Good morning everyone! Today I’m helping to celebrate the US release of a series by author Marnie Riches. I’ll leave some more info about the books as well as a link to my review for the first book and a post from the author about the series.
The George McKenzie series follows George, criminologist and the most kickass heroine you’ll find since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Over the course of five books, she faces some of the worst killers around… but doesn’t hesitate to pursue justice and help save the innocent.
The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die: after a bomb goes off in a university campus, George McKenzie, criminology student, is recruited to help Detective Paul van den Bergen work the case. But is it terrorism… or something even worse?
The Girl Who Broke the Rules: women are dying on the streets of Amsterdam. And to get answers, George McKenzie will have to face jailed serial killer Dr. Silas Holm. But is she walking into his trap?
The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows: a killer called Jack Frost is stalking the shadows, leaving no trace behind… Only George McKenzie and Detective Paul van den Bergen can crack the case… and its strange link to the tragic disappearance of two children.
The Girl Who Had No Fear: when George McKenzie receives a plea for help from the father she’s not seen since she was a small child, she’ll stop at nothing to find him and get answers after years of silence. No matter the risks…
The Girl Who Got Revenge: someone is killing Amsterdam’s war heroes. As George and Detective Van den Bergen investigate, they realize that the sins of the past cast long shadows…
About the author:
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.
Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Dubbed the Martina Cole of the North, she has also authored a series about Manchester’s notorious gangland as well as two books in a mini-series featuring quirky northern PI Bev Saunders.
Detective Jackson Cooke is Marnie’s latest heroine to root for, as she hunts down one of the most brutal killers the north west has ever seen at devastating personal cost.
When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime thrillers, Marnie also regularly appears on BBC Radio Manchester, commenting on social media trends and discussing the world of crime fiction. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Salford University’s Doctoral School and a tutor for the Faber Novel Writing Course.
A link to my review of the first book can be found here
And finally here is a blog post from the author!
Crime – the ultimate world traveller by Marnie Riches
Always a keen reader of world news, when I began writingmy George McKenzie series, aka The Girl Who books, I realized that the trans-national traffic of drugs, people, weapons and even exotic animals had embedded itself in my subconscious. I was fascinated and horrified in equal measureby the tales of criminals’ subterfuge and victims’ suffering.
The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die deals principally with the illicit trade in drugs and movement of women across borders as unpaid sex-workers. The book should throw up certain moral questions for readers. If a drug user buys heroine on the streets of the UK or the US, does he/she give any thought to the fact that it has probably been grown in the Helmand and Kandahar provinces of Afghanistan, lining the pockets of warlords? Growing poppies for heroine manufacture is more profitable for impoverished opium farmers than growing food crops, and only Russia seems to have an interest in destroying those crops.
As is the case in the US, a surprising number of British citizens are recreational drug takers. If you buy coke on the streets of the UK or US, do you realize that the countries of Central America act as a transit route for drugs traffickers, ensuring that violence and corruption in those poverty-stricken areas is endemic? Where there are drugs, there are arms, too, so the murder rate in affected countries is ludicrously high, with gang-membership supplanting family, and criminality becoming more attractive than pursuing education and employment. Corrupt governments suck dry financial resources that should be used to support the infrastructure of their countries, thereby exacerbating poverty in already poor communities. And if the first world drug-destination countries like the UK and US crack down on Class A drug imports, the traffickers must make their money from something else – women, children, slave labor, organ harvesting… If it turns a profit, it’s fair game.
The Girl Who Broke the Rules begins with a scene where a Somali prostitute is found eviscerated in Amsterdam’s red-light district, but the book is decidedly not a slasher story,with women as victims of violent sexual predators. I chose to write about slave labor and the vulnerability of refugees and economic migrants from countries torn apart by civil war, such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Young Somali men, in particular, are very likely to get embroiled in criminal activity, once they have reached Europe. With little education and often, no support from elders, they make easy pickings for gangs.
Perhaps the most disquieting element of trans-national trafficking is the illicit movement of children across borders. It is this subject that I tackle in The Girl Who Walked in the Shadows – specifically highlighting the vulnerability of South Eastern Europe’s Roma communities, where young people, hoping for a better life and the prospect of work in othercountries, can too easily become entrapped by traffickers asdomestic slave labor or sex workers in Western European. The brothels and nail bars of the UK alone are populated by young women from Eastern Europe, the Far East and Africa, who leave their homes in the hope of securing legitimate paid work. Instead, they find themselves without passports, dependent on their human traffickers and forced to work for free to pay off a never-dwindling debt.
I hope I’ve created stories and characters that hold a mirror up to real life. I chose to write international thrillers, rather than UK-set police procedurals, because crime knows no borders. Its terrible ingenuity is limitless. Where there’s a profit to be made, there are commodities to be trafficked. It’s a heart-breaking state of affairs, and we owe it to the victims of trafficking to educate ourselves – through good fiction, if you’re a fan of crime writing – about their plight and to avoid contributing to this exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable citizens.