Friday 2 October 2020

Blog Tour ~ Those Who Know by Alis Hawkins


Thrilled to be part of this Blog Tour

Dome Press

Teifi Valley Coroner #3

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour

Harry Probert-Lloyd has inherited the estate of Glanteifi and appointed his assistant John as under-steward. But his true vocation, to be coroner, is under threat. Against his natural instincts, Harry must campaign if he is to be voted as coroner permanently by the local people and politicking is not his strength.

On the hustings, Harry and John are called to examine the body of Nicholas Rowland, a radical and pioneering schoolteacher whose death may not be the accident it first appeared. What was Rowland’s real relationship with his eccentric patron, Miss Gwatkyn? And why does Harry’s rival for the post of coroner deny knowing him? Harry’s determination to uncover the truth threatens to undermine both his campaign and his future.

What did I think about it..

In this third book in the Teifi Valley Coroner series, Harry Probert-Lloyd remains acting coroner for the Teifi valley, however, plans are afoot to make this position permanent. Harry along, with his assistant, John Davies, have little time for campaigning, or the machinations of local politics, especially when there is the suspicious death of a local school teacher to investigate.

From the very start of this complex investigation it would seem that all is not well in this corner of rural Wales and both Harry and John must face local prejudice, and opposition, before they can get the answers they seek into the mystery surrounding John Rowland's untimely death. As always, the author creates a strong sense of atmosphere and in Those Who Know there is a dark shadow of foreboding as right from the start there is an inkling that there is something suspicious about the teacher's death which doesn't add up, and as the investigation gets under way there are more questions unearthed than there are answers. 

I enjoy this feisty investigative partnership very much as both Harry Probert-Lloyd and John Davies bring their own unique strengths to the narrative. It's always interesting to see just how well they work together, as Davies is not only Harry Probert's eyes but is also, at times, his conscience, I really enjoy their individual chapters which help to bring their distinct personalities to life. It was especially interesting to have a set of strong female characters take centre stage, especially the two friends, Nan Walters and Ruth Enyon, and the enigmatic, Phoebe Gwatkyn of Alltybela, as they each have their own specific roles to play in the story.

I've now followed this series from the beginning and whilst each book can be read as a standalone I do think that it makes more sense to read the books in order, as not only do you get to to know and appreciate just how much work the author puts into fine detailing her characters, but there's also a strong, and fascinating, sense of Welsh history, which the author puts into perspective in a clear and well ordered way. 

I think that Those Who Know is a fine addition to this continuing series, and I am sure that this talented author will make sure that are more adventures to come for this intrepid investigative duo. 

About the Author

Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. After attending the local village primary school and Cardigan County Secondary school, she left West Wales to read English at Oxford. Subsequently, she has has done various things with her life, including becoming a speech and language therapist, bringing up two sons, selling burgers, working with homeless people, and helping families to understand their autistic children. And writing. Always. Nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned by heritage projects) and, of course, novels. Alis’s first novel, Testament, was published in 2008 by Macmillan and was translated into several languages. (It has recently been acquired for reissue, along with her medieval trilogy of psychological thrillers by Sapere Books).

Her current historical crime series featuring blind investigator Harry Probert-Lloyd and his chippy assistant, John Davies, is set in Cardiganshire in the period immediately after the Rebecca Riots. As a side effect of setting her series there, instead of making research trips to sunny climes like more foresighted writers, she just drives up the M4 to see her family. Now living with her partner on the wrong side of the Welsh/English border (though she sneaks back over to work for the National Autistic Society in Monmouthshire) Alis speaks Welsh, collects rucksacks and can’t resist an interesting fact.

Twitter @Alis_Hawkins #ThoseWhoKnow


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