Blind Murder: not a book for the faint hearted

Blind Murder: not a book for the faint heartedWith a title like “Blind Murder,” no prospective purchaser will expect this book to be about playful pussycats. Fortunately, the title prepares you for a crime novel that doesn’t, er, pussyfoot around. It’s violent, gory and absolutely riveting.

Blind Murder is the debut novel by Stephen G Collier, a former police officer in central England in the UK. His writing style has a cold, steel-like ring of British police jargon to it which irritates a bit at first, but you soon find its bland contrast with the sheer awfulness of the crimes concerned makes their awfulness even more, well, awful.

After a flashback prologue which you think will set the scene – and it does, although you don’t realize why until later – we briskly move on to the first murder scene where the vividly-described decomposing body of an elderly lady managed to put me off my lunch on the day I was reading about it. And that takes some doing.

We know “who-dunnit,” but what’s fascinating is “how” and “why”

Fairly early on we find out the identity of the perpetrator of these stomach-turning murders, so this book is actually more of a “why-dunnit” and “how-dunnit” than a “who-dunnit.” I don’t know about you, but I find these types of crime fiction even more interesting than the traditional “who-dunnit” types.

What you don’t expect as you turn the pages, however, is the way Collier incorporates twists in the plot that (without giving the game away) smack crime fiction tradition further in the face by the departure of characters who shouldn’t depart, and the arrival of characters of whom you think, “who the hell are you and why are you here?”

A crime novel with some ground-breaking character

I daresay most conventional literary editors would squawk negatively about Collier’s nose-thumbing attitude to what you should expect from a conservative crime novel. But being as much of a rebel as Stephen Collier is, I think it’s great – and it works superbly well, particularly in the final dénouement of the plot. No sh*t – I can’t wait to read this book’s sequels … of which, I suspect, there will be many more. I understand Collier is working on the next one, which is good news.

For your info, here’s the back cover blurb:

In 1994 a woman is found stabbed to death on a Northamptonshire council estate by probationary PC (Police Constable) Jim Kingsfield – his first murder.

Eighteen years later, Detective Inspector Jim Kingsfield, now married to forensic pathologist Kirsty, is unaware that he and his wife are being targeted by Bingham whose lust for revenge will have an explosive and life changing consequences for them all.

Jake Jordan is a traffic cop thrown into this revenge-fueled mix, putting his job to the test while his marriage falls apart.

Innocent-sounding enough, perhaps, but it opens a particularly vile and fascinating can of worms. And while we’re about it, all credit to graphic designer Sarah Barrett, Stephen’s partner, for her blood-freezing cover design. Makes you shiver, and so it should…

DISCLAIMER: I have met Stephen G Collier once at a business networking event where we discussed the joys of publishing. At the time I bought a copy of “Blind Murder” from him. Other than admiring his talent as a crime novelist I have no personal connection with him or his partner.

For more about Stephen G Collier and his writing, check out his website here.

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  1. Thanks Suze – I’m always keen to try out new British crime novelists…

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