Thursday 2 March 2023

Twist of Fate by D L Mark BLOG TOUR #TwistOfFate @davidmarkwriter @AriesFiction @HoZ_Books @RandomTTours #BookReview


When an armed man massacres several people in central London, Claudine witnesses the whole thing. To her horror, one of the victims is her brother, Jethro.

Riven by grief, Claudine retreats to the house in the Fens where she and Jethro grew up. When the police contact her, she is left reeling when they tell her Jethro orchestrated the attack.

Why would a gentle, if troubled, middle-aged man cause such bloodshed – and why would he include himself in the list of victims?

Claudine finds herself down a rabbit hole of mystery, caught up in Jethro's research on a medieval cult. If she can't solve the riddle in time, more people will die... and the darkness will claim her too.

This twisty, unrelenting thriller is perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Emma Kavanagh, and Sharon Bolton, using themes of grief to explore how people are never as straightforward as they seem.

Twist of Fate by D L Mark is published by Head of Zeus / Aries Fiction on 2 March 2023. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 

David Mark is one of the cleverest crime fiction authors out there. Twist of Fate is a standalone story that encompasses not just criminal behaviour, but strays into even darker territory with the descriptions of fanatical religious zealots, local myths and legends and a smattering of horror. 

The enticing prologue, set thirty years prior to the main events of the plot is the perfect way to begin this story, the reader is never quite sure just what happened when the couple were disturbed during their illicit encounter that takes place near to a burial ground.

In the present day, Claudine is shocked to see her brother Jethro in the reception area of her smart London offices. Jethro is something of a recluse, usually staying put in his isolated cottage in the Lincolnshire fens. As Jethro tries to explain something to Claudine, and she does her best to hide her dismay about her smart colleagues realising that this is her brother, a blood-stained man enters the building and before anyone can stop it, Jethro is knifed to death. He is not the only victim, two homeless men have also been murdered. 

Shocked and distraught, Claudine travels to Jethro's cottage. Full of remorse and overwhelmed by guilt that she hadn't done enough for her brother, she is determined to find out why he decided to drive to London. Helped by Jethro's neighbour Peg, who has always kept an eye out for him, she begins to go through his belongings. 

Meanwhile DS Billy Dean is assigned to the case. Dean is a troubled man, a recovering alcoholic whose wife is about to leave him. He's angry, depressed and very multi layered, his anger at the world often gets in the way of his ability to look at things properly, but he knows that if he solves this case, it would be a way of getting one over on his wife. The wife who is also his superior at work, and who he must answer to professionally.

When the police inform Claudine that they believe that Jethro may have been behind the shocking deaths, she begins to dig deeper into his life. 

Mark excels in creating characters who are difficult to like, but are perfectly formed. His insight into the mind of those people who are dealing with addiction and with mental health is startling, this is dark and emotional writing that grasps the reader tightly. It is often very uncomfortable to read, but it's masterfully done. 

The description of the isolated fenlands of Lincolnshire are exquisite, adding depth to the story, and the small, tight-knit community that Jethro has been part of oozes realism too.

Mark delves into some frightening areas, the ability of one person to influence others into a brand of religion is so very well done, and the addition of ancient myths and legends that have influenced this so-called religion is just excellent. 

Intriguing, brilliantly written, and with a satisfying, if unexpected ending. Highly recommended by me.

D.L. Mark spent more than fteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post. 

His writing is heavily inuenced by the court cases he covered: the jaded police ofcers; incompetent investigators; the inertia of the justice system and the grief of those touched by tragedy. 

He writes psychological suspense thrillers and historical novels, plus the DS McAvoy series (as
David Mark). 

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