Detective Chief Inspector Jim Pendlebury almost died at the end of his last big case.
Three years later, he is struggling to cope with forced retirement and the frustration of failing to convict the teacher accused of killing an 18-year-old student after seducing her.
He must try one more time to find the extra evidence the police need to make the teacher pay for the cruel murder of the beautiful young woman the media called Miss Perfect.
I saw a comment about a book that went something like ‘even the twists have twists’. It could easily have been referring to this one. There are more red herrings than a Rick Stein Long Weekend and I guarantee you won’t work out who really dunnit until the end.
When 18-year-old Abie Moran, dubbed Miss Perfect, is murdered there can only be one suspect. Her maths teacher David Bales. Twice her age, he supposedly seduced her at his house, and then realising what he had done, strangled her with his own tie. He had both motive and opportunity, but the jury still found him not guilty due to lack of evidence ie the missing tie. And he swears he didn’t do it.
But Detective Chief Inspector Jim Pendlebury isn’t having any of it. The man was guilty and he’s going to prove it. It’s been three years since that ridiculous verdict, and Jim is no longer a copper. He was forced to retire after suffering a massive heart attack on the steps of the courthouse following Bales’ release. But he’s determined to have one more try, whatever the cost.
Absolutely riveting – intelligent, fast-paced, cleverly plotted, surprising, The Murder of Miss Perfect has it all. But don’t be shocked if some of the surprises are totally unexpected – in that ‘how did that happen’ kind of way. I can’t explain what I mean because of spoilers, but the author does some things that most authors wouldn’t dare do. When you start reading you’ll know straight away what I mean.
Many thanks to @zooloo2008 for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
About the Author
Long before Mark first became a published author, writing was his living. His background is as a newspaper journalist, starting out with the South Yorkshire Times in 1984 and then on to the Derby Telegraph, until leaving full-time work in March 2020. Most of Mark’s time at the Telegraph was as their cricket writer, a role that brought national recognition in the 2012 and 2013 England and Wales Cricket Board awards. He contributed for 12 years to the famed Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack and had many articles published in national magazines, annuals and newspapers. Writing as a profession meant writing for pleasure had to be put on the back burner but when his work role changed, Mark returned to one of the many half-formed novels in his computer files and, this time, saw it through to publication.
The Murder of Miss Perfect is his first novel for SpellBound, but Mark has previously self-published Sunbeam (November 2019), Family Business (June 2020) and Catalyst (February 2021). The earlier three are to be re-published through SpellBound soon. All four are fast-moving, plot-twisting thrillers set in the city of his birth, Sheffield. Mark lives in Derby with his partner, Sue. They have two adult sons and have been adopted by a cat.