When you open an email from the amazing Random Things asking who would like to read a South Wales based, crime novel that has authors you respect such as Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Catriona McPherson singing its praises, the only rational response is –
‘OMG YES PLEASE AND WHEN PLEASE AND THANKING YOU!’
Released on January 9th, ‘The Wrong Boy’ by Cathy Ace is something special indeed and I am very grateful to have been asked to participate in this blog tour.
‘The Wrong Boy’ is so well written, Cathy Ace invokes the colloquial and cultural aspects of village life in South Wales through the 3 female generations of Myfanwy(Nan), her daughter Helen and granddaughter Sadie.
Combining a mystery, social issues and Welsh history, this is the tale of bonfire Night that left more than overbaked potatoes and sparkler burns.
Rhosddraig, with it’s prehistoric stones and paleontological discoveries is thrust into the news for all the wrong reasons when a bonfire at the old RAF building turns out to contain human remains. Discovered by Hywel Evans and his dog Nip, out on a morning stroll, the investigation involves DI Evan Glover and DS Liz Stanley. Evan is on the verge of retiring and making plans to enjoy an unexpected inheritance with his wife but something about the case, the boy who is accused of the crime does not fit the profile and something has stirred old resentments and guilt to rise to the surface of these 3 women.
What I loved was that she created characters whose voices were clear throughout the book, each of the women took turns and alternated with Evan’s investigation. The narrative and plot was clear , not many writers can juggle 4 such threads without the story becoming overly complex, but I found it engaging and intriguing without having to go back and recheck details and plot details. All of the intricacies and currency of small town -gossip and being the first to ‘know’ is it’s lifeblood and in the technological age, social media is the new grapevine.
Melding ancient superstitions, Welsh history and with a supernatural undertone, ‘The Wrong Boy’ explores how easy it is to spread suspicion, influence public opinion and proportion blame often without a shred of actual evidence.
‘The Wrong Boy’ is the 13th novel from Cathy Ace. Her criminal psychologist, overindulgent-foodie sleuth, Cait Morgan, has stumbled upon Corpses with a Silver Tongue, Golden Nose, Diamond Hand, Garnet Face, an Emerald Thumb, Platinum Hair and Ruby Lips during her globetrotting. Ace’s WISE Enquiries Agency series features four softly-boiled female PIs who solve quintessentially British cases from their stately home-based office in rural Wales, where Cathy was born and raised. Shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award for Best Light Mystery by a Canadian three times in four years, winning in 2015, she was also shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story in 2017.