Thursday 24 May 2018

BLOG BLITZ: The TV Detective - Simon Hall

Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.

Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution though it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.

With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is a notorious local businessman, Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise between Dan and the police he comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

The TV Detective is the first book in a classic crime series from Simon Hall, who until recently was the BBC Crime Correspondent for the Devon and Cornwall area.

What did I think?

As an introduction to a series, I think The TV Detective laid some good foundations for what is to follow.  It took me a little while to get into the book but, once I did, the story whizzed along at a fairly good pace and had a very satisfying conclusion.  Although it didn't quite have the 'wow-factor' for me, I found it very entertaining and something a bit different from a run-of-the-mill police investigation.

I really liked the character of journalist Dan; his best friend is his dog, Rutherford, and he's completely clueless where women are concerned.  Dan is partnered with DCI Adam Breen who wants the reporter tagging along like he wants a hole in the head.  I love prickly characters like Breen; he's a proper old-school detective with a spiky outer shell and a slightly soft middle if you burrow deep enough to find it.

Dan has quite the skill for getting people to talk, which makes him very useful to the investigation; people are more willing to speak to Dan than the police which makes Breen's feelings towards Dan start to thaw.  It's a very complex case as it's really hard to find the murderer when so many people wanted the victim, Edward Bray, dead.  With so many people under scrutiny, I was just waiting for the first person to crack...but there was still more to uncover about the events surrounding the murder of Edward Bray.

I'd definitely read more in the series as I think, with a bit more polishing, The TV Detective could become a highly entertaining series in the crime fiction genre.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Simon Hall is an author and journalist.

He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

His books - the tvdetective series - are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @thetvdetective ) and studying pop lyrics.

For more on Simon, see his website –

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for joining the blitz, Michelle and for your great review x