To be published in October 2014 by Legend Press
It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike. Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police bungle the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on. As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and, in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.
Thanks to Netgalley and Legend Press for my review copy of this book.
It is 1984. Thatcher is in power and the miners are on strike. Clare Jackson is a journalist reporting on crime for the local newspaper. A baby dies in suspicious circumstances on the neglected and impoverished Summermeadows council estate. Clare is soon on the case and is drawn to a young child, Amy, residing there. Clare is eager to prove herself and goes out of her way to cover the miners’ strike and to work out what happened to the baby on the Summermeadows council estate.
There is nothing better than reading a crime drama, that is a little bit different. Setting a drama in another time frame is just brilliant. As Karin Slaughter did recently with ‘Cop Town’ in 1970s America, Bea Davenport gives us 1980s England with all of its social problems, economic and political upheavals. I just loved it!!!
As someone who was a similar age to Amy in 1984, I could really appreciate the attention to detail and the real feel of the period. I remember life before mobile phones and the internet. The world of penny sweets from the local shop and watching the reports of the miners strikes on television. Bea Davenport’s book was a delight to read. It brought it all back and gave me insight into what it would be like to be a reporter in that era.
I loved how we got to follow Clare’s reporting. I grew increasingly fond of her, as she befriended Amy and tried to cover the miners’ strike without bias. I found it fascinating as Clare attended court cases and rushed to the scene of political disturbances. I was completely on Clare’s side as she looked for the truth.
Overall a satisfying, intelligent and insightful read. Totally recommended.