I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the fantastic A Matter Of Time (DI Helen Birch Series) by Claire Askew. Thank you to Jenny Platt and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the opportunity to read and review this riveting police procedural thriller.
About the book:
At 8am the first shots are fired.
At 1pm, the police establish the gunman has a hostage.
By 5pm, a siege is underway.
At 9pm, DI Helen Birch walks, alone and unarmed, into an abandoned Borders farmhouse to negotiate with the killer.
One day. One woman. One chance to get everyone out alive.
The outstanding new novel from the highly acclaimed author of All the Hidden Truths and What You Pay For – both shortlisted for the CWA Golden Dagger.
About the author:
Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and the current Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Her debut novel in progress was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award. Claire holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and has won a variety of accolades for her work, including the Jessie Kesson Fellowship and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award.
Her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award. In 2016 Claire was selected as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion, and she works as the Scotland tutor for women’s writing initiatives Write Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon.
Her first novel, All the Hidden Truths, was published in 2018.
Oh wow, what a brilliant read A Matter Of Time by Claire Askew is! It may be the fourth installment of the author’s DI Birch series of books, but it still reads incredibly well as a standalone. Although I do have to admit that reading the previous three books in the series first would make for an even richer reading experience as they are excellent stories that add even more insight into the background of the characters. The series is so beautifully written, with superbly plotted storylines and richly detailed, interesting characters that keep you wanting to come back for more.
Not only does the story move along at a cracking pace, keeping you turning the pages long into the night, but it’s also a character driven tale, with a strong female lead who gets more and more fascinating with every book. This time DI Helen Birch is called in when a lone gunman takes a hostage and will speak to no one other than her. Told in real time, by 9pm that evening, Helen finds herself walking alone and unarmed into an abandoned farmhouse… to negotiate with a killer.
I love a book with a strong female character at its heart and DI Helen Birch is one of the best. But even as capable and headstrong as Birch is, there’s also a vulnerability to her character that draws me to her like a moth to a flame and I love that about her. The real time aspect of the book adds even more intrigue and suspense to the story, the sense of danger increasing with every page as Helen tries everything in her power to bring the hostage situation to an end.
A Matter Of Time is a tense and cleverly plotted police procedural thriller that had me on the edge of my seat throughout. The central storyline of a lone gunman is a meaty one, full of the twists, turns, intrigue and suspense that make this sort of read so interesting! Claire Askew’s writing is superb as the motivation behind the violent actions of the gunman begin to become clear, leading to an ending that is as emotional as it is thrilling.
I loved this page turning joy of a read and can’t wait to see where the author is going to take DI Helen Birch and her team next! A Matter Of Time is an excellent crime thriller that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
A Matter Of Time by Claire Askew is available to purchase from March 10th:
Check out what these other lovely bloggers have to say about this book: