Blood & Custard (1952)
Leicester, 1952: A team of archaeologists digging for the lost bones of King Richard III beneath the arches of the Great Central railway viaduct make a shocking discovery. A child’s body. It has been incinerated so completely that only bone fragments and a few teeth remain.
Railway detectives DI Vignoles and DS Trinder are called in to investigate. They soon discover a possible connection with a similar murder two years earlier in nearby Barrow Hill. And when a third boy goes missing, their worst fears are confirmed – a serial killer is on the loose, preying on young train-spotters.
Inspector Vignoles and his colleagues from the British Railways Detective Department must act quickly to track down the killer before he strikes again…
Set in and around Leicester at a time when Britain was just starting to emerge from postwar austerity, this novel offers a warm but unsentimental portrait of the lives of the men and women who worked on the former Great Central Railway.
Blood and Custard is a macabre, gripping thriller that is bound to appeal to railway enthusiasts and all lovers of good historical crime fiction.
Released 15th July 2015 - now available.
"Great cover - Great Title...Congratulations." Elvis Costello
"Dark and sinister yet warm at times. A real page turner. Five stars.
My favourite so far...and still have a soft spot for The Murder of Crows'. This one has a genuine dark side which has many twists as Vignoles and Trinder try and stay ahead of the killer before another victim falls prey. Loved the character development in this book too with the main characters questioning their abilities. Looking forward to the short stories.' Sarah572 on Amazon
"Stephen, it's bleeding unputdownable fantastic! One of those novels you MUST snatch a read at every turn and cause you nearly to miss your bus stop , so engrossing is the story. My Reading Group are doing it for our October meeting." Ewan Wilson, Crime Buyer, Waterstones, Glasgow.
"I read Blood & Custard in two and half days almost non-stop (a first for me!), mentally submerged in smoggy Leicester while actually in the southern Italian sun by the pool...
An absolutely brilliant achievement. The (NO NAME TO AVOID SPOILING) are a creepy creation par excellence, with some really psychologically scary scenes. I thought you handled the deeply sensitive child abuse subject with a masterful lightness of touch while using it for maximum dramatic effect. This is a book which takes you to a new level." Peter Elson