by Tony Black
A DI Bob Valentine mystery
(Available in print format)
The gruesome discovery of a dead banker shocks a sleepy coastal town in Scotland. Clearly, a serial killer is on the loose, and an internal leak is giving sensitive information to the media. Enter hard-boiled detective DI Bob Valentine. After a near-death experience, disturbing visions plague him and guide his investigation. The pressure is on from an anxious Chief Superintendent, concerned about Valentine's mental health. The frightening visions could lead to the killer, but can Valentine crack the case before he cracks up?
Tony Black is the author of more than 20 books. He has been nominated for eight CWA Daggers and was runner up in The Guardian's Not the Booker prize for The Last Tiger. He has written three crime series, a number of crime novellas and two collections of short stories. His acclaimed author interviews series was collected under the title, Hard Truths. His novella, The Ringer, was adapted for the stage. A former Young Journalist of the Year, he still writes for the press regularly. Artifacts of the Dead, the first in the DI Bob Valentine series, marks his USA debut with Bold Venture Press.
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Set in Ayr, Scotland, this brooding series launch from Black (the Rob Brennan series) introduces Det. Insp. Bob Valentine, who has just returned to work after surviving a life-threatening knife attack. Plagued by nightmares and numbing depression, Valentine has come to realize that “he remained a police officer for two reasons: because it kept his attention after all these years, and because he had passed the point where there was any other option on offer.” On his first day back, he’s called to the town dump, where the battered body of a man has been found impaled on a wooden spike. His investigation has hardly begun when another corpse is found skewered on a wooden stake. What’s the connection between the two men, and will there be more horrific deaths? While Valentine wrestles with the newfound awareness of his own mortality, his interactions with his fellow police officers distract him from his personal woes. Strong supporting characters enhance the well-paced plot. Fans of contemporary British police procedurals will be satisfied.