BILL KIRTON REVIEWED

Visit Bill Kirton’s Festival page

Visit Bill’s Amazon Author Page (buying links)

Reviewed here: Death Ship, The Darkness, Shadow Selves, The Sparrow Conundrum,  Unsafe Acts, The Figurehead, Missing People

Bill’s other ebooks: Alternative Dimension (as Jack LeFebre) Reviewed at IEBR (Aug 14)

DEATH SHIP

When reading this novella I felt I was on the Christian Rose as it battled its way to Aberdeen. I walked the decks with the main character and could almost smell the brine, feel the sway of the ship, and experience the horror when yet another body was discovered. The only complaint I had was that it was far too short, I wanted more, however what I got was full of atmosphere and suspense with an unexpected twist at the end, this is a book I would highly recommend. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

THE DARKNESS

This is the first of Bill Kirton’s three detective novels I’ve read and it won’t be the last. A truly gripping novel with two unforgettable story lines depicting a darkness which (scarily) we all might be capable of in certain circumstances. Reviewed by Rosemary Gemmell

 

SHADOW SELVES

Bill Kirton has done it again. Following the previous successes of of his crime novels featuring DCI Carston he has given us another engrossing crime read. He takes university and hospital politics, throws in a suspicious death, a stalker, a salacious lecturer, egotistical doctors, long-suffering nurses, an uptight administrator and a soupcon of sex to flavour the brew. He mixes the lot together and presents us with a thoroughly engrossing medical mystery with a surprise ending that was totally unexpected. I’m looking forward to the next Carson adventure. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

THE SPARROW CONUNDRUM

I don’t know what I expected when I started reading this – but it wasn’t quite what I’d anticipated, i.e. a well crafted crime novel. Well, it IS well crafted, as expected. And it is about crime. But it’s also an over the top, thoroughly hilarious send-up, brilliantly realised and tremendously enjoyable. I laughed constantly, was horrified, was admiring and totally entertained all at once. It reminded me, in the best possible way, of the work of Tom Sharpe – there’s definitely a wee bit of Wilt in the Sparrow – a tale told in the kind of wonderfully over the top writing that will have you spluttering on trains as you try not to laugh out loud. Reviewed by Catherine Czerkwawska

Spoof crime novel makes me laugh I started reading this book expecting it to be one of Bill Kirton’s excellent dark crime books and after a brief period of confusion, which wasn’t surprising, considering this is a spoof crime novel, I started chuckling and then laughing. I think I became as manic as the book. It is a story full of surprises, twists and turns. The characters are enjoyably over the top, from the weak-kneed Machin to the psychotic police inspector who is constantly trying to rearrange evidence to increase his arrest and conviction figures, and who has it in for Machin. Mysterious figures come and go and get up to all kinds of shenanigans. I particularly liked Mary, with her/his moustache and large frame, who kept popping up at regular intervals. I won’t say anymore about the characters or plot because I don’t want to spoil it for new readers. But be assured if you start reading this you will be entertained from beginning to end, and if it doesn’t make you laugh out loud there is something wrong with your sense of humour.  Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

UNSAFE ACTS

Bill Kirton does it again with this latest Jack Carston crime novel set in Aberdeenshire. Unsafe Acts is a clever title that works on many levels. As well as taking the reader on an interesting tour of the workings and dangerous living conditions on an offshore oil platform, the novel also explores themes of prostitution and gay-bashing, both of which are handled with empathy and understanding. I always look forward to Mr Kirton’s novels in the knowledge that an absorbing story will be filled with his usual excellent characterisation and page-turning mystery. Sometimes dark and disturbing, Unsafe Acts also gives us a fine detective in Jack Carston, one who is (refreshingly) happily married. Reviewed by Rosemary Gemmell

THE FIGUREHEAD

I thoroughly enjoyed The Figurehead, a historical novel set in 19th century Aberdeen. The central character, John Grant, is the man who is carving the figurehead for a new ship but he has to turn detective after a body is found on the beach. It looks, at first, as though it was a death by drowning but Grant’s suspicions are aroused and he sets out to discover the truth

Bill Kirton introduces us to a host of characters, so skillfully drawn we feel we know them personally and his descriptions of 19th century Aberdeen are vivid. He has clearly done meticulous research into the way of life for people whose livelihood depended on the sea whether they were wealthy ship owners like Anderson, artisans or those like Bessie the beggar and scavenger, at the bottom of the social scale. We can almost see the likeness of the shop owner’s wife and daughter emerging from the wood under John Grant’s skilled fingers. As well as a gripping murder story, The Figurehead touches on other issues including domestic violence, class differences and integrity (and lack of it) in the business of making money. There is also the growing attraction between John Grant and Anderson’s daughter Helen. Reviewed by Mary Smith

Excellent all round Excellent, well paced story set in the Aberdeen of 1840. The sights and sounds of the period are brought to life by an accomplished author. Beginning with a suspicious death, the plot involves a mystery, the carving of a new figurehead, the social differences between the characters, and a tentative love story. Highly recommended. Great depiction of women in the period. Reviewed by Rosemary Gemmell

Historical romance and crime Bill Kirton never disappoints with his books, however this one is slightly different from his dark crime novels. This one is a mix of romance and crime set within the historical setting of 1840s Aberdeen. It is an atmospheric and satisfying read. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

MISSING PEOPLE

Excellent short story. I really liked the conversational style and felt the character, Billy Molloy was talking directly to me. as a result I was pulled right into the story of Molloy’s last case. The twist ending caught me by surprise, and I’m not often caught out. If I had any criticism it would be that the introductory paragraph wasn’t really needed and being in a different style it jarred a bit. However, it was only one paragraph and the rest of the story more than made up for it. I would highly recommend this as an entertaining read. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

Bill also appears at the festival in Writers’ Pieces (Aug 15) and there’s a review of his ALTERNATIVE DIMENSION (under the pen name Jack LeFebre) on IEBR (Aug 14)

 Visit Bill Kirton’s Festival page

Visit Bill’s Amazon Author Page (buying links)