BEV MORRISS TITLES

The latest title to feature the second city’s sassiest detective sergeant is DEATH WISH published in October 2016.  As the trailer shows, it’s a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEN1498tW7w

DEATH WISH is a story of greed and shame; revenge and retribution. With three deaths to investigate, DS Bev Morriss’ professional plate is more than full without her pursuing a personal vendetta against a killer who’s in a coma.   

An early verdict from an Amazon reviewer: Fine writing, snappy dialogue and cracking plots are a given with Carter and DEATH WISH has them all in spades. But it is with the subtlety and nuance of her characterization that Carter really triumphs. Despite its pace this is a thoughtful and emotional journey through the investigatory process.

DEATH WISH is Bev’s ninth outing since her 2001 debut in WORKING GIRLS. The novel opens with the discovery of a schoolgirl’s body and the sight breaks Bev’s heart.

Copy of working girls cc

Bev walked away from the body, noticed again the scuffed shoe. She thought of glass slippers and fairy stories, and sighed. Michelle Lucas was no Cinderella and any prospect of living happily after ever had been written off in the first chapter.
Bev frowned, went down on one knee, something had caught her eye. She glanced round for a twig, used it to prop up the shoe then peered closer. Lining the sole of the shoe was a stash of cash. Ten-pound notes. Dirty money. Bev shook her head. Finding this particular piece of evidence gave her no pleasure. It was the oldest trick in the book of the oldest profession. And it cleared up any remaining doubt that young Michelle Lucas was a fully paid up member.

REVIEWS OF WORKING GIRLS

The plotting is excellent, and the dialogue is sharp. But what sets it apart is the fact that Maureen Carter’s work has a certain style, something that suggests she isn’t just passing through. Definitely an author worth watching.
Julia Wallis Martin, Author of Dancing with the Uninvited Guest.

Carter can do dialogue . . . the writing has bounce and energy, as befits a journalist.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

This is an assured debut from a new crime writer who deserves to be marked down as ‘one to watch out for’ in the future.
Chris Senior, Sherlock magazine

Imagine Bridget Jones meets Cracker… gritty, pacy, realistic and, as befits a former Newsnight presenter, televisual. When’s the TV adaptation going to hit our screens?
Gary Hudson, Amazon

Here’s a taster . . .

The book’s available here:

DEAD OLD

In Bev’s second case, teenage yobs are beating up old women in Birmingham.
When a victim dies with blood spattered daffodils stuffed in her mouth, detectives believe she’s the gang’s latest target. Bev doesn’t buy the police line. No one desecrates a body like that unless it’s personal.

dead old

An old woman sprawled on a damp, foul-smelling
mattress in a cruel parody of peaceful sleep.
Bev put out a steadying hand. It was so still,
so quiet she could hear the pulse whoosh in her ears.
She concentrated again on the macabre tableau.
The victim was filthy and scruffy and stank of human
waste and booze.
But this was no death by natural causes.
What sort of sick bastard rammed flowers down a dead
woman’s throat? It was an indignity too far. The daffodils
were some sort of sick message; the killer hadn’t used
them to choke his victim. The old woman hadn’t died
from asphyxiation. There was too much blood for that,
far too much.
And anyway, the murder weapons were still in place.

REVIEWS

Many writers would sell their first born to have the ability to create such a distinctive ‘voice’ in a main character.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

Complex, chilling and absorbing – DEAD OLD confirms Maureen Carter’s place among the new generation of British crime writers.
J Wallis Martin, author of Dancing with the Univited Guest.

…a cracking story that zips along, and takes the reader into the world of a police investigation into the deaths of elderly ladies. But the deaths may not be all they seem, and Carter’s feisty, wonderfully-human Bev Morriss is lead into all kinds of unexpected twists and turns as she tries to untangle the crimes, and to sort out her own life along the way. A really strong, really involving story-line, with several enjoyable little sub-plots skilfully woven in. I’m greatly looking forward to Ms Carter’s next book.
Sarah Rayne, author of Roots of Evil.

A worthy successor to Carter’s debut…
mysterylovers.com

Available here:

BABY LOVE

BABY LOVE is the third in the Bev Morriss crime series. Taken off a high-profile rape inquiry to lead the hunt for a missing baby, Bev is torn professionally and personally.

baby love

As she bent to pack away the vests and place the bear on the floor by the window, she felt a twinge at the base of her spine. It was the extra weight. There was no cause for alarm. She gently massaged the area before applying the same gentle treatment to her swollen stomach. She smiled; it was so nearly her time.
With difficulty, she reached both hands round her back. The straps were quite tricky to unfasten, even though she’d created the harness herself and had carried out the procedure on countless occasions. She was rather pleased with the design. She’d ensured it could expand to accommodate increasingly large amounts of padding. This she now removed, placing it gently under the white satin quilt.
Her head brushed against the mobile, sending it into a gentle spin. She gazed at it mesmerised again by the twinkling raindrops.
This time nothing could go wrong.

What the critics say 

One of my favourite series . . . the third, BABY LOVE, is outstanding . . . Carter writes clean, spare prose which nails both the bleakness of the city and the pressures of Bev’s job.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

Carter writes like a longtime veteran, with snappy patter and stark narrative.
David Pitt, Booklist.

Available here:

THE SERIES CONTINUES WITH . . .

HARD TIME

hard time cover

A newborn baby’s abandoned…
A five-year-old boy’s abducted…
A police officer’s dead…

And Detective Sergeant Bev Morriss thinks she’s having a hard time.

Struggling to cope after a vicious attack, isolated and unsure, desperate not to reveal what’s happening under the skin, Bev is fighting for survival. But when you barely trust yourself – who can you rely on?

Her lover’s moving on, her guv’s losing patience, her new DC is Mr Bean in a fat suit and just when it appears things can’t get any worse… the death threat arrives.

Then the ransom note.

Then the times get really hard.

Published in June 2007, HARD TIME was described as the best in an outstanding series…

The fourth outing for Maureen Carter’s likeable and feisty anti-heroine is a delight. All of Maureen Carter’s trademarks are there – the sharp,well-observed dialogue, the fast moving action, and of course the inimitable Bev with her tangled love-life and her energy and verve… The tension is excellently maintained – with an absolute gem of an ending.
Sarah Rayne, bestselling author of Tower of Silence.

Two of my favourite feisty female writers have shown up this week with shiny new offerings – and if you’re not familiar with Maureen Carter and Sheila Quigley, you might want to remedy that soonest!

Maureen Carter deserves to be much better known than she is. HARD TIME is Carter’s fourth book and features mouthy Birmingham cop Bev Morriss. I wish a TV company would pick the books up and do them justice!
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

For an insight into the writing of HARD TIME visit the wonderful Rap Sheet website:
http://www.therapsheet.blogspot.com

Available here:

THE NEXT TITLE IS . . .

BAD PRESS

bad press cov

A serial killer’s targeting Birmingham’s paedophiles, and crime reporter Matt Snow always gets there first – ahead of the pack and the police. Is the murderer tipping him off? Snow isn’t revealing his source – not when it’s a story to die for. But is the reporter breaking the news – or making it?

Through it all, Bev has an exclusive of her own…a news item she’d rather didn’t get round the nick. The guv knows, but he’s on sick leave. Should she let DC Mac Tyler in on the secret – or keep mum…?

What the critics say 

Maureen Carter is a writer of real class and if you haven’t read this series you’ve got a treat to come. If there was any justice in this world, she’d be as famous as Ian Rankin.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

BAD PRESS is written in a no-nonsense pared down style which combined with an action filled plot leaves the reader gasping for breath and turning the pages…Though it’s a grim story-line, there is also plenty of humour in the exchanges between Bev and her colleagues.
Karen Meek, Eurocrime.

Carter has mastered the art of the crime thriller to ensure a page turner which will catch you out no matter how hard you try to second guess her.
Diane Parkes, Birmingham Mail.

As always, Ms Carter’s writing is forceful and incisive…The plot unfolds with consummate skill, and the pace doesn’t hesitate for so much as a paragraph. The final denouement is startling. Readers coming to this book first, will find themselves compelled to go out to buy the earlier ones.
Amazon

Available here:

THE SIXTH TITLE IS . . .

BLOOD MONEY

blood money cover

Personal tragedy has pushed Bev close to self-destruct mode; both colleagues and friends have started to give her a wide berth.
But Bev is still a cop and there are villains to battle as well as personal demons.
Enter the Sandman, a vicious serial burglar who wears a clown mask and plays mind games with his victims…

The woman is a bad sleeper at the best of times. Now it is the dead of night.
She’s drifting off when she’s convinced she hears a faint sound on the
landing. Her scalp crawls as she shoots upright, trying to identify the noise.
After thirty, forty seconds hearing only her heartbeat, she sinks back under the
duvet, chides herself. Without Rod’s reassuring presence, it’s easy to let the
mind play tricks. She hates being a widow, vows to stop watching the news,
reading the papers, always full of scare stories.
Then the door inches open…

What the critics say…

Carter has perfected the art of the cliffhanger which makes it difficult to put this book down…her quick moving and short chapters invite you to read ‘just another one’ before turning out the light.
Diane Parkes, Birmingham Mail.

Carter excels at the genre of story that lets us into the private, and often messy, lives of the police officers trying to solve murders and other crimes…Bev Morriss is a strong character inhabiting an energetic and compelling series….’
Ian Morson, Tangled Web website.

Maureen Carter’s Bev Morriss series is one of my favourites. There’s a tough and mouthy lead character, a believable supporting cast, snappy dialogue and it’s set in the UK’s much-maligned second city of Birmingham. What’s not to like…BLOOD MONEY is dark, angsty and another strong addition to a superlative series.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

Available here:

DEATH LINE IS THE SEVENTH IN THE SERIES

death l

When a child is murdered
everyone gets a life sentence…

When ten-year-old Josh Banks’s body is discovered dumped on waste ground, Detective Sergeant Bev Morriss wants justice. She’s not alone. Everyone hates child killers – even hardened criminals. Tip-offs trickle in, and the new press liaison officer has his work cut out when the squad springs a leak. Trial by redtop is the least of the cops’ worries.

If Bev’s under pressure, her guv faces more: as if nightmare memories of an earlier case weren’t enough, he’s facing an internal enquiry. Even if he’s cleared he’s no longer convinced he wants the job. And if the guv goes – where does that leave Bev?

What the critics say

Detective Sergeant Bev Morriss is quickly becoming one of the most interesting characters in British crime fiction. As good as Carter is, it may be hard for her to top this one. David Pitt, Booklist.

If you like your crime-writing hot, hard and hectic, GET CARTER!
Reginald Hill.

Carter’s storytelling is flinty and no-nonsense…This series is one of my on-going favourites, with its lippy heroine, urban Birmingham setting and hard-hitting plots straight off the front pages of the newspapers. And, as in the previous books, you can be sure Carter will fire a stonking ending out of left-field that will leave you reeling and cursing the fact the next instalment won’t be along for another year.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence.

Carter, an excellent storyteller, springs a couple of Jeffrey Deaver-worthy surprises.
Booklist (USA)

Available here:

After a break of four years,  Bev returned in GRAVE AFFAIRS

grave aff

His wife murdered, his baby abducted – who’s making media personality Nathan Rayne suffer? And how much closer to home can the criminal get?

The police inquiry is going nowhere . . . and Birmingham’s kick-ass cop Detective Sergeant Bev Morriss is on sick leave after witnessing a colleague’s murder. Bev’s not even sure she wants to go back – assuming she’s still capable of doing the job.

On the other hand, the cop killer is in hospital still clinging on to life – and Bev knows exactly where to find him.

And there’s an old saying about revenge . . .

Reader reviews . . .

You will finish this book feeling like you’ve just come off a rollercoaster…lifted, excited and chomping at the bit for the next one (thanks in part to Carter’s customary curveball). It is a truly excellent read, and my favourite in the series so far.

As a long time fan of both Maureen Carter and the Bev Morris books, this was a delight to read. Carter pulls no punches, her characters are realistic, whether loveable or villainous, and her plots gripping, tense and twisted. Bev is on form in this welcome return. Great crime fiction set in Birmingham with a strong female lead, what’s not to like?

There are twists and jolts throughout the plot, and it’s peopled with strong, well-drawn players – good, villainous, complex and intriguing. Dominating them all, of course, is Bev – as rebellious and feisty as ever, but also as caring and as vulnerable beneath the hard-boiled surface.

Available here:

Maureen Carter is currently working on a new Bev Morriss title.