Published by Crime Wave Press in 2016.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Take a break, they said. Get out in the fresh air, they said. Get away from it all, they said. They have a lot to answer for. The follow up to Pennies for Charon sees Charlie Bars caught up in dark doings in the bleak Northumbrian countryside; horse mutilation, deadly obsession, dog fighting, a family of maniacs, and a family in danger. The city can be dangerous but the countryside is murder.
Reading The Devil's Brew was a real lesson for me in not judging a book by its cover! The horror-style story I expected from the dark cloaked hare image was certainly not the gripping thriller that I actually encountered although there are some pretty gruesome moments. This is not a book for the squeamish!
The Devil's Brew is the second in the Charlie Bars thriller series. Having not read the first one wasn't in any way a problem as I easily caught up with enough backstory and this novel has a standalone plot. Charlie is an ex-con turned Private Investigator and cuts a thoroughly believable figure. I liked that his language and instincts consistently reflected his persona, especially as most of The Devil's Brew is written in his first person narration. Jones has done a great job with all his characters and settings. Even his female characters are true people with justified roles and strong reasons for their actions, not just murder victims and ornamentation as in many other action thrillers. I got a real sense of small town Northumberland, one of my favourite counties, and loved how its ancient history swirls around the tale.
Action is what drives Charlie and our story so this book rarely takes a second for breath! Jones keeps up an exhilarating pace while always giving enough detail that I knew what was going on, where, why and how. It's a difficult balancing act for an author to achieve. I was so impressed with The Devil's Brew that on the strength of this novel, have now added the first Charlie Bars thriller, Pennies For Charon, to my wishlist!
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Books by Benedict J Jones / Thrillers / Books from England