowed five farthings because you might never get away.

MadCow McBeef – evil genius and nemesis of Wortel. Currently incarcerated at the Farmer Giles Mental Institution, but under close surveillance at all times. Avoid at all costs. Enough said.

USA President Rump Steak – a surprise election winner who some might say should be incarcerated alongside MadCow McBeef, but who nonetheless, is under close surveillance at all times. Avoid at all costs. Enough said.

Curly Kale Minogue – one of my favourite singers also happens to be a Food Sapiens icon. With her breakthrough song ‘I should be so leeky’ and the disco classic ‘Can’t get you out of my bread’ she is often top of the charts battling it out with Ham Smith and CornFed Sheeren.

Russell Toastie – now I need to be completely professional here when describing this actor. I need to make sure that I let you know I respect his acting ability and what I am about to say has nothing to do with his good looks and physique…hubba hubba hubba…

So that is a small insight into the world of Food Sapiens, who are not made up characters, but real life people who go about their daily business just like you and me. There are good Food sapiens and those who sometimes take a criminal turn. But we can rest assured for while we have Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, we can sleep safely tonight.

Thank you very much Matthew, I am very much looking forward to reading more about Food sapiens and finding out what DI Willie Wortel is up to.


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