I can't describe how excited I was when my proof copy of Elizabeth Haynes' latest novel Under A Silent Moon dropped through my letter box. I am a huge fan of her writing, and her first novel Into The Darkest Corner is one of the cleverest, most chilling stories that I've ever read - I recommend it to everyone that I meet.
Elizabeth Haynes has moved to a new publisher; Sphere, and they've been doing a fine job over the past week in marketing Under The Silent Moon to reviewers - we've received lots of clues via email, tempting and taunting us to try and solve the crime. It's been a really clever way of raising awareness of a new novel.
Under A Silent Moon will be published by Sphere as an eBook on 15 October 2013, and as a paperback original on 24 April 2014.
Under A Silent Moon is something of a new direction for Elizabeth Haynes and follows a murder investigation headed up by DCI Louisa Smith. Told over a six-day period and interspersed with source documents, readers are able to interpret the evidence alongside Lou and her team.
A suspected murder and a suspected suicide - both on the same night, both victims living within yards of each other, both victims linked to many of the same people. Lou Smith is the newly-appointed Detective Chief Inspector, this is the first time she's been in charge of a murder investigation and she is determined that the killer will not get away.
Elizabeth Haynes has delivered a well-researched, incredibly well-written crime novel. Her vast knowledge gained when working as a police intelligence analyst is apparent throughout the story, this is an exciting, compelling and extremely gripping crime drama. Lou and her team are characters that are so realistic that they become part of your life when reading about them. Lou has an especially difficult relationship with her DI, Andy Hamilton, they have a past, he's a bit of a playboy and something of a loose cannon. Her relationship with Canadian Jason, her assigned analyst is much easier and their relationship develops throughout the story.
There is nothing that I hate more than solving a crime mystery half way through the book, there was absolutely no chance of this happening during Under A Silent Moon. This is a tightly plotted story, with many twists and turns, lots of associated characters and so many potential suspects, just when you think you've solved it, something else happens, and bang! you realise that you were so so wrong.
The sub-plots, the lives of the associated characters and the mechanisms of the murder team all work so very well together, they all blend seamlessly together, and although this could be an overly complicated story, it really works. Each individual strand is told so well and then sewn so well into the main story that it flows effortlessly.
Huge applause for Elizabeth Haynes, this really is a fine crime story. A police procedural novel with a difference. The added extras - the witness statements, the texts, emails and telephone analysis all work so well and add another dimension to the whole story.
I believe that this is the first in the series that will feature DCI Lou Smith - what a brilliant beginning, I'm already looking forward to the next instalment.
My thanks go to Stephanie Melrose, Press Officer at Little Brown Book Group (Sphere) who sent my copy for review, and has tempted me with her email clues over the last week.
Connect the clues and follow the conversation #underasilentmoon @Elizjhaynes @thecrimevault
Elizabeth Haynes' first novel Into The Darkest Corner, won Amazon's Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon's Rising Star Award for debut novels. Having worked for the past seven years as a police intelligence analyst, she is currently taking a career break, and writes in coffee shops and a shed-office which takes up much of the garden. Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University; she now lives in Kent with her husband and son. She is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month - an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.