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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Devil’s Ribbon’ by D.E. Meredith

Prologue – Highgate 1858

Nothing but shadows and an eerie stillness in the heat of a simmering night as a figure stoops under a lintel and makes his way quickly, through a labyrinth of alleys, before finding Berry Street and heading north along the Farringdon Road. For a fleeting moment he pauses and looks over his shoulder, to be seen briefly against the backdrop of a Smithfield butcher’s shop. His face mottled like the pox in the dark of its window. A sharp jaw, full lips, skin drawn tight over jutting cheekbones, and grasped tightly in his hands, a book. Musty pages from another lifetime, another world away and on its broken board. just one word – Liberty.

I have read one or two historical crime fiction novels and thoroughly enjoyed them, so the opportunity to add to my collection of characters and stories, with such an interesting premise, is one not to be missed.

If the descriptive qualities of this opening passage are anything to go by, I am in for a treat.

Is this person looking over their shoulder for fear of having been followed?

What is the significance of this book, simply titled ‘Liberty’ and is he fearful of losing it?

If these lines make you want to read on, you can find out more about both book and author, here .. or click on the book’s image for a detailed synopsis.

WHAT IS ‘BOOK BEGINNINGS’ AND HOW CAN YOU JOIN IN THE FUN

A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City ReaderWould the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Click here and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!

 …

As this was an author review request, I received a complimentary, signed and dedicated, hardcover copy of the book directly from D.E. (Denise) Meredith.

This will in no way influence any comments I may express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

 …

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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16 comments
    • Hi Jo,

      Those opening first few lines are certainly descriptive and intriguing enough to make me keep reading on. I am really getting into the genre of historical fiction and I am keen to add historical crime fiction to my list of often read genres.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and I hope that you have a good weekend.

  • A book I read and reviewed a while back. I can’t remember my thoughts on it so I obviously didn’t find it so good/bad as to be memorable.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    Hoping you have a good week-end. I have a hoe-down to look forward to Saturday evening. Yee-ha.

    • Hi Tracy,

      You gave this book a 3 star rating. You had nothing but good things to say about the writing style, story construction and character interaction, but did finish up by saying that despite all the positive aspects of the book, you were left feeling “oddly disappointed”.

      A couple of my regular blogging contacts have also posted reviews and they too, seem to have mixed feelings about the book when they have finished reading it.

      The good news is that it works well as a stand alone story, so I won’t need to worry about not having read the first book in the series.

      I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

      Polish of those cowboy boots, brush up that stetson and have a great evening. I shall be volunteering all day tomorrow and we’ll wait and see what the weather forecast is for Sunday, before deciding anything else.

    • Hi Katherine,

      Reviews of this series have so far been a little mixed, which I guess is no real surprise, especially when given that this isn’t going to be a fast paced crime thriller, in line with more modern stories. The whole pace of the action and investigation is going to be much slower and well considered, to reflect the relatively new skills of autopsy examiners and examination techniques.

      I have only read literally one or two historical crime fiction stories, so I have great hopes about this one, to broaden the appeal of the genre, for my future reading choices.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always appreciate your visits.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      I love descriptive writing, although only when it serves a constructive purpose setting the scene, or building character relationships.

      My favourite sentence in the opening few lines is:

      “His face mottled like the pox in the dark of its window. A sharp jaw, full lips, skin drawn tight over jutting cheekbones, and grasped tightly in his hands, a book.”

      Those words are so full bodied and descriptive, that I can almost see him stood there, momentarily in the light, before rushing on, to who knows where?

      ‘Happy Reading’ and thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Sandra,

      This person sounds like a very seedy character, very furtive and definitely on a mission. I am assuming that the book plays quite an important part in the story and is definitely very much a part of his past.

      Intrigue almost got the better of me and made me read just a couple more paragraphs, although I feel that I did show quite an admirable amount of restraint in closing the cover and returning the book to its place in my review pile.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I always value your comments.

  • I read the first in this series last year (Devoured) and remember liking it well enough that I added this one to my wish list, but that’s as far as I got. Perhaps after you review it, I’ll be inspired to go ahead and get it.

    I’m currently reading two books (!), one fiction, the other non-fiction. For this post’s purposes, I believe I’ll share the “disclaimer” at the very beginning of the non-fiction book. (What If by Randall Munroe: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)

    “DISCLAIMER: Do not try any of this at home. The author of this book is an Internet cartoonist, not a health or safety expert. He likes it when things catch fire or explode, which means he does not have your best interests in mind. The publisher and the author disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting, directly or indirectly, from information contained in this book.”

    • Hi Kelly,

      As ‘The Devil’s Ribbon’ was an author review request and Denise was a new to me author, I haven’t started perhaps where I should have done, at the beginning of this series, with ‘Devoured’.

      As with almost all books, ‘The Devil’s Ribbon’ has received mixed reviews and ratings, but overall isn’t doing too badly, with most people enjoying the storyline.

      Tracy has posted a review for this book, so if I leave you a link, you can take a quick look at it to maybe help you decide whether to chance adding it to your list or not!

      https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/642867496?book_show_action=false&page=1

      As you know, I am not a huge non-fiction reader, but ‘What If?’ sounds like an ideal book for the occasional browsing session and those disclaimer lines, together with the Goodreads premise. had me chuckling to myself!

      Randall’s website is a minefield of wit and humour, so I hope that the book is living up to its promise for you!

      I hope that your weekend is going well and thanks as ever for stopping by, I always look forward to your comments.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I kind of wish that I had also gone on to buy the first book in the ‘Hatton and Roumande’ series, ‘Devoured’ and read the two in chronological order. However, everyone seems to think that the books work well as stand alones so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, it just might have helped to set the scene a little more clearly.

      A couple of my other close blogging friends avidly devour Charles Todd stories, just as soon as they are released. I do have the name on my future reading list, but so far haven’t checked out any of the books personally.

      I see that there are two series running alongside one another, ‘Bess Crawford’ and ‘Inspector Ian Rutledge’. Both appear to be set in and slightly after the First World War, so I wondered if you have any views or preferences as to which I should read first?

      Just for good measure, I have added the first book of each series to my ‘Want To Read’ list! … Better safe than sorry, eh? … LOL

      Thanks for the interesting contribution to this time’s discussion and I hope that you have a good weekend.

    • Hi Nikki,

      I know that you have reviewed some historical crime fiction in the past, so I am not surprised that you like the sound of ‘The Devil’s Ribbon’.

      The first book in the series ‘Devoured’, also has some great cover art, although personally I like the simplicity of the physical book cover, as opposed to the Kindle cover illustration.

      I really should have waited and read the books in sequence, but most people seem to think that they work okay as stand alone stories, so I don’t feel too bad about it. Particularly as Denise was kind enough to send me a spanking new dedicated and signed, hardcover copy of ‘The Devil’s Ribbon’.

      Thanks for stopping by, good to hear from you.

Written by Yvonne

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