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John Barlow's blog

John Ray #2

Crime fiction Posted on Fri, June 14, 2013 12:36:34

The second
crime thriller in the John Ray / LS9 series is now out. I very much like the
cover, although in my defence I might say that I didn’t intend for my name to
be QUITE so prominent.

Nevertheless, the design really captures the mood of the
book, and the moors depicted on the cover in fact feature towards the end of
the book. [For anyone interested, the image is of the Cow and Calf rocks on
Ilkley Moor.]

that a number of readers noted in HOPE ROAD, the first book in the series, was
that the character of John Ray took an unsuspected turn in the resolution of
the novel, and that this was not altogether welcome. FATHER AND SON goes some
way towards addressing the question of John’s character in this respect. I
think this is one of the most satisfying aspects of writing a series, in that
issues can take longer than a single book to resolve.

foodies, sorry to say there’s no jamón
this time, just a dish of gumbo (which remains uneaten).

the playlist is: Mahler, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Gypsy Kings and
Bananarama. A mixed bag, then…

Oh, and
there’s some death, too.

Great review!

Crime fiction Posted on Wed, November 07, 2012 22:56:23

On balance it’s probably a good thing for writers not to get too involved with reviews and reviewers. However, on this occasion I can’t resist. A full eleven months after my crime thriller HOPE ROAD came out, I saw this marvellous review on 2readornot2read. I’m going to quote it in full. Why not!

Goodreads Summary:

John Ray, son of crime boss Antonio ‘Tony’ Ray, is the straight one of the family. With a successful business and a lifestyle to match, he wants nothing to do with his father’s criminal world. But what does that world want with him?

My thoughts:

John Ray, the youngest son of Crime Boss Antonio Ray, is the “straight one” of the family. He has taken over the family business, Tony Ray’s Motors, a car showroom on the back streets of Leeds.

Life seems good for John Ray. He has won the “Auto Trader Used Car Dealership of the Year” Yorkshire Region award. He has a beautiful girlfriend, Denise Danson, who is a Detective Constable at West Yorkshire Police, CID Division.

When a body of a young woman is found in the trunk of a Ford Mondeo belonging to John, with $40,000 in counterfeit monies and his business card, suspicion falls on John Ray until DC Danson becomes his alibi.

Owen Metcalfe (everyone calls him Freddy) is arrested on suspicion of murder after a video surfaces showing him to be the last to see the dead woman. John knows Freddy is not a killer; he’s not the type. Now he has to prove it to the police and find the killer before time runs out.

This book was fantastic!! John Barlow has captured the dark side of the world of crime. The characters are three dimensional. Plenty of fast paced, edge of your seat action, and a plot twist or two when you least expect it. I didn’t want to put the book down, but when I had to my thoughts drifted back to Hope Road. A wonderful who-done-it!!

This book could be made into a movie that I would go see. Well done John Barlow!! I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Here’s the link.


Crime fiction Posted on Sat, May 19, 2012 10:06:40

Here’s a new crime novel from me, which is currently available on Amazon:


I love the cover. It’s by Stuart Bache and is reminiscent of the old Penguin covers. It really captures the light, noir-ish atmosphere of the book. Here’s an article I wrote about the book’s unusual journey to publication.

And here’s the blurb:


Farewell My Lovely meets Californication.

Meet Jack Storm PhD, disgraced ex-college professor and unlicensed PI. Since getting turfed out of Berkeley for violent misconduct, he’s turned his brains and his 250-pound frame to solving crimes. Working out of Los Angeles (and the trunk of his 20 year-old Mercedes Benz), Jack has finally found his true place in life: the gutter.

When Jerry Picco goes missing, Jack is called in to help. Picco is the world’s greatest ‘erotic actor’, and his disappearance has come at a difficult time for the diminutive porn star. He’s left a heap of debt, a career in nosedive, and a screen partner with plenty reasons to want him gone.

Jack has his own reasons for trying to find him. Apart from anything else, he’s one of Jerry’s biggest fans. The only clues he’s got: a Polaroid of seven little men in the woods, and some story about a princess.

For fans of Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich, What Ever Happened to Jerry Picco? is a romp of a noir from prize-winning author John Barlow.

Crime Fiction Lover

Crime fiction Posted on Sun, December 18, 2011 19:19:57

Post about HOPE ROAD in Crime Fiction Lover. They’re going to do a review of the book in the New Year.