A case with no leads.
A victim with no enemies.
A killer with no conscience…
When Detective Beth Young is called to investigate a victim with multiple broken bones, nothing prepares her for what she finds. James Sinclair is fighting for his life, and Beth can’t shake the idea that the nature of his injuries suggest someone with a personal grudge against him.
But James’s devastated wife Laura insists that her kind, softly-spoken husband is a man with no enemies. She was the one with the fiery temper, but James was so calm, she’d never once managed to provoke even a cross word from him in their eight year marriage. And he was the same with everyone – she can’t name one person who might want to hurt him.
But she knows virtually no details about her husband’s childhood or his life before he moved to the Lake District as a young man, and Beth feels sure that the key to finding James’s attacker is hidden in the secrets of his past. Who was he really? And what is the significance of the coded messages that Beth finds hidden on his laptop?
Then two more bodies are found in one of the deep, picturesque lakes that the area is so famous for, exhibiting similar injuries to the ones James Sinclair suffered. How are they connected? And how many more people are at risk?
Beth knows she is in a race against time to hunt a vicious killer who is both elusive and incredibly dangerous. A killer who knows what James did in the past. Who likes to be one step ahead. But who – if they realise they’re being hunted – might come for Beth next…
‘WOW this is one hell of a page turner… Once I started this book I found it very hard to put down. I was practically glued to this book IT IS SO GOOD!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Up there with my best crime thriller reads of the year… I can't recommend this book highly enough, it's just brilliant.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I read Fear in the Lakes in one sitting, it pulled me into its pages and nothing was going to make me put it down. Dark creepy and twisted...I loved it!’ NetGalley reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Sent shivers down my spine… A dark and chilling story that had me hooked and yet again leaving me desperate for more. The author knows how to get the reader hanging off every word… The thrills and chills… keep on coming.’ By the Letter Book Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Edge of your seat amazing. This book will have you gripped from the very first page. It is fast paced, with an amazing storyline with multiple twists and turns. It will have you guessing until the very last page.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘It twists and it turns as it explores small town communities, the close-knit relationships that can fester into something much more sinister. Lies and secret messages all combine into a fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of a read!... A nail-biting read which will leave you crying out for more!’ Chapter In My Life ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘An exciting read, a dark and grisly tale and I loved it… This series just keeps getting better and better.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was drawn in from the start and on the edge of my seat throughout. Beth Young is a brilliant character and can't wait to read more. Huge 5 stars.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Fast paced and exciting I read this quickly sitting up till the early hours to finish!’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
When I set down to write Fear in the Lakes I had five clear objectives I wanted to achieve. One; as I always do, I wanted to write the best novel I could for my readers. Two; I wanted to showcase Beth’s puzzle-solving skills in a different way. Three; the story had to again further the series arc regarding Beth’s backstory. Four; I wanted to add a whydunnit element as well as the traditional whodunit. Five; I felt a strong desire to close things in and use the remoteness of The Lake District and a winter setting to hamper Beth’s investigation.
To achieve all these aims, I spent more than the usual amount of time planning this novel in my head before reaching for the laptop. As always with my writing, once I got underway, the story began to tell itself to me in ways that only another writer will fully understand.
I chose the tiny hamlet of Talkin in the north east of Cumbria as the setting for the first attack. Talkin is a place that holds dear memories for me, as when I was but a boy, my grandparents would regularly take me along with them on their weekly visits to the Hare and Hounds for a meal. Some thirty plus years later, I can still picture the inside of that pub and recall the delicious aromas and homely atmosphere. The Hare and Hounds is sadly no longer there, although there’s a coaching inn in the village that is pretty much as described in the novel.
The puzzle element was great fun to create and I had to really put myself into Beth’s shoes to work out how she would go about solving it. The series arc was still coming along nicely and I had a wonderful epiphany about it when writing one of those scenes. The idea I had really caught me by surprise and I hope it did / or does, the same for my readers.
As for the remoteness of The Lake District and using the winter setting as obstacles Beth and the rest of FMIT had to overcome, I had a high old time complicating things for them in every way I could think of.
A wee touch I put in was to have a scene where Beth and O’Dowd meet a farmer. This farmer was loosely based on my paternal grandfather, right down to the scarf he used to wear and the Land Rover as his favoured vehicle.
Only you, dear readers will know if I pulled off my aims of writing the best novel I could and if I managed to write a whydunnit. Feel free to use the contact page to let me know your thoughts.