Review: The Circus by James Craig

The Circus cover image

The Circus cover image

What the blurb says: “When the body of journalist Duncan Brown is found in the back of a rubbish truck, Inspector John Carlyle is thrown into the middle of a scandal that threatens to expose the corrupt links between the police, the political establishment and the hugely powerful Zenger media group.

Hunting down Brown’s killer, Carlyle finds himself going head-to-head with his nemesis, Trevor Miller. A former police officer turned security advisor to the Prime Minister, Miller has dirty money in his pockets and other people’s blood on his hands. Untouchable until now, he is prepared to kill again to protect his position, and having failed once already to dispose of Carlyle, he is not prepared to slip up again …”

I couldn’t help but warm to Inspector Carlyle. He’s a good bloke, battling a heavy workload in order to do a good job and solve his cases. And he’s got a lot on his plate, a targeted bomb that kills a teenager, a missing girl, and the murder of journalist Duncan Brown.

As Carlyle digs deeper into each case, he discovers a web of crime and corruption that stretches far into the halls of power in London. What made the story seem especially realistic for me is that it covers a number of themes that mirror much of what has happened in recent times, like phone hacking, and doesn’t shy away from showing a rather seedy side to journalism, politics and police work.

This is the fourth book in the bestselling Inspector Carlyle series. It’s a gritty story, set in a sinister London, and one that will have the reader trying to puzzle out both who did it and why did it.

I think fans of police procedurals will certainly enjoy this one.


The Circus by James Craig is out now, published by C&R Crime.


CRIMEFEST welcomes SHERLOCK to Bristol



Wow, this is huge!

CRIMEFEST, the fabulous crime writing festival held in Bristol, UK,  is all set to host a panel with the makers of the simply wonderful crime drama SHERLOCK.

The panel will include Mark Gatiss, actor (Mycroft Holmes), author and series co-creator, producer and co-creator Steven Moffat, and producer Sue Vertue.

The panel is scheduled for Saturday, 1 June, 1.40pm – 2:30pm.

Attendance of the panel is included in the Full and Saturday CRIMEFEST passes, and a limited number of £15 tickets are available for just the panel.

If you want to be there pop over to the CRIMEFEST website and bag a ticket fast at

I’ve got my ticket!

Events Alert: Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s “Creative Thursday”

festival logo

festival logo

I’ve just heard that bookings are now open for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival’s creative writing course for aspiring writers – Creative Thursday. Held on Thursday 18th July 2013, and running from 9am to 6pm, it’s a fabulous opportunity for those interested in writing crime.

This day-long programme of workshops and seminars gives aspiring crime and thriller writers access to bestselling crime writers, publishing industry professionals and real-life crime experts.

The workshop will cover topics including:

  • Learning from the Greats
  • Constructing Character and Plot
  • Interactive Session with the Forensic Science Society
  • Plus the return of The Dragons Pen – Dare you enter and pitch your novel idea?

In addition, a lucky few Creative Thursday participants with a completed concept for a crime novel will get the opportunity to pitch their book to two agents

The Creative Thursday workshop costs £99.

To find out more, pop over to the Festival website here:

Or to book your place, contact the festival office on 01423 562 303 or email



A wonderful launch: C&R Crime


C&R Crime launch

C&R Crime launch


Wonderful publishers Constable & Robinson launched their new consolidated crime imprint C&R CRIME on the 28th February.

I was really excited to be invited to the launch party, held at the fabulous location ‘The Crypt’ just off Trafalgar Square, London. It was a fabulous evening with loads of authors, the C&R Crime team, book bloggers and reviewers all mingling and chatting.

M.C. Beaton gave a speech in honour of the occasion, and it was revealed that she is just about to have her 106th novel published – a simply amazing feat.

C&R Crime have got some great books out at the moment including The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron (reviewed on this blog in February) and The Circus by James Craig (which I’m currently reading).

I’m also really looking forward to Quentin Bates’ new novel that’s coming out in April.


To find out more about C&R Crime head over to their website at