BOOK REVIEW: BLOOD ON THE TYNE: BODY PARTS, BY COLIN GARROW
Book 1 of 2: The Rosie Robson Murder Mysteries (2 Book Series). Newcastle, 1955. A death in the family brings nightclub singer Rosie Robson home.
Newcastle, 1955. A death in the family brings nightclub singer Rosie Robson home to Newcastle, but her planned return to London hits a snag after she agrees to perform with her old band.
Learning the group’s previous singer left after an argument, Rosie begins to wonder if there might be a sinister reason behind the young woman’s disappearance.
Uncovering the first in a series of grisly murders, Rosie decides to investigate, but in doing so, finds her own name has been added to the killer’s list…
Blood on the Tyne: Body Parts is book #1 in the Rosie Robson Murder Mystery series.
Gritty without being grisly, evocative without being disrespectful. Rosie is an absolute gem! I look forward to reading more from Colin Garrow and the Rosie Robson Murder Mystery series.
What struck me first and foremost about this new novel from Colin Garrow was the highly detailed and realistic atmosphere created in fifties Newcastle. His comprehensive knowledge of the layout and streets of Tyneside shines through from the pages, as does his rich descriptive prose that capture the feeling of Newcastle. Garrow encapsulates the era – the music, the culture, the fashion, the parlance – superbly, creating an extremely immersive and sensory experience – I could almost smell the streets of Tyneside!
Garrow manages to navigate the fine line that is colloquial slang without losing the reader in misunderstanding or confusion. A quick search for a slang translation proved useful, although the dialogue is no way stunted; rather the idiosyncrasies of the Geordie tongue adds to the overall atmosphere and realism.
The overarching narrative is coherent, and the plot intricate and captivating. I won’t spoil anything here, but the ending is simply brilliant. The relationships between the characters are well-written and often funny, and I particularly enjoyed the banter between Rosie and Inspector Walton. I hope that the Inspector graces us with his presence in future novels, as the way he and Rosie bounce of each other is ingenious and entertaining.
Rosie is certainly not your typical Damsel in Distress archetype: she is intelligent, strong-willed, and fiercely determined. A proper Northern lass!
Rosie is tormented by the circumstances surrounding her childhood and is haunted by a recurring dream that is of little sense to her. It was psychologist Carl Jung that believed dreams were purposive. Unlike Freud - who thought the unconscious was there to deceive, trick, and lie - Jung felt that dreams were a method, a dialogue between 'ego' and 'self' whose aim is purposive, positive, and aimed toward achieving wholeness in an individual.
It is Rosie's sheer doggedness and determinism that, when combined with her elusive dreams, lead us to question her motives: is she desperately searching for a killer to save the lives of other women, or desperately searching for a way to save herself in the process?
Find out for yourself. You can pick up your own copy from Amazon.
About Author Colin Garrow
True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.
Website (adults): https://colingarrow.org/
Website (childrens): https://colingarrowbooks.com/
Website (The Watson Letters): https://thewatsonletters.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B014Z5DZD4