Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
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After a long career as an award-winning photojournalist for several major UK newspapers, Ron Morgans decided it was time to chase his lifetime ambition to write thrillers. He and his wife now live in a fishing village on the Mediterranean where he writes, using his experiences in journalism as inspiration for his books. Morgans has three books available in addition to this one. For more, visit his web site.
Five deaths, each with a few similarities that don’t seem pertinent to their demise, put paparazzo Henrietta Fox and tabloid reporter Cass Farraday on the trail of a murderer. This is the first book in The Fox & Farraday Mysteries series.
I’ve heard it said that thrillers, more than most genres, are “plot based.” I’ve taken that to mean that the book is built around or starts with the plot whereas in other genres the story is often built around something else. That might be the characters (imagine the characters, throw them together, and see what happens). It could even be based on an imaginary world the author creates, which I think would be the situation with much science fiction and fantasy. While I think this is true, the reality is that no matter how much the details of a thriller plot vary, they tend to run together after you’ve read enough of them. (I think my reviews of thrillers are starting to do the same thing, since I’m sure I’ve written something like this before.) What sets one thriller apart from another are the characters.
In his dual protagonists, Henrietta Fox and Cass Farraday, Ron Morgans has given us two eccentric characters who work well together. Fox is successful as a paparazzo. She’s built up contacts that are valuable for information gathering and is proud of her success, yet seems at least a touch conflicted by what she does. This makes her more than willing to take assignments that involve more than snapping pictures of ill-behaving celebrities. She is a thrill seeker who likes to be in control. Farraday is a tabloid journalist who loves the trappings of success, but, like Fox, wishes his stories were about things that truly mattered.
In the most important things, like their drive to get the story, Fox and Farraday are a perfect team. In the little things, they aren’t. These little things add some minor conflict between the two main characters, which makes for a better story. Morgans’ characters should make for some fun and entertaining reads. They did in The Deadline Murders, and I expect the same from the other books in the series.
Uses UK slang and spelling conventions.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars