Published by Bonnier Zaffre Limited on 2020-02
Genres: Mysteries & Detective Stories
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
In prison not everyone is guilty . . .
Tom Killgannon, ex-undercover police officer and now in witness protection, is recalled to active service by his handler, DS Sheridan. His mission is to befriend notorious child killer Noel Cunningham and find out where he buried the bodies of his victims. The only problem is that Tom has to obtain that information from within Blackmoor prison itself. Undercover and with only DS Sheridan knowing he is there, Tom soon runs into danger.
In the prison is convicted gangster Dean Foley. He used to run Manchester's biggest gang, until Tom's testimony put him away for life. He recognises Tom, and so begins a cat-and-mouse game as Tom fights for survival before Foley can get his revenge.
But why can't Tom reach DS Sheridan and what is the real reason that he has been sent to Blackmoor Prison?
A person who transgresses against divine law by committing an immoral act or acts.
This novel blew my flipping socks off. This is the second instalment of the Tom Killgannon series, but rest assured you can easily read this as a standalone. I did and at no point did I feel like I was missing any major plot point. The plot moulded and transformed into an all-encompassing shadow. It started off small but quickly broke free of its bonds and showed its monstrous side. I lapped this story up like there were no tomorrow. I proceeded to buy book one straight after devouring this enticing novel.
I’m like an addict for Crime Fiction, nothing gets my excitement flowing than an intriguing plot with murder and a bad ass detective, but, The Sinner was so much more. It doesn’t give you what you expect. It likes to break the mould. It creates a bigger beast, one you won’t find easy to forget.
Martyn Waites is a new author to me but one I will be reading more of in the future. He has the ability to examine the psyche of his readers and exploit it to his agenda. He plays on our emotions, using both good and bad to evoke both the worst and best out of us. The power of his storytelling plays out in the most vivid foreshadowing that the brain conjures up.
We see the scenario in The Sinner time and time again in crime dramas on TV. Undercover cop finally exposes himself in the big moment and the bad guy is taken away, screaming and shouting about betrayal. This was Tom Killgannon’s life until he was put into witness protection for his part in bringing to justice, Dean Foley. What’s the impact of this on his mental health? What is the fallout and just how does someone rebuild their life with a new name but memories of a troubling past?
The Sinner epitomises the feeling that you shouldn’t trust anyone. Everyone should set off your siren. Everyone has the potential to back stab and fill you with mistruths…the good guys aren’t necessarily good. The Sinner leads you down a slippery, ice covered road – just when you think you have your footing, you slip and fall without grace. Its secrets and lies that have brought you there. Just what will help you navigate back out?
The take down of Dean Foley was the most successful sting of his career but it is not without great personal pain and turmoil. Fast forward a few years and he is settled in Cornwall. Martyn Waites has really laid bare Tom Killgannon’s vulnerabilities. He doesn’t let many get too close to him and leads a pretty much solitary life but that is about to be turned on its head by the demand that he does one last job – Undercover in Broadmoor Prison. This is where The Sinner truly comes into its own.
Broadmoor is the last place he either wants or needs to be. If he had any choice, he would be tucked up in his cosy house in Cornwall. He doesn’t, so he is in the hellish, cramped and claustrophobic Broadmoor. He develops a palpable coldness, like an armour. He’s meant to be extracting information from child killer, Noel Cunningham but instead he’s faced with the cruel twist of fate of being in the same prison as Dean Foley, the drug lord he double crossed all those years ago. How much danger is he in? When he envisioned this being is last job just how literal did he imagine he was being.
The Sinner is a bubbling pit of brilliance with multiple diversions, great big red herrings and deceives us all by omission. A book that you just can’t get out of your head in-betweens sittings.
Thanks to Tracy @ Compulsive Readers for my spot on the blog tour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I spent the next fifteen years or so mainly doing theatre as well as TV and commercials. All the while I was telling people I was going to write a novel. I never actually did anything about it, but the thought was there. I wrote a couple of awful plays that will never see the light of day but no prose. So I wrote a short story. Then another one. And they started getting longer and more involved. I figured I was ready to write a novel.
The only thing that fired me up at the time was American crime fiction. I wanted to take that template, the vitality and sense of engagement with their subject matter, that involvement that I found largely lacking in British crime fiction and set it in a recognisably contemporary British city. The obvious place was Newcastle.
The result was Mary’s Prayer, a noirish crime novel featuring the flawed but interesting Stephen Larkin. It was published five years after I started it. I followed it a year later with Little Triggers, again featuring Larkin, then Candleland and the Larkin trilogy was complete.
Born Under Punches followed, an ambitious novel about the miners’ strike and its legacy. It won the Grand Prix du Roman Noir Etranger at the Beaune Festival International du Film Policier. Then I wrote the White Room, a harrowing, fictionalised account of a child killer not unlike Mary Bell set in Sixties Newcastle. The Guardian named it as one of the books of the year.
I then created Joe Donovan and his Albion team and wrote The Mercy Seat. It was nominated for the Crime Writers Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for thriller of the year. I was also nominated for the CWA Dagger in the Library for best body of work and the CWA Short Story Dagger for ‘Love’, a story that had appeared in the anthology London Noir. Didn’t win any of them.
The next Donovan novel was Bone Machine, a serial killer thriller set in Newcastle. The third, White Riot, was released in January 2008 followed by the most recent Donovan novel, ( hate to say final) Speak No Evil, in February of 2009.
I then became Tania Carver for most of the next decade, writing eight internationally best-selling thrillers featuring police detective Phil Brennan and profiler Marina Esposito. The first in the series, The Surrogate, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Award for Crime Novel of the year. It was followed by The Creeper, Cage of Bones, Choked (US title: The Black Road), The Doll’s House, Truth or Dare, Heartbreaker and The Lost Girl.
During this time I was approached to write the sequel to Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black for Hammer Books, to coincide with the release of the sequel to the movie. Angel of Death was the result.
I also collaborated with Mark Billingham, David Quantick and Stav Sherez on Great Lost Albums, the funniest music book ever written. Or so we think.
Aside from the novels I have also held two writing residencies in prisons. One at Huntercombe Young Offenders Institution and one at HMP Chelmsford. I have also delivered drama and creative writing workshops to socially excluded adults and teenagers in South London and Essex. University work includes spells at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge teaching an MA in Creative Writing and two stints as the RLF Writing Fellow at Essex University. I also do manuscript appraisals and freelance editing work.
I returned full time to writing under my own name with The Old Religion, the first in the Tom Killgannon series in 2018. This will be followed by The Sinner, the next in the series, in August 2019.
Also look out for Feast of Fear, my first Doctor Who audio adventure for Big Finish. It’ll be out in the autumn. It was a dream come true to write this and I hope there’ll be more of them.
And that’s the story so far.