Chugging along through the dense, dark early morning, Tim Leavis was counting off the days. It was less than a week now to the winter solstice, when they’d begin to lengthen again. Much as he liked his life, he’d never got used to these early winter starts, and this one was earlier than most, allowing him to feed the animals but still get back for a shower and breakfast before driving across to the village school in time to see Archie perform in the nativity play. The boy had been typecast as a shepherd, of course. Though pointing out the likely effects on the animal’s bodily functions had, at least, dissuaded Mrs Elliot from her romantic idea of having his son carry a new-born lamb across the stage.
Passing a local beauty spot, the powerful beams of the John Deere’s headlights picked up a small creature scuttling across the road, then glinted back at him, reflecting off something shiny; the radiator grille of a car parked in the layby. From what he could tell it was a big car; black, though Leavis didn’t immediately recognise the make. Someone else with an early start, or more likely returning late from some pre-Christmas revelry. The driver’s door hung open and Leavis smiled to himself. Not the first motorist to use the woods as a convenient convenience. Better be quick, mate; cold enough this morning to freeze your tadger off.
But when Leavis returned twenty minutes later, after depositing the hay in the sheep field, the vehicle was still there. Coming up behind the car this time, he could see that the boot was also open. The driver was crouching on the road behind the vehicle, peering underneath. Exhaust problems perhaps. Hoping that it wouldn’t take long, Leavis pulled his tractor into the layby to offer his assistance. That was when he realised that the figure wasn’t so much crouching as lying inanimate on the frozen ground, and suddenly more than the air felt chill.

Book Description

Do you love gripping police procedurals with great characters? 

Discover Detective Tom Mariner in this critically acclaimed series.

'Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.’ Yorkshire Post

Just when DI Tom Mariner seems to be settling down with his new girlfriend . . . everything kicks off.

First, a badly decomposed body of a young woman is found in a Birmingham sewer. The police can’t identify her and dub her “Madeleine.” 

Then an important politician and his wife are shot on an isolated road.

And finally, a bomb explosion in the busy city kills 5 people, causing chaos and panic.

Can Detective Mariner and his team get to the bottom of crimes that will come very close to home for his team.
Mariner will need to bend the rules and risk everything to get to the truth. And in a thrilling conclusion, his own life will be at risk.

Discover an absorbing crime mystery full of stunning twists and turns.

Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson. This is the third book in the DI MARINER SERIES, more books coming soon!

Birmingham is a city of stark contrasts with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Playing a key role in the industrial revolution, it helped shape the nation’s manufacturing industry

But with its many green spaces, Birmingham also borders on the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, is just a few miles from Stratford on Avon and a short drive from the wild country of mid-Wales.

Birmingham’s population is large and ethnically diverse, and while urban regeneration has forged a modern and culturally vibrant city, the decaying remnants of the industrial past and 1960s concrete jungle give it a unique and gritty character; the dark underbelly policed by DI Tom Mariner and his team.

Detective Inspector Tom Mariner is, on the surface, an average dedicated policeman, but his experiences as a younger man have given him an insight into life on the dark side, and a clear sense of right and wrong. Mariner has little interest in material things. He lives in a modest canal-side cottage, enjoys the occasional (real) beer and game of dominoes and drives an old car. He is most at home in the outdoors, with an OS map and a compass, and in times of crisis, will take off and walk for miles in any weather.


Author Bio

Chris Collett grew up in a Norfolk seaside town where she worked in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). Graduating in Liverpool, Chris has since taught children and adults with varying degrees of learning disability, including autism. She is now a university lecturer, with two grown up children, and lives in Birmingham; DI Tom Mariner's 'patch'. She has published short stories, teaches creative and crime writing and is a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

The first five DI Tom Mariner books will be released in revised editions by Joffe Books in 2017/2018.

Twitter: @crime_crow