Cunning clever plot by crime novelist

WHEN your day job is reporting real crime events for BBC TV s Spotlight, it seems a short step to take into the world of writing crime fiction.

WHEN your day job is reporting real crime events for BBC TV's Spotlight, it seems a short step to take into the world of writing crime fiction.

That is just what news correspondent Simon Hall has done, and he is making quite a name for himself since the publication of his first book A Popular Murder just three years ago.

His latest offering, which again sees the teaming up of TV newsman Dan Groves with his detective friend Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen, is now on sale, priced �7.99.

The Judgement Book, published by Accent Press Ltd earlier this month, promises as many twists and turns as its predecessor, The Death Pictures, hailed as a "fiendish" and compelling thriller.


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This time the plot is based round a pocket diary that exudes sin and scandal from every page.

There are six names in the diary and, as an MP and senior police officer kill themselves after the book exposes their secret sexual indiscretions, Dan is asked to work in partnership with Adam again.

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When they discover their names are also in the diary, Dan and Adam are in a race against time to find out who the blackmailer is.

Again, Simon uses codes as a key, offering victims the chance to redeem themselves if they solve the clues - words which will come together to unlock the whereabouts of the Judgement Book.

This time we see Detective Sergeant Claire Reynolds preparing to move in with Dan, who has come a long way from his brooding depressions following the break up of an earlier relationship, and she has some news she keeps putting off telling him.

In true Simon Hall style, the reader has a lot of twists and turns to go through before reaching the end of his story, and there is often no point in trying to second-guess the outcome.

Well received at Colyton and Seaton libraries, as well as at Reading Crime Festival, Simon again proves his reputation as an established crime novelist.

He has got what it takes to produce a cunningly clever plot and is currently working on further books (plural) for dedicated followers of crime.

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