Widowed detective DI Tom Blake sets off a chain of events that change his life forever, when the brutal murder of an alcoholic skinhead, and arrest of a vicious Turkish loan shark, unwittingly disrupts an international gang’s daring plans to steal the world-famous Staffordshire Hoard.
In a cruel twist of fate, Blake’s daughter is kidnapped and the trail propels the bereft detective on a personal quest to Miami to save her life. Operating outside the law, he enters into an illicit showdown with a mysterious artefacts Collector, almost costing him his life.
As the body count rises, Blake and his team struggle to unravel the conspiracy of a shadowy killer who leaves no trace. With only circumstantial evidence against each of the suspects, they hit a wall, until twenty-six-year-old photographs linking them to the murdered skinhead emerge. It seems the victim’s depraved past is the key to identifying the killer.
Can the police uncover the truth through all the lies and deception, and crack the case before someone else gets killed? And will they recover a legendary national treasure, worth millions, before it’s lost forever?
I am happy to share a guest post written by the author. Enjoy!
Location for your book
When I read crime, I find it fascinating how authors describe their home towns and cities. It allows readers to build up a mental picture of a real place, making the whole reading experience more emotive, because they can engage instantly with the characters.
Where we grow up leaves lasting memories that have a profound effect on us. With this in mind, there’s a deep sense of place in my book. Stoke-on-Trent is what I call one of the many forgotten towns of the UK. Dozens of factory closures during the recession created large unemployment and crime surged. Neglected for years by local and national governments there are lots of decaying buildings and iconic bottle kilns from the turn of the century, scattered about the five towns.
I find dereliction intriguing; it inspires me to research how people interact with their environment over time. The pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent, with its dark smoky past, has helped me to create, believable characters people can relate to.
In contrast to my gritty hometown setting, some exotic locations also feature in the characters journeys. Love interest – Katrina Osbourne leaves Stoke and continues her red-hot affair with her illicit lover, ruthless gang boss -Ibrahim Benzar, at a high-end villa in Ibiza.
In a cruel twist of fate, DI Tom Blake’s daughter is kidnapped and the trail propels the bereft detective on a personal quest to Miami to save her life. Operating outside the law, he enters into an illicit showdown with a mysterious artefacts Collector, almost costing him his life. Whilst another key player drug dealer, Yusuf Benzar finds himself in Mumbai India.
Personally, I feel The killer Shadow Thieves is a little different from the usual type of cosy police procedural firmly set in one location. It has an international thriller flavour. Speedboats, casinos, drug dealers, raunchy sex and the daring heist of the famous Staffordshire Hoard are all intertwined with murder and kidnap in a post-industrial Midlands town harbouring secrets. All these elements make it an engrossing read that transport the reader deeply into the character’s world.
Thank you, J.F. Burgess and LoveBooksGroup.
About the author
I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and spent many years doing less than ideal jobs in and around the Potteries five towns, before finally taking the plunge and quitting work to follow my creative side. As a keen horse-racing fan, I started off in 2007 self-publishing betting how-to manuals.
This is my main business, but my real passion is for crime fiction, both reading and writing.
Inspired by authors such as Mel Sherratt, Peter James, Val McDermid, James Oswald, Kate Ellis, Martina Cole and Ian Rankin, and in need of a new challenge, I decided to try my hand at writing crime fiction.
After months of hard slog and sheer determination, I finished my first novel: The Killer Shadow Thieves. This is the first in a planned series of gritty crime fiction books set in Stoke on Trent, involving charismatic DI Tom Blake and his larger-than-life sidekick DS Jon Murphy.
The follow up, The Deadly Legacy, is a cult serial killer thriller, with a 200-year-old secret at the heart of a plot full of unexpected twists, which push therelationships of a rich pottery family into life-threatening conflicts.
I write tense, gripping, crime fiction mysteries with a twist – or urban crossbreed, as I call it. My thrillers take you deep inside the criminal mind.
I live with my wife and family in Stoke-on-Trent, England. You can find out more about me at http://www.jfburgess.co.uk, or on Twitter at @burgess1012.