We like PI Bev Saunders. She’s feisty, funny and she has heart, so we’re delighted to meet her again in Backlash, author Marnie Riches’ latest entertaining offering.

This time Bev’s tasked with going undercover to deal with a rowdy neighbour who’s driving her client insane. But as in all good crime-fiction, nothing is quite as it first appears, and Bev and her extremely likeable sidekick Doc find that they’ve potentially bitten off far more than they can chew. And what at first seemed a very straightforward case is suddenly much more challenging, their lives now in danger.

As with Tight Rope, which introduced the duo to audiences, Riches creates a smart, layered plot with a great cast of supporting characters. It’s undeniably funny at times, yet also dark and gritty, Riches dealing with serious issues pertinent to the north and society more generally with a deft and clever hand.

Fast-paced, well-written and immersive, Backlash is a very good read. It comes highly recommended.


Marnie Riches | Backlash | Trapeze | 9 January 2020 | paperback  | £8.99 | other editions available

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Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers and to the publisher for sending a review copy. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. Please check out the other reviews on this tour.

See also: ‘Nathan Blackwell, the Sound of her Voice’;Jason Arnopp’s creepily entertaining Ghoster‘; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Select Q&As/interviews: Amanda Saint‘;‘Ausma Zehanat Khan’; Mary Balogh‘; ‘Louise Voss’; ‘Lilja Sigurðardóttir’; ’Tom Cox’; ‘Vanda Symon; ‘Gunnar Staalesen’; Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist

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