Blog Tour Read,  Crime,  Latest Reads,  Thriller

Crow Moon – Suzy Aspley

My thanks to Anne Cater, for inviting me to join this blog tour, for Crow Moon – this book is a debut for Suzy Aspley, but not her first shot at writing, as Suzy is a Journalist. Just like our main protagonist – Martha. Published by Orenda Books, Crow Moon is available to purchase from Thursday 14th March.

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When the crow moon rises, the darkness is unleashed…

Martha Strangeways is struggling to find purpose in her life, after giving up her career as an investigative reporter when her young twins died in a house fire.

Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, her life changes when she stumbles across the body of a missing teenager – a tragedy that turns even more sinister when a poem about crows is discovered inked onto his back…
When another teenager goes missing in the remote landscape, Martha is drawn into the investigation, teaming up with DI Derek Summers, as malevolent rumours begin to spread and paranoia grows.

As darkness descends on the village of Strathbran, it soon becomes clear that no one is safe, including Martha…

Our Author – Suzy Aspley

Originally from the north-east of England, former journalist Suzy Aspley has lived in Scotland for almost thirty years. She writes crime and short stories, often inspired by the strange things she sees in the landscape around her. She won Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect in 2019 with the original idea for her debut novel and was shortlisted for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. In 2020, she was mentored by Jo Dickinson as part of the Hachette future bookshelf initiative. Crow Moon was also longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award. She’s currently working on the second book in the series, and when she’s not writing, she’s either got her nose buried in a book, or is outside with her dogs dreaming up more dark stories. She lives in Stirlingshire with her family.

My Review – Crow Moon

When Fraser MacDonalds body is discovered by Martha Strangeways in a remote patch of woodland after she’d gone for a dog walk. The village of Strathbran is thrown into a state of disbelief and panic. 

Martha knew Fraser, she had watched him grow up and become best friends with her own son, Doughie. Before she’d slipped and broken her ribs she’d seen he had writing on his back, not a Tattoo surely? 

DI Derek Summers was soon on the case, but Martha knew the ropes, she was in her previous life, an award winning investigative journalist. This was her patch and her way of life. She knew deep down that what ever had happened to Fraser, this wasn’t a simple case of a teenager trying out drugs and overdosing. 

Martha makes a deal with Summers to help the police, if they can help her. Martha overhears her son Doughie talking on the phone, about rituals. What’s Doughie got to do with all this? She researches the writing on Fraser and finds out it’s an old folk lore poem, some would consider it witch craft. The ‘Feannag Dhubh’ poem, has 4 verses, the verse on Fraser is verse 2. Where’s verse 1? And she’s hoping there isn’t going to be a 3 and 4. Before the dust has even settled over Fraser’s death, a girl goes missing and Martha’s convinced the two situations are linked, but the police aren’t convinced.

The police are struggling to find any leads on Fraser. Martha knows Doughie knows more than he’s letting on and when DI Summers comes round to question him, she can’t ignore the facts that are being laid out in front of her. Fraser and Doughie have been dabbling in drugs and were part of some ‘Crow Moon’ ritual with school friend Christie Campbell, who’s missing, they held the ritual at the monomial at Blacklaw – Doughie and Martha’s old house. They lived there with his step dad Jamie and toddler twin brothers. Blacklaw burnt to the ground and sadly the twins died in the fire. Doughie was hoping to lay the twins spirits to rest, at the moondial. Which is turns out, was built on the site of where a suspected witch was burned to death. He hoped it would help his Mum and him feel peace. But since Fraser was found dead, Doughie is convinced whats happening is all his fault.

For a debut novel, this is a very well written and thrilling book. Its perfect for YA as well as adult readers and the concept is excellently plotted with great characters – Martha’s background is convincing and as her son becomes entwined in the story it plays out seamlessly. I’d like to see where this book leads Martha, as she’s a strong character and someone who, even after this with her own family involved, go on to more investigative stories. I am very pleased to hear that Suzy Aspley is writing the 2nd book in the series already.

Please check my fellow bloggers reviews for the rest of the blog tour.

To order Crow Moon – https://bertsbooks.co.uk/product/crow-moon/ or any Orenda books.

@OrendaBooks @Writer_Suzy #CrowMoon #MarthaStrangewaysInvestigation #Debut

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