Thursday 6 February 2020

Payback by RC Bridgestock @RCBridgestock BLOG TOUR @DomePress #Payback #BookReview

The brand new series from the storyline consultants to TV's Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey and author of the DI Jack Dylan novels.
Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career - but now she's back, she's in charge and the area's first young, female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive. 
When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex - reporter Danny Ray - doesn't make it easier.

Payback by RC Bridgestock was published by The Dome Press on 9 January 2020 and is the first in a new series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour

It's been an absolute delight to meet DI Charley Mann, in this, the first in a new series from well established and well-loved husband and wife crime writing duo RC Bridgestock.

I'm a huge fan of a police procedural, but it has to be done well. I like great dialogue, a meaty plot and intriguing characters who are well formed and interesting. Payback contains all of these, this really is a winner for me.

Charley Mann is a twenty-nine-year-old Detective Inspector. Having spent a few years working for the Met in London, she's been transferred to Peel Street Station in Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Whilst this is a new posting for Charley, and her first as a DI, this is not a new area for her.  This is her home town. She's well-known, and on the whole, very well loved and respected. There are a couple of people who probably would prefer that she hadn't come home though, and like all bad apples, they really do upset Charley's cart.

Charley is not given any time at all to get used to her new job. Day one on duty brings a murder case; a very strange and unusual one. One dead body, hanging from a tree, by the feet, with unexpected surprises arising on closer examination. It's not long before there's a second body, and it becomes clear that these two cases are quite possibly linked. Add in an old cold-case of rape and Charley and her team really have their work cut out.

Ah yes, the team.  What a fabulous bunch of characters these two extremely talented authors have created. Each and every one of them are extraordinarily described, and the reader soon feels as though they too are part of the team, and these people are part of our own lives.

Much has to be said about the extremely well presented technical parts of police work within the novel. The authors clearly draw upon their own vast experience when writing about the how, the where, the why, of the investigation. Their particular skill lies in that they do this with such ease, interweaving it effortlessly into the narrative. It never feels preachy, or text book; it's an absolutely essential part of the story and adds so much depth to the reading of it.

I really love Charley's character. She's multi-layered; tough, straight-talking, determined, but also, at times, vulnerable. She has a past that the authors slowly reveal, and she also has areas in her present life that are just a little bit murky. Her experiences in the past have shaped the woman she's become, and continue to spur her determination to see that justice is done.

There are characters that the reader will love immediately, there are some who feel like small-time players in the plot, but eventually play some of the biggest parts. There's the one who at first appears to be obnoxious, but who becomes someone to cheer for. An assortment of eclectic, yet very real characters; just like life.

Payback has to be one of the most compelling first books of a series that I've read for many years, and I'm eager to find out what happens to Charley in the next book. This is excellent and comes highly recommended by me.

R.C. Bridgestock is the name that husband and wife co-authors Robert (Bob) and Carol Bridgestock write under. 
Between them they have nearly 50 years of police experience, offering an authentic edge to their stories. 
The writing duo created the character DI Jack Dylan, a down-to-earth detective, written with warmth and humour. 

The ninth book in the series will be published by The Dome Press in 2019, along with their backlist. 

A further crime series is presently being scripted by the pair, which has a strong Yorkshire female character - Charley Mann - at the helm. 

Bob was a highly commended career detective of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. 
During his last three years, he took charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents, over 50 suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. 
He was also a trained hostage negotiator with suicide interventions, kidnap, terrorism and extortion. 

As a Detective Inspector he spent three years at the internationally acclaimed West Yorkshire Police Force Training School where he taught Detectives from all over the world in the whole spectrum of investigative skills and the law. 
On promotion to Detective Superintendent, Bob was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force. 
He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks, including winning the much-coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.

As a police civilian supervisor, Carol also received a Chief Constable’s commendation for outstanding work. 
The couple are the storyline consultants / police procedural on BAFTA-winning BBC1 police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott and Bailey, and are presently working with Scott Free Production scriptwriters on two commissioned TV drama series. 

Carol started and chaired the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle in 2008, along with Bob, where she created an annual charitable community writing competition to inspire others of all ages. 
This event has raised over £10,000 for Island charities. 
The couple pride themselves on being up-to-date on past and present day UK police procedures, and as a result, Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and national and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents etc. 

They have also taken part in BBC Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I. Together they can regularly be seen as speakers at a variety of events in the literary world and work with colleges in schools in providing writing seminars and workshops, and they also work with International TV / Film make-up artist Pamela Clare, to help inspire her students at the White Rose Colleges. 

Eight annual R.C. Bridgestock trophies are annually awarded to students. Carol and Bob are also patrons and ambassadors for several charities.

Twitter: @RCBridgestock 

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