Publisher: Caffeine Nights
Genre: Crime Fiction
From Debut Dagger Shortlisted Novelist Mike Craven
“Among the many fictional police detectives beset by grave personal and professional stresses, Fluke and his team standout.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Investigating a severed hand found on the 3rd green of a Cumbrian golf course was not how Detective Inspector Avison Fluke had planned to spend his Saturday. So when a secretive unit from London swoop in quoting national security, he’s secretly pleased.
But trouble is never far away. A young woman arrives at his lakeside cabin with a cryptic message: a code known to only a handful of people and it forces Fluke back into the investigation he’s just been barred from.
In a case that will change his life forever, Fluke immerses himself in a world of new age travellers, corrupt cops and domestic extremists. Before long he’s alienated his entire team, made a pact with the devil and been arrested under the terrorism act.
But Fluke is only getting started. A voice has called out to him from beyond the grave and he has no intention of ignoring it.
“Everything you want in a British procedural: a dark world, a tangled case, a clear and logical solution, and a deeply flawed hero who’s still well worth rooting for.” KIRKUS REVIEWS
“A forceful new voice in British crime fiction.” CARO RAMSAY (author of the Anderson and Costello novels)
“Fluke is my favourite fictional detective.” MICHAEL J. MALONE (author of the Ray McBain novels)
I’m thrilled to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Body Breaker today!
I have a thing for flawed fictional detectives, I think it’s the rawness and vulnerability that’s usually hiding underneath a tough exterior, but by the time I had finished the first chapter of Body Breaker I knew that I had another favorite to add to my list after being introduced to Avison Fluke. This was so much more than an average police procedural, it had multilayered depth that made it truly memorable.
It opens with a bang, Fluke gets called out to a golf course when a hand is discovered, so yes this is grisly at times. There was nothing added just for shock value though, there was a meaning behind every gory crime scene. As he starts to dig into the case, he’s shocked when there is a very personal connection between his own past and he’s even more bound and determined to find the killer.
Fluke and his partner and longtime friend, Towler have such a fantastic and well crafted relationship, it really feels genuine and their bond is wholly believable. In fact, the whole book is brilliant in the same type of way as it rings true throughout. The characterization is so deep and rich, I had such an honest sense of truly knowing who Fluke is and got a very insightful and in depth look at a man who is deeply and woefully endearing.
This book really kept me on my toes, there were red herrings galore and turns that knocked the breath out of me. I never could’ve pieced things together the way Fluke and his team did, it was very cleverly plotted and the ending was tidy, yet left wide open for a follow up book.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Noelle at CrimeBookJunkie and the publisher for my review copy.
About the Author:
Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full-time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.
Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and was published on 11th June 2015 by Caffeine Nights. Also available is his award winning collection of short stories featuring Fluke and his colleagues from the Cumbrian Force Major Incident Team, Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything. Body Breaker, the hotly anticipated follow up to Born in a Burial Gown, is out on May 25th.
In March 2017, Mike signed a two book contract with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable, for his new series starring the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe, an expert in serial killers and seemingly motiveless crimes. The first Poe book – as yet untitled – will be published in hardback in spring 2018.
Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. Mike is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out for the community and host events such as England’s first Noir at the Bar.
Mike’s first DI Avison Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. He is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Association.