You know it's going to be the start of a new series you love when the style and pace of the writing and the characters just "click" with you. I knew within a few pages that I would be drawn in and it felt a little like coming home and putting your jammies and slippers on - it just felt comfortable. The secret to whether you'll like the series is how well you connect with the protagonist Tyrone Swift. As you can see from the reviews, if you like him and want to get to know him better then you'll love this series. If you can't seem to connect to him for whatever reason then perhaps this isn't the series for you. As well as the main crime of the novel to leave you flummoxed (and it will), there are various other criminal subplots, both interconnected and not, woven throughout to make a somewhat complex read. If I had any complaint about this novel is that there are a LOT of characters and I would have been left quite confused if not for the character list provided by the author. I love my crime stories to be character centred with an interesting back story to the main character that I can sink my teeth into, and this novel has that in spades. We are given a peek into Ty's life - his successes, his mistakes, his foibles and what drives him. He seems a tired, introspective and someone melancholy git and sometimes you just want to give him a good shake - but I found myself becoming invested in him and that is the hallmark for an excellent series. I also absolutely loved the character Cedric, Ty's sitting tenant! The debonair senior citizen displays remarkable sangfroid and I await with delight to see what adventures he has next. This was a busy story with lots going on so was a remarkably quick read. I have already downloaded the next three books in the series and can't wait to read more about Tyrone and his band of friends.
Blood Secrets 4⭐
I read an absolutely fascinating blog by author CW Hawes last week (really you should read his blogs even if you aren't a fan of his books) where he explained the difference between a mystery, suspense and a thriller novel and it just resonated with me. In a nutshell, he explained that a mystery is just that - a puzzle to be solved and has a much slower pace compared to thrillers, although it has periods of heightened suspense throughout. And that succinctly describes Greta Mulrooney's Tyrone Swift series. It is a slower paced novel and flows smoothly, often like Ty's boat in the River Thames, and the real genius is trying to work out the puzzle of his current investigation. I have found in the first two books of the series that Ms Mulrooney likes to give you value for your money by throwing in at least one or two smaller mysteries just to confound you a little. The character Ty has really endeared himself to me, even if he is quite maudlin concerning his personal life. There were times when I thought "Oh you poor, poor b*@%ard!" This time around we find Ty battling to solve a mysterious, viscious cold case that is 15 years old. Not only does he find walls at every turn due to lack of evidence but also two highly dysfunctional families that hold the key to finding the culprit, but have buried secrets of their own. The subplots interconnect smoothly with the main story and leave you surprised and excited with the revelations within. Adding complexity to the story is Ty's tangled personal life with his ex-fiance Ruth, and a stalker intent on ruining his life. We are left with a melancholy, shocking conclusion to the case and Ty is left with a shocking revelation of his own! This series has fast become one of my favourite British Detective series. Highly recommended for those that love a slower paced genuine mystery.
Two Lovers, Six Deaths 4.5⭐
Two Lovers, Six Deaths is my favourite of the three Tyrone Swift books that I have read so far, for a variety of reasons. It has benefitted remarkably from having a pared down cast of characters, enabling the reader to tightly focus on the solving of the crime, along with more simple subplots. The story is faster paced and the more upbeat feel surrounding Ty's personal life made for an exceptionally quick read. The premise of the story is interesting in that estranged wife Georgie doesn't believe her husband Dominic capable of killing anyone, let alone Lisa, his girlfriend, whom he worships. As Ty begins the arduous task of reinvestigating the original murder and the suicide hanging of Dominic he is soon left with confirmation that nobody thinks Dom capable of murder, but that there are plenty who would have wanted Lisa dead. Her seductive chaos ruined many lives and her narcissism left her unaware of her destructiveness. Who really stabbed her and why did Dominic feel the need to take the blame? There are red herrings aplenty and a few finely woven subplots to provide competition. But it is Ty's personal life that provides an upbeat alternative to the melancholy conclusion
I would recommend the three book story to everyone who likes to read a real story about people that you could happen to know in your every day life. Not all hustle and bustle about police running here and there with sirens blaring. And no foul language on every line.
I have really enjoyed this trilogy, love the Swift character. A little long winded in the description details but having said that it did take you to a picture in your mind. A bit confused however. In book 2 the character of Emlyn had a last name of Taylor, book 3 was Williams, then in the final character list it was back to Taylor. Hmmm ? Typo?
I enjoyed all of these books. They have complex characters and situations but are so well written with realistic descriptions that they are easy to read and hard to put down. I am looking forward to reading the next Tyrone Swift novel.