I am delighted to share my review today for Where Crows Land by Paul McCracken. This is a a gritty urban crime thriller read that I really enjoyed.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Tings Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book.
This gripping thriller is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and chronicles the dramatic events when a former detective, Joseph Carter, sets out to gain redemption from the consequences of an old case that cost him everything.
Carter is still haunted by the murders of his niece and brother-in-law at the hands of a serial killer he was trying to track down. One year on, the killer has returned and Carter, now a disgraced detective gone private, launches a personal vendetta to catch him this time around.
Life isn’t easy for Carter. A former detective who is now a Private Investigator after going rogue. Not without just cause though. Deciding not to call in back up a year ago leads to the death of his brother in law and niece.
Being a PI sort of keeps him in the loop, keeping his finger on the pulse of the streets of Belfast. It seems the past is coming at him once again, he is being targeted. A recent case may give him a way back into investigating the murder of his family. A case that haunts him still.
This is a tough and gritty crime thriller and I really like the way the author has twisted this storyline every day possible. Creating a novel that is a mix of various plots and characters to provide a roller coaster ride through the streets of Belfast. The characters are a mix of family, friends and colleagues.
The story is one that has a good deal of intrigue and I found myself second-guessing so many times and was nowhere near to being right. As I said it is full of twists and they definitely caught me out many times.
The characters are such a mix, I did like the main character of Carter. He does seem to have loyalties and integrity, a loner to a point but more that he still hangs on to the hope that he will find those responsible for the deaths of his family. I didn’t particularly like all the characters, there is a certain amount of mistrust that the author has given them. As I read I found my doubts, in some cases were justified, but not in all cases.
This is a gritty and intriguing urban crime thriller that has a good mystery and suspense to it. One for those who like a deep plot with red herrings and one I would recommend reading.
About the Author…
Northern Irish novelist, Paul McCracken was born 16th January 1991 in the Ulster hospital, Dundonald, just outside of Belfast. He grew up in the Castlereagh area of east Belfast where he also went to school. Ever since he could hold a pencil, he wanted to be an artist and no-one, not even the school career advisor could tell him otherwise. He left education with only three GCSE’s and an Art diploma. He tried to make it as a fine artist whilst also trying to find any work to support himself financially. However, the more he learned about the commercial art world, the more he wanted no part in it. In spring 2011, he enrolled in a five day film making course through the Prince’s Trust charity. He always had a passion for storytelling. During the course, he impressed the owner of the studio at which the course was being held, through the raw creativity he displayed. The studio owner was the first to encourage Paul to write his own material, that material being screenplays. After leaving the course with new found confidence and ambition, Paul started to learn the craft of screenwriting and got to work writing his very first feature film. After securing full time work later that year, he found a renewed inspiration to write again and wrote a full length film script in the space of a week. Paul kept on writing other projects as well as continually editing the first script, but he kept the fact he was writing close to himself as he didn’t want to face any negativity if he were to tell anyone. The script would go on to score highly in an international screenplay competition, based out of Los Angeles. It would then place in the quarter-finals of the same competition for the next two years in a row, accompanied by another screenplay that Paul wrote next. Years later, after entering competitions, pitching, submitting and doing some occasional freelance scriptwriting, Paul wanted to find a way to get his work into the public eye. Writing a novel was a challenge that seemed daunting but also exciting. Having first thought of converting his best script into a novel, he decided to come up with a completely original story. In 2018, he self published his debut novel, Layla’s Song. In 2020 he secured two book deals with two different English publishers. The Conrad Press and PM Books (Imprint of Holland House Books). The first of these books was Where Crows Land, a detective thriller set in Belfast and published by The Conrad Press. His other novel, The Last Rains Of Winter is due out early 2021 with PM Books.
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