Imperfection is a new crime series featuring D.I. Stewart Gardener and D. S. Sean Reilly, and set in the West Yorkshire city of Leeds. A haunting message scrawled on the dressing room wall of a theatre: the scene of a murder. It had been written using the blood from the victim, previously drained in a separate location. At the autopsy, D.I. Gardener and D.S. Reilly are shown a riddle carved into the chest of the corpse, informing them there would be more. Their efforts to find out why are continually blocked by a wall of contradiction, with little in the way of evidence to support their cause. Steered back to the scene of the crime and a disused prop room, Gardener and his trusted sergeant find another puzzle. The murderer, it seems, is playing games. It soon becomes clear to Gardener and Reilly that to find the killer they need to solve the clues, and to do that, they must tunnel their way into the past, where the streets were paved with gold, and to a man who had terrified people before either of them had even been born…
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Urbane Publications (30 Mar. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1911331248
- ISBN-13: 978-1911331247
I have to say a massive “THANK YOU”, not just to Matthew from Urbane Publications for sending me this but to Ray Clark for writing such an amazing piece of work.
This is a beautifully written story. I was sucked in before I had even started to read. The cover gives a mysterious air which, naturally, nibbled my curiosity then we have the pages. OH MY WORD, those pages! There is the most beautiful artwork on the pages. It is nothing more than a noose and blood splatter done in greyscale behind the writing but it helps to get the heart racing as you read the words.
As I was reading it was like it was unfolding on film in front of me. So much attention has been paid to detail that it had me not wanting to put the book down. As the main players are doing their investigation I found myself thinking ‘It’s this guy!’, ‘I was wrong, it’s this guy!’ and I kept this up the whole first and second act of the book. As we reached the climax, and time was counting down, I just did not see how it was all going to come together. When it unfolded I just thought how amazingly it had been dealt with and I was smiling along with holding my breath.
A very fun thing about this story was how there were names of actors and places in the real world and I believe that is was made it more realistic while reading.
I am really hoping there will be more from Gardner and Reilly!
Thank you, Matthew, from Urbane Publications for sending me a copy of this book for review.
Meet the Author
The British Fantasy Society published the Ray Clark’s first work in 1995, a 3000 word essay on fellow writer, Graham Masterton. In 1996, a chance meeting in a London docklands hotel at a BFS Convention with Matt Williams (and Graham Masterton – himself later in the same evening) eventually led to Ray’s first big break: the 1998 publication of Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton, nominated for both the World and British Fantasy Awards.
Success followed with a number of short stories in various magazines between 1998 and 2003.
2007 saw the author’s first collection of short stories under the title of The Lord of Misrule and Other Stories, released by an American publisher. The following year, the self-publication of a stand-alone horror novel, Calix, a terrifying psychological, rollercoaster ride into the unknown using the Salem Witch Trials as its backdrop.
In 2009: Ray’s short story, Promises To Keep made the final shortlist for the best short story award from The Tom Howard Foundation. The publication of Misrule 2: The Next Generation soon followed.
In 2010: the short story, Purple Rain was published in the American quarterly publication, Carpe Articulum: A Twist in the Taste was also published in a collection by The English Heritage, entitled, Whitby Abbey: Pure Inspiration (available at Amazon and most leading retailers).
2012: The Priest’s Hole, a horror novel published by Damnation Books in the U.S. Available as a paperback and a variety of electronic versions.
In 2012: Canadian publisher, Double Dragon Press, re-released Calix with new artwork, both electronically and in paperback.
In 2013: Canadian Publisher, Double Dragon published A Devil’s Dozen, a collection of short horror stories.
2014: a new crossover novel entitled Seven Secrets from U.S. Publisher, Damnation Books.
2015: a second short story collection entitled, A Detective’s Dozen, from Canadian publisher, Double Dragon.
2016: the first in the author’s IMP crime series set in Leeds featuring Detectives Gardener and Reilly, entitled Impurity, from U.S. Publisher, Caliburn Press.
2017: The second in the IMP series, Imperfection, will be published by Urbane Publications in the spring of 2017.