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“A Sense Of Place”
‘Death By Dark Waters’
by Jo Allen
The Blog Tour

I am always delighted to be invited to join a new and exciting series from its beginning, especially when it is a crime thriller, which means meeting a new detective and their team.

As always, I would like to thank the lovely Vicki and the team at Aria Fiction for including me in the Blog Tour and the folks at NetGalley, who make the downloads such a piece of cake!

There are just enough stops to ensure some unique and varied content for everyone’s posts, so why not stop by and check a few out for yourself?

Image of the Blog Tour banner for the book 'Death By Dark Waters' by author Jo Allen

DEATH BY DARK WATERS – (DCI Jude Satterthwaite series book #1)

Cover image of the book 'Death By Dark Waters' by author Jo AllenThe charred remains of a child are discovered – a child no one seems to have missed….

It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave.
Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors faster than they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder.

Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone…and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, who is running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide…

Temperatures – and tension – in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late….

JO ALLEN

Image of author Jo AllenJo was born in Wolverhampton, UK, and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University.

After a year in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young, in the genres of short stories, romance, and romantic suspense. In 2017, Jo took the plunge and began writing in the genre she most likes to read – crime.

Now living in Edinburgh, she spends as much time as possible in the English Lake District. In common with all her favorite characters, she loves football and cats.

You can keep up with all Jo’s latest news at her website

You can follow Jo on Twitter

You can keep in touch with Jo on Facebook

Image of author Jo Allen

“A SENSE OF PLACE”

When I began writing the DCI Satterthwaite series, my starting point wasn’t my protagonist, although he – along with troublesome conscience, his ex-girlfriend, his new love interest and his trouble-prone younger brother – came very quickly afterwards. Nor did I begin with the plot, though once I’d decided to write a crime novel the ideas came thick and fast.

So where did I begin? I began with the place, choosing to set my detective series in Cumbria, in the Lake District to the west of the county and the Eden Valley in the east.

Of course it comes with a reality check. Cumbria is huge but it’s not that well populated and there aren’t, as far as I can gather, that many murders in the average year. Those that there are, aren’t exactly the product of an arch-villain scheming for world domination, either. Whereas I, in my novels so far drafted out, have killed off in excess of a dozen innocents between Grasmere village and the Pennines.

Real life notwithstanding, Cumbria lends itself to crime fiction, not just because it’s so stunningly beautiful that the countryside can become a character in itself, but because there’s a range of different types of place in a relatively small area. There are wild hillsides where it would be oh-so-easy to have an “accident”. There are lakes where you can hide a body, crowds in which you can be lost, a coastline into which you can smuggle your contraband – and a motorway by which you can make a sharp exit.

There’s also terrific access and vast numbers of people coming in and out, which means that our villains can be absolutely anybody from the local landowner to the county lines drug runner, not to mention tensions between the new ways and the old, the traditional and the modern.

So far the series (three books commissioned, three more in planning) dips between the eastern and central Lakes and the Eden Valley. Some of the locations are real and you can find them on a map (although I was sad to see that the pub where DCI Jude Satterthwaite drinks with his mates, recently closed). Others are made up or else they’re deliberately blurred, because of a peculiar aversion I have to setting murders in real houses.

Real or imagined, I hope the sense of place shines through. I love the Lakes – and I hope you enjoy reading about them.


Cover image of the book 'Death By Dark Waters' by author Jo Allen

 

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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6 comments
  • Yes, I think The Lake District really *does* lend itself to dark doings. Sadly I’ve only been to the area once, would love to go again but it’s a long way from us who live in the SW. This new series sounds very good so I’ll keep it in mind for if I decide to start yet another new one. I am rather a sucker for them…

    • Hi Cath,

      I always think it strange that we would quite happily get on a plane and travel thousands of miles to visit and explore another country, yet we would very seldom travel the length of our own country, be it from south to north or vice versa, to explore the beauty and mystery of our own shores.

      Like yourself, we tend to fix our visits to locations down in the south of the country (well, not much further north than Oxford anyway). We have toured central Scotland on one occasion many years ago and the same for The Lake District. However we have barely scratched the surface of really getting to know an area and the people who live there.

      I do know however that Jo has chosen a good ‘northern’ name for her protagonist Jude Satterthwaite, although interestingly enough and just to reinforce her point about blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Satterthwaite is actually a place in The Lake District!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satterthwaite

      Sorry, something just made me Google the name – more of that time wasting – but nonetheless fun!

      I hope that any subsequent posts and review, may help you change your mind about starting on another series 🙂

  • One of those titles that makes me want to know more, I love the Lake District so anything set there gets my attention. I know several authors who mix actual locations with totally fictional locations or locations that you think you know … but then maybe not. I find it interesting that this author blurs/makes up some locations due to a ‘peculiar aversion to setting murders in real houses’.

    http://pettywitter.blogspot.com/2019/05/www-on-fuddleskelly-bullock-walloper.html

    • Hi Tracy,

      I have come across authors before who have blurred the lines between real and fictional locations and for me personally, I find that makes for a very interesting, intriguing and realistic storyline.

      I particularly enjoy those books which are set in my own locale, as once I have managed to separate the fiction from the perceived reality, I generally end up with a certain amount of research needing to be done, which I always enjoy, even though it can be a bit of a ‘time-waster’!

      I can see exactly where Jo is coming from though when she sets her own red-lines, which she doesn’t cross. If I were to pick one of my neighbours houses and used it to help describe a murder scene in my book, I would never be able to walk past the place without wondering if what I had written was all totally fictional … after all, you never really know what goes on behind closed doors!!

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I always enjoy reading your comments 🙂

  • Great guest post, as always, Yvonne! I love her statement that the location can become a character in itself. The Lake District is a part of the UK I’ve never visited and I would love to someday.

    Definitely a series I’ll keep an eye on!

    • Hi Kelly,

      I can immediately think of another book I read just recently, where that statement fits exactly, I must try and work that into my review somehow, somewhere!

      The Lake District is so dramatic that, as are so many other areas of the UK, if it is described sympathetically, it can almost take on a life and dialogue all its own. As this area is quite mountainous and challenging, I think the language needs to be bold and brooding.

      “The Language Of Location” – Now there’s a good title for a book (maybe poetry)?

      Thanks for stopping by and maybe one day you will decide to get acquainted with DCI Jude Satterthwaite 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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