Friday, April 21, 2017

Sophia Rose Reviews – No Ordinary Killing by Jeff Dawson

Please welcome Sophia Rose back to review a debut chilling thriller, No Ordinary Killing
Take it away Sophia Rose
No Ordinary Killing by Jeff Dawson
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Endeavor Press
Published: 3.19.17
Pages:  485
Rating: 5
Format: e-copy
Source:  Endeavor Press
Sellers:  Amazon

GoodReads Blurb:
December 1899, South Africa. 

Global superpower Great Britain is mired in an unexpectedly brutal conflict with the upstart Boers.

Captain Ingo Finch of the Royal Army Medical Corps pieces together casualties from the battle for Kimberley.

On leave in Cape Town, the slaughter proves inescapable for Finch.

Awoken at his lodgings by local police, he is informed that a British officer has been murdered in a city backstreet. An RAMC signature is required to expedite a post mortem.

Shocked by the identity of the victim, the bizarre nature of the crime and what appears a too-convenient resolution, Finch seeks answers before returning to the Front.

Though the sleuth soon turns fugitive, thrust into a perilous scramble through a maze of intrigue and espionage — with feisty Australian nurse, Annie Jones, as his accidental accomplice.

Way to the north, Mbutu Kefaleze, a diamond mine runner, leads a band of tribal refugees on a trek across the vast Karoo.

Their discovery of a white woman and her daughter wandering in the desert fuels their fear — that a lethal supernatural force has been unleashed upon the wilderness.

All have stumbled upon a deadly secret, the revelation of which would shake the Empire to its core…

Sophia's Review:

I love mysteries set in the past so I get the best of two favorite genres.  This one had the added delight of a new to me author and a setting I haven't read much about- Europian Colonial/Boer Wars at the turn of the twentieth century.

Like many murder mysteries this one starts out by introducing some curious characters and plot threads that seemingly have little to do with each other.  But I am no rookie mystery reader so I was not deceived.  And sure enough, it all found its way together and made perfect chilling sense when all the pieces were assembled in the puzzle.

The main story thread follows Captain Ingo Finch of the Royal Army Medical Corps as he does his sometimes gruesome work patching up soldiers and adjusting to life in the hell of battle.  His need for a break from the blood bath is what lands him in the middle of things.  Ingo Finch is a great character and I enjoyed being along as he worked to make sense of the murder and the mystery.  He was once a General Practitioner in Britain and is figuring investigation work all out as he goes.  Part of his investigation is set in Cape Town away from the battle, but he is never far from the action.  This reads like a thriller much of the time and gets quite intense.

Other strong characters are Mbutu, a native African, who finds himself on the run for his life after being in the wrong place at the wrong time and Annie, the Aussie nurse, who comes to South Africa for her own reasons and gets caught up in the deadly circumstances with Ingo.

I know a very little about South Africa or the Boer Wars, but I felt the historical details and description of time and places were authentic.  I will have to do some research to get a better picture of the larger state of affairs going on at the time.  The author did a great job of instilling a human element all around and from various strata of people involved in the conflict or living near the war zone.  It was fascinating to see fictional characters brush shoulders with real historical figures.

But mostly, I loved the strong twisting mystery and action plot that kept me guessing until near the end.  I had a pretty good idea a few times and I was right to a certain extent, but I didn't have the whole solution.  The Epilogue tied off some loose strings, but it was also somewhat abrupt so my only little niggle was that I would have wished it to have been expanded and given more details about each of the parties in the end.

All in all, this was a fantastic murder mystery against an intense historical setting.  I would definitely recommend it to historical thriller and historical mystery fans.

Author Bio:
Jeff Dawson is a journalist and author. He has been a long-standing contributor to The Sunday Times Culture section, writing regular A-list interview-led arts features (interviewees including the likes of Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, Hugh Grant, Angelina Jolie, Jerry Seinfeld and Nicole Kidman). He is also a former US Editor of Empire magazine.

Jeff is the author of three non-fiction books — Tarantino/Quentin Tarantino: The Cinema of Cool (Cassell/Applause, 1995), Back Home: England And The 1970 World Cup (Orion, 2001), which The Times rated "Truly outstanding", and Dead Reckoning: The Dunedin Star Disaster (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005), the latter nominated for the Mountbatten Maritime Prize.

No Ordinary Killing (2017), the first in a series of historical crime thrillers, is his debut novel.

Sophia's Bio
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
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  1. Great review for this Sophia Rose!

    1. Yeah Its on my list now Kindlemom. Have a great weekend

    2. Thanks lady!

      It was a delicious one for the murder mystery lover in me. :)

  2. Great review, Sophia. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    1. Thanks, Melanie! It was pretty exciting. I don't remember the last time I read a historical thriller. :)