Tuesday 11 May 2021

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Condemned by R C Bridgestock

April 2021

Charley Mann #2

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

An old house. A fire. Two corpses… DI Charley Mann returns in this gripping crime thriller.

West Yorkshire DI Charley Mann is called for what seems a routine job. Prior to demolition a deserted manor house appears to have been the target of an arson attack.

But something isn’t right.

The house has a dark history – and a dark present. When the remains of two bodies are discovered hidden inside, it soon emerges they were murdered decades apart. Who are they? What are their connections to the house? Why were they killed? And what is the connection to the fire? Amongst the ashes, Charley is soon drawn into a web of deceit and violent plots.

The ghosts of the past can be all too real. Face them at your peril, because what goes around, comes around.

πŸ“– My Thoughts..

On route to a police job DI Charley Mann pulls over when she sees a house fire consuming what is left of the old house known locally as Crownest. Charley, like all the locals, has grown up thinking that the house is haunted and its chequered history certainly lends itself to spooky speculation. When the fire unearths rather more than was expected, Charley and her team are called in to investigate the discovery of the remains of two bodies, both hidden in unusual circumstances, and both with a distinctly macabre story to tell.

We first met Charley Mann in the first book in the series and it's a real delight to be back with this feisty detective in the area of West Yorkshire she calls home. The high moorland setting above Huddersfield helps to give the story such an atmospheric edginess and brings a real sense of desolation that it's perfectly possible to hear the cawing of the aptly named murder of crows as they circle in the brooding skies above this isolated area.

There's something about a spooky old house finally giving up its secrets that appeals to me and the sense of old history which surrounds the house is done really well. Add into the mix a couple of modern day mysteries and what comes out is another complex police procedural with the added enjoyment of watching how this talented writing duo, whose own police experiences always adds such credibility to the story, bring everything to its final conclusion.

With great writing Condemned brings us great characterisation, a complicated murder mystery and more than enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing until the end. I am sure that this isn't the last we have have seen of DI Charley Mann and I am definitely looking forward to spending time with her again. 

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. 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. 

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. 

Carol and Bob are also patrons and ambassadors for several charities.

Twitter @RCBridgestock 


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